The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Faculty Materialisation Grant 2016 awarded to ‘Refugee Cities: the Actual Spaces of Migration’

21 October 2016

We are delighted to announce that the DPU led interdisciplinary 'Refugee Cities' research project has received the Faculty Materialisation Grant 2016.


This project is conceived as a speculative and anticipatory investigation around the actual cost and impact of the migratory wave in Europe. The initial, specific focus, is on Lampedusa and Calais, observing them as continental immigration entry and exit nodes. 

The research consists of a multi-scale analysis of the spatial, social and economic impacts of migration in the urban context, trying to merge transdisciplinary approaches including data-driven mapping and ethnographical research. This will help to create an original composite of spatial visualizations through different media channels, shared and disseminated through an interactive, digital platform. 

By identifying the overlooked issues surrounding the refugee crisis in European cities and challenging the dominant narratives, the platform will provide a reliable overlap of data, curated to better interpret and cope with the intensifying impact of migration on cities. 

At the larger scale, the reconfigured evidence should strengthen the capacity to influence other cities’ pre-emptive strategies to deal with increasing migration and integration challenges. At the local scale, the research should also humanize and describe the multiple economies of migration, the silent narratives of everyday experiences, and the collective urban history of the recent past. 

The ‘Refugee Cities’ research is combining the transdisciplinary richness of the Bartlett, integrating the research expertise of three different departments: the Development Planning Unit, Space Syntax Laboratory (Bartlett School of Architecture) and CASA (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis). The working team is led by Dr. Camillo Boano (DPU) and is composed by Dr. Kayvan Karimi (Space Syntax Laboratory), Dr. Ed Manley (CASA), Dr Falli Palaiologou (Space Syntax Laboratory), Dr. Giovanna Astolfo (DPU) and Ricardo Marten (DPU). The project started in the summer 2016 and will end in July 2018.