“More than four walls” – launch of the new project on sustainable accommodation concepts

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Picture: City Neighborhood Painting by Jozefm84 (Pixabay)

Time and again, periods of increased displacement present municipalities with the challenge of providing capacities for accommodating people arriving as quickly as possible. However, capacities are regularly reduced in times of decreasing migration. Upon increases of arriving refugees makeshift solutions are then set up again. This is costly for local authorities and ties up human and financial resources that are urgently needed elsewhere. In addition, the ad hoc, unsustainable solutions often do not offer structures that meet the needs of vulnerable people.

Scientifically sound solutions dedicated to the accommodation of refugees have so far mostly remained at an abstract level and often do not do justice to the heterogeneity of municipal structures. Municipalities often have to develop concrete solutions themselves. On a practical level, we do observe innovative approaches here and there in the international arena, which are the result of great local commitment and could prove to be good practice – however, these have only been systematically tested in individual cases and have not been examined for their scalability.

The project “More than four walls – innovative ideas for sustainable accommodation in and with municipalities”, the University of Hildesheim and FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg therefore want to identify existing potential and (further) develop innovative and sustainable concepts for housing for refugees and other groups together with practitioners so that they can be implemented in municipalities. To this end, the project team – consisting of project leads Prof. Dr. Petra Bendel at FAU,Prof. Dr. Hannes Schammann and Dr. Danielle Kasparick from University Hildesheim as well as research fellow Sonja Reinhold at FAU – will cooperate with structurally differing municipalities that aim to analyze their existing solutions, jointly develop new approaches and implement them in practice.

At FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, the project is based at the Research on Migration, Displacement and Integration and the FAU Research Center for Human Rights Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU CHREN)– The project runs from 01.05.2024 to 30.04.2028 and is funded by the Mercator Foundation.