European cities have recently tried to accommodate the rapidly grown refugee population. In our view, there is a clear need to rethink refugee accommodation and integration. Instead of seeing the newcomers as burdens of the system, our project approaches refugees as skillful and interested individuals who can contribute to new forms accommodating themselves in their new domiciles.
The project was chosen for funding as one of the winners of the Idea Challenge launched by the Advocate Europe Programme in 2015. The project is lead by Kitev (Kultur im Turm e.V.) from Oberhausen, Germany, with Institute for Spatial Policies (IPoP) from Slovenia and Demos Helsinki as partners. The project is also linked with the project “New ideas for old buildings” financed by Europe for Citizens Programme.
The project maps best practices of refugee accommodation and integration in Europe, publishing them in a compendium. Then a concept will be developed for upgrading and rearranging a chosen empty property in the Ruhr area, with the help of refugees, their experience, insight and ideas. This new practice will be presented in an EU-wide conference, with the aim of at least five municipalities or other housing sector actors adopting the model.
The final publication of the project takes the form of a magazine in order to make the compendium of good practices easily accessible and adoptable to the interested audience and practitioners.