Refugees for co-creative cities


Who is behind this?

Christoph Stark



Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

How can refugees improve their daily lives and public space in Ruhr region in Germany?
The project raises the questions on the current situation and the future of life of refugees in the Ruhr Area and compares it with best-practice models from other European urban agglomerations.

Where will your idea take place?

Oberhausen, Germany, Helsinki, Finland, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Why does Europe need your idea?

- Refugees contribute to a more inclusive public space and better integration in a society on the long run.
- It may function as gateway to the job market, as the welcoming communities get to know the skills that the refugees have.
- This is a general and highly transferrable Europe-wide topic

THE MAIN DIFFERENCE of the project
- It enhances the co-creation as well as fosters partnership.
- While many projects deal with public space (asking: “to whom belongs the city,”) we want to actively involve the refugees

- Areas with abundant vacant buildings (like the Ruhr Region) have a potential for creative interventions that unite social aims with physical space improvements
- It can be used in other countries (Italy, Spain, Greece etc.) and sectors (homeless).

What is your impact?

- Involve the refugees in the revitalisation of empty spaces in Oberhausen by incorporating the European-wide good practices.
- Establish the network of various professionals and organisations dealing with refugees and public space
- make a database of refugee integration examples from all over Europe.

- the catalogue with refugee initiatives will be made and will be ready to use
- The model of collaboration with refugees will be tested on a concrete project in Oberhausen.

- Refugees will appreciate the possibility to be a part of a society, decision-making and improving the physical environment.
- NGOs will get further ideas and examples on how to include refugees into concrete projects in cities.

How do you get there?

2nd half 2015
- Establish an informal network
- A transnational group of urbanists, architects, artists and activists makes a list of refugee engagement examples in EU, focusing on the Ruhr area.
- Creation of an online database of such examples.

1st half 2016
- 2 workshop visits within the network.
- Organising a congress “New Ideas for old buildings” in Oberhausen under the title “Refugees for co-creative cities”. It is a part of EU Programme “Europe for Citizens”. 7 medium sized EU towns from the Baltic to the Balkans are facing the economic and social decline and are motivated to find efficient and democratic solutions for revitalisation.

2nd half 2016
- Implementation of the pilot project in Oberhausen and matching activities in other cities of Ruhr.
- Evaluation and disseminat

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?


What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

We wish to receive: - a comment on how the project could develop further - an advice on how to disseminate results of the project - hints about the refugee integration good practices, especially in connection to the spatial development.



Idea created on April 10, 2015
Last edit on Jan. 16, 2016