From segregation to integration: collective housing for refugees

Action research in rural areas for the development of local and inclusive settlement spaces in the context of collective housing for refugees.



Housing is central for people in all situations. For refugees, housing is of particular importance due to their increased need for protection. However, the accommodation of refugees is often highly regulated and does not meet existing needs. Accommodation for refugees has therefore also been described as a place of "non-housing". At the same time, these shelters are often associated with negative headlines. Municipalities resist providing housing infrastructure for refugees. On the other hand, shelters for refugees can also be the starting point or target of supportive engagement by civil society actors. The development and effects of such different social and political dynamics around the housing of refugees have been little studied so far. How do they influence the well-being of those affected? To what extent are inclusion processes at the local level stimulated or prevented in the sense of sustainable settlement development (SDG 11)? What can we learn to promote inclusive coexistence and the associated well-being in the future? In order to answer these questions, we would like to conceive a participatory design for a corresponding third-party funded project.

Course of action

The aim of the project is to use participatory action research to contribute to the development of local and inclusive settlement areas in the context of collective accommodation for refugees. Various perspectives and people (those affected, civil society, authorities, local population) are involved. The aim is to work with refugees and locals to develop a complex picture of local dynamics and changes, to identify the challenges of living together, to identify the need for action and to develop and implement solutions.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 11: Sustainable cities and communities