Design Ideas Show How EU Cities Can Make Room for Refugees

Architecture students in Germany brainstorm welcoming plans.

(Credit: Leibniz University of Hanover)

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As cities and countries in the EU debate what to do about incoming Syrian refugees, those giving sanctuary to the newcomers must also figure out a way to welcome them. In the last month alone, 100,000 Syrians have arrived in Germany, and a German officials said this week that the country could easily accommodate 500,000 refugees a year.

Though the word “refugee” often conjures the image of informal tent cities, Leibniz University architecture students in Hanover, Germany, have another vision — they see potential in unused parts of urban cores. Here are some of their ideas — not actual projects yet, but certainly deserving of consideration.

Starting right in their own backyard, one design suggests adding on to University building rooftops.

(Credit: Leibniz University of Hanover)

Other ideas include floating houses on Germany’s 870 barges, charged with solar and power, as well as expanding the Dutch pavilion from Expo 2000.

(Credit: Leibniz University of Hanover)

(Credit: Leibniz University of Hanover)

Some students also considered designing shelter in a defunct freight station in Northern Hanover and using old train cars as houses.

(Credit: Leibniz University of Hanover)

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Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.

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Tags: resilient citiesurban designarchitectureimmigration

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