Adaptive reuse of abandoned buildings for refugees: lessons from European context


The ongoing refugee crisis is described as the most important concern since the Second World War, which has caused a great displacement of people. Many of these immigrants have been departing towards Mediterranean countries, as first-line states, seeking for a chance to enter Europe. This situation has created a challenging condition for many refugee accepting cities as well as for the migrants to get integrated within the new society. This fact has had a great influence on the sustainability condition while the rapid and uncontrolled inflows can overwhelm the host countries' capacities to integrate new arrivals. In this regard, some European countries including Germany and Italy are coming about with strategies for accommodation and integration of these refugees in their countries. This paper aims to study and analyze two of the current case studies reflecting adaptive reuse strategies in European context for providing refugees' temporary housing facilities. In the context of this research, using the existing building stock introduced as the dominant strategy which can provide refugees with a proper shelter and also while providing the chance for their urban integration can contribute to revitalization of urban areas with the newcomers' participation. By analyzing the Berlin's largest refugee shelter inside Tempelhof Airport as the first case study, the major policies in Germany for providing refugee housing in national and local levels have been investigated. However, the second case study -Ex-Moi in Turin, is characteristically different from the case of Tempelhof airport of Berlin; since the refugees occupied the abandoned facility of the Olympic Village and settled down there. Regarding the fact that there is an urgent need for long-term policies and sustainable approaches to cope with the current refugee crisis, this research tries to shed a light on the path towards providing temporary housings by analyzing the challenges and opportunities of two different current case studies in Germany and Italy

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