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Displacement, placemaking and wellbeing: lessons from architectural and social science approaches

Dolf Te Lintelo



Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Is over
Multifunction Hall Room 4
Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Integrated Governance in Spatial Planning for a More Just, Green, and Healthy Urban Future
NE 44


This event will investigate one of the key issues of our times: the global displacement of over 80 million people and the concurrent urbanisation of refuge. As we witness the devastating invasion of the Ukraine, and large-scale refugee populations are crossing into Poland and neighbouring countries and already reaching Katowice, the event feels painfully timely. Driven by conflict, wars, climate change and other factors, the majority of displaced populations today, unlike in the past, move to or are located in urban areas. Displacement, particularly in the context of conflict, is typically protracted, lasting for decades. Yet, relatively little is known about displaced peoples’ spatial practices in their pursuit of wellbeing in urban public, private and semi-public spaces, and how these relate to efforts at city planning and multi-level governance. This event will present new research findings on this topic, drawing on two concurrent multi-year studies conducted in India, Finland, Norway, Turkey and the UK. A panel of architects and social scientists will, together with the audience, interactively explore the ways in which displacement ruptures the link between place and people to affect their wellbeing, reflect on everyday and planned efforts at placemaking in public, semi-public and private spaces, and debate implications for urban theory, policy options, and opportunities for urban built environment professions. It will consider how and why the ways in which displaced populations are able to rebuild lives, may contribute to new forms of urbanisation and alter city fabrics. Findings will look across urban displacement geographies in the ‘Global South’ and ‘Global North’, and consider empirical materials from across low/middle/high income countries, and cities within these at distinct scales, from small town, to satellite town to mega-city. The event will also launch a set of policy briefs that aim to inform policy-makers, civil society organisations and built environment practitioners.


This networking event will seek to * to offer a space for critical reflection and debate about displacement, placemaking and urban wellbeing * to connect policymakers, academics, built environment professionals and humanitarians with an interest in these issues * to share learnings that joint social science and architectural analyses, methods and approaches bring to understanding and acting on urban protracted displacement

Session speakers

Mr. Peter Hemmersam
Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Ms. Meltem Gurel
Dean, Faculty of Architecture
Yasar University
Ms. Anandini Dar
Assistant professor
Ambedkar University Delhi
Mr. Robert Mull
University of Brighton
Mr. Dolf te Lintelo
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Development Studies