Sustainable, fast, and cheap housing: just what you need when you're escaping oppressive regimes, natural disasters, and other refugee-creating events. Christoph Chorherr, Vienna's Green Party planning spokesperson, has blogged that the mobile Passive House dormitories designed by Günter Lang...
Perparim Rama is an award-winning architect based in London. He came to the U.K. as an asylum seeker in 1992, fleeing war and persecution in the former Yugoslavia. Here is his take on the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. — bloomberg.com
A German group which matchmakes citizens willing to share their homes with refugees said it had been overwhelmed by offers of support, with plans in the works for similar schemes in other European countries.
The Berlin-based Refugees Welcome, which has been described as an “Airbnb for refugees”, has helped people fleeing from Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria.
More than 780 Germans have signed up to the Refugees Welcome website... — the Guardian
In the 1930s and '40s, the Mabery Road house in Santa Monica Canyon belonged to Hollywood screenwriter Salka Viertel, who made her house a home not only for her family but for hundreds of refugees, some very famous and others unknown... While anti-Fascist volunteers were spiriting people out of Europe, Viertel in Santa Monica was taking them in... She helped to rescue, among many others, the German Expressionist writer Leonhard Frank, the Dadaist poet Walter Mehring, and Alfred Döblin... — Los Angeles Times
Ikea's line of flat-pack refugee shelters are going into production, the Swedish furniture maker announced this week, after being tested among refugee families in Ethiopia, Iraq, and Lebanon. The lightweight "Better Shelter" was developed under a partnership between the Ikea Foundation and the ...UNHCR... Each unit takes about four hours to assemble and is designed to last for 3 years — far longer than conventional refugee shelters, which last about 6 months. — the Verge
As the Verge article notes, the announcement comes at a time when there are nearly 4 million people left without homes from the ongoing wars in Syria alone. Globally, there are 45.2 million people currently displaced by conflict and persecution according to a UNHCR report. And even that number...
A typical library can take years to build. But a new library kit, designed to travel to remote refugee camps or disaster zones, can come together in less than 20 minutes. The Ideas Box...fits the equivalent of a small-town library on two standard shipping pallets. It comes with books and e-readers, tablets, laptops, cameras and other creative tools... Since camps might not have internet access or power, it comes with its own. The boxes that hold all of the devices convert into tables and chairs. — FastCoExist
Public space like the plaza in Al Fawwar is mostly unheard-of in Palestinian camps across the West Bank. Architectural upgrades raise fundamental questions about the Palestinian identity, implying permanence, which refugees here have opposed for generations. [...] Camps were conceived as temporary quarters. The absence of public space was then preserved over the years to fortify residents’ self-identification as refugees, displaced and stateless. — nytimes.com
As a result of the Syrian civil war, there are now 3 million Syrian refugees registered in neighboring countries — an exodus that began in March 2011 and shows no sign of abating, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday. The record figure was 1 million refugees more than a year ago, and an additional 6.5 million are displaced within Syria, meaning that "almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives," it said. — Al Jazeera
As the Islamic State rampages through Syria and Iraq, thousands are being displaced to add to the growing refugee population created by a civil war against Bashar al-Assad. The Islamic State actively uses infrastructure, specifically hydoinfrastructure, as a militaristic tactic exacerbating...
"...just as planning for response to an industrial accident doesn’t make an industrial accident more likely, so too planning for relocations should not make them more likely... It is .... likely that the slow-onset effects of climate change will lead many to voluntarily migrate in anticipation that conditions will worsen. Those who are left behind – and who will need government assistance to relocate – thus may be particularly vulnerable." — Brookings Institute
The pressure to start preparing for inevitable relocations due to global warming and the resultant rise in sea levels is growing for many communities around the world. For some, the time for preparation is already running out and the time for action is now. In the United States, the first "climate...
Many of the world’s displaced live in conditions striking for their wretchedness, but what is startling about Kilis is how little it resembles the refugee camp of our imagination. It is orderly, incongruously so. Residents scan a card with their fingerprints for entry [...]. Inside, it’s stark: 2,053 identical containers spread out in neat rows. No tents. None of the smells — rotting garbage, raw sewage — usually associated with human crush and lack of infrastructure. — nytimes.com
The prototype of the shelter is now being tested in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. The refugee families who would be making the shelter their homes will have a direct say in how the product is developed, putting their experience at the heart of this collaborative process. — ikeafoundation.org
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