Global Migration, Refugees, and a Role for Design

| Wednesday, October 24th, 6-8pm |

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated: “We face the biggest refugee and migration crisis since World War II.  Over the last year, more than 60 million people have been forced from their homes.  Desperate conditions are compelling people around the world to move………States must significantly boost the number of refugee resettlement places – and share equitably in this effort”.

The rapid increase of unprecedented numbers of migrants will put new pressures on how towns and cities will meet the challenges of rapid urbanization combined with climate change. This panel will underscore the very positive role migrants play in pursuit of sustainable urbanization, including worldwide case studies, best practices, and solutions on how to host and accommodate migrants, integrate migrant populations within existing urban contexts, as well as share lessons learned.

Whether migrants find themselves in a camp, temporary housing, or in a makeshift settlement, the need for access to public space, education and basic healthcare does not get lost. These needs are just as essential for migrants as for inhabitants of any community or city if not more so as they are more vulnerable, in many instances, than from which they have fled.  In fact, one could argue that these are the very things that make a city habitable and are even more critical in such situations. Therefore, planning for long term, temporary, or emergency accommodations needs to pay particular attention to the physical and social needs as a way of starting the process of healing from a life of dislocation.

In the wake of the September U.N. Summit on Migration and Refugees held in New York, and, Habitat III: U.N. Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador the week before, our panel will discuss what are the opportunities, responsibilities, and obligations of the design community in responding to this global phenomena of more people on the move than ever predicted. What is the background reality, what are the inter-continental realities, and the national, regional, and local implications for design?

This event will take place at the Center for Architecture.