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(im)migration and the built environment, how do they relate?

Commissioned by the Netherlands Architecture Fund, foundation African Architecture Matters (AAM) is preparing a project plan for international design research on how architecture and urban design can add to the improvement of the cultural, economic and social emancipation of (im)migrants.

In the Netherlands, the largest group of non-western immigrants is of Turkish decent, the third group is formed by Moroccans (in 2003: 341.000 Turkish, 295.000 Moroccans, source: CBS). For the Architecture Fund this gives rise to a focus on these immigrant groups. AAM will focus on the Moroccan group. Processes and experiences in Dutch major cities will be compared with those in the country of origin.

The project aims to formulate conclusions which will form recommendation for policies concerning city planning for city councils, housing corporations and developers.

African Architecture Matters (co-founders of ArchiAfrika) is approached to set up this research, because of its excellent network in Africa and Morocco, as well as the fact that it is involved in the organization of African Perspectives 2011, a large manifestation bringing together architects, planners and other parties involved in the built environment. African Perspectives 2011 will take place in Casablanca in November. This manifestation forms part of the series of bi-annual African Perspectives conferences, organized by ArchiAfrika.

The current preparatory research explores the possibilities for the project in Morocco and the Netherlands. It is the aim to set up dialogue and exchange on this matter between parties in the Netherlands and Morocco. What can be learned from the exchange of experience? Are issues comparable or do they differ? Is a comparison feasible at all?

In the preparatory research is included:

  • Refinement of the research query in collaboration with partners in Morocco and the Netherlands, as well as with the Architecture Fund;Exploration and assessment of the field, inventory of projects with relevance to the query;

  • Set up collaboration with relevant partners in Morocco, with a focus on Casablanca;

  • Set up collaboration with relevant Dutch partners;

  • Exploration of possible participants, target groups and disciplines, with the aim to approach the query in a multi-disciplinary way.

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