Register: FEB/01/2018, Submit: FEB/01/2018, Eligibility: Anyone; individually, (interdisciplinary) teams of 2 or more members, Fee: 50 USD (NOV/13 – DEC/03/2017), 60 USD (DEC/04 – DEC/31/2017), 70 USD (JAN/01/2018 – FEB/01/2018), Awards: 3 Winners – 2,000 USD + 2 return flight tickets to New York + 2 night accommodations for 2 people (each); Overall Winner (selected from the 3 Winners) – an additional 1,500 USD; 6 Honorable Mentions 1,000 USD (each)
Refugee livelihoods have become a crucial topic in contemporary geo-political relations. One fundamental challenge within the current relief assistance model for refugee populations is the separation between inhabitants and local communities. IDeA invites innovative minds around the world to propose spatial design and programmatic solutions that provide opportunities for refugees and local communities to strengthen ties while enabling self-agency.
This creative re-knitting of the city can rely on a shared organization and management of activities within co-constructed platforms that involve both refugees and the local community.
Solutions should focus on addressing the economic and social vulnerabilities that refugees face in urban environments and provide creative ways that expand access, participation, and interaction between refugees and their local communities.
The solution should include an operational plan for one of the urban sites below and should be able to run for long-term, i.e. 3-5 years, to benefit as many people as possible with a goal of permanent infrastructure. Your business plan should justify the overall budget limit for both construction and operation of the proposed project, and identify institutional partners and funding sources.
Finalists have the opportunity to come to New York City to present at a symposium in mid-to-late April.
Find more information on each site at idevelopment.us/competition, under the Suggested Readings tab.
1. NAIROBI, KENYA
Nairobi is the capital metropolitan city of Kenya with a population of 6,547,547. The city is the regional headquarters of many multinational companies, is the site of one of Africa’s largest securities exchange, and produces numerous manufactured goods for global distribution. Currently, urban refugee gures range from 45,000 to 100,000 people.
Refugees and asylum seekers are jointly managed by Kenya’s Department of Refugee A airs and UNHCR. The country o cially prioritizes accommodating refugees in camps located in remote areas, however UNHCR has established a focus related to urban refugees based on the recognition of the right of refugees to enjoy freedom of movement, to take up residence in urban areas, and to enjoy protection spaces available to them there. The eort to accommodate urban refugees is dificult due to security threats wrongly attributed to refugee populations, in addition to tensions among refugee and local communities stemming from xenophobia, perceptions of unfair refugee welfare, discrimination and hostility.
2. AMMAN, JORDAN
Amman is the capital and most populous city of Jordan, with a population of 4 million peoples. Urban refugees constitute 85% of all refugees that include Iraq, Syrian, Palestinian, Somali and Sudanese communities. Of the percentage of urban refugees, 28% reside in Amman. In addition, three nearby refugee camps have increased pressure upon the government to leverage services, infrastructure, business, and labor.
Stability and resiliency in Amman is important as geo-political factors continue to play out in the region. Aside from basic necessities, targeted livelihood support for vulnerable demographics are still needed in Amman through creative programming in areas such as housing, education, healthcare, and food security. There is a need to increase capacities of self-reliance, as restrictions are placed on refugees right to work and their entitlement to legal status, resources and services including safe and e cient transportation or a ordable school fees. In addition, issues of urban displacement and social stigmatization have continued to shape the urban refugee experience in Amman.
We invite participants to creative ways that utilize existing resources of Amman’s urban fabric to formulate new programs that bring diverse refugee communities together including participation of the Jordanian community.
3. BERLIN, GERMANY
Between January 2015 and the Summer of 2016 approximately 65,000 newcomers predominantly from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq settled in the German capital city of Berlin. The majority of new arrivals still live in shelters managed by various non-profit organizations under contract with the Berlin government. While refugees are not required to live in these shelters, tight housing market conditions make it difficult for many to more permanent housing, especially in central and desirable neighborhoods. As a result, newcomers often see themselves forced to stay longer in shelters, which eventually gives them limited access to existing community networks and opportunities. Conversely, apart from volunteers and social workers involved with refugee shelters, who engage regularly with their dwellers and spaces, many Berlin denizens do not come into contact with their new fellow neighbors.
As a vibrant, socio-economically and ethnically diverse city, Berlin can provide multiple platforms for integration, overcoming social and political barriers. We encourage participants to take advantage of this urban setting in order to weave refugee communities within the local fabric, a condition that can eventually make Berlin a more inclusive city.