The spatial impact of migration
Migration across national borders has an increasing impact on cities. Traditionally, cities have been the locus of cultural, religious, social, and economic exchange, which is a fundamental characteristic of a thriving network. However, the urban division of inside (local) and outside (global) is still problematic even though we are moving toward true heterogeneous metropolis. This division results in “inequity” within society, urbanism, architecture and their related fields. A key to improving this societal issue is to understand, rethink, and challenge the division between “inside” and “outside”. To do so, we (XCOOP Rotterdam and the Centros Urbanos Javeriana, Bogotà) have proposed a “hypothetical sustainable multi-cultural city” that aims at integration of immigrants through the creation of an “in-between” space that encourages integration among immigrants and receiving communities. The success of this space will depend on the degree of inclusiveness: local and global residents will need to lead the transformation and any new intervention ought to satisfy communal interests. We have been studying this design-based proposal for a while and since May 2017, we have been working with students and communities (interactive workshops), experts in the field (international conferences), and universities (on-site performances and exhibition) in the following four cities: Bogotà, a city that is economically unbalanced and lacks accessibility to essential goods; Tucson, a city that faces issues of homelessness and segregation; Baltimore, an urban setting that confronts geographical segregation and inequity; Rotterdam, a metropolis focusing on the growth and development of global companies rather than its local residents.
The results of these efforts include the following conclusions:
- the “in-between” spaces foster opportunities for positive encounters among different groups in public spaces;
- the “in-between” spaces rely on equal accesses to public services and goods;
- successful implementation of “in-between” spaces requires new typologies and improved methods of participatory design.
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