On January 28th, the IFHP in conjunction with the Danish Town Planning Institute invited the Danish network of municipalities, planners, developers and community to an afternoon dedicated to the housing of refugees. The meeting ‘Fyraftensmøde: Boligplacering af flygtninge’ took place in Copenhagen at the IFHP headquarters.
The aim was to share knowledge, discuss challenges and co-create the process of becoming agile to match the current and coming situations. This resulted in a functional space to connect interested professionals within housing refugees.
The discussion was initialized by the presentation of the current IFHP Housing Refugees Programme and followed by the presentation of Ole Bondo Christensen, Mayor of Furesø Kommune. Both presentations opened the space for dialogue.
The meeting counted with the participation of 53 professionals, from municipalities and NGOs, to developers and architects. Social services, urban planning, employment and integration were the represented sectors. Some significant questions and answers from the discussion were raised on this presentation, included:
“What is the best option to house refugees? Build new buildings or create other kind of alternatives like hosting in family houses or hotels?”
“Building in Denmark is extremely expensive and it is a long process, and we need to solve the problem faster.”
After the first Q&A people were asked to join in groups and think about how they could participate to the effective change of the current situation, and how they could engage with the network to establish partnerships, solutions, and carry further dialogue. Main topics discussed were:
– De-regulation of building regulations – for a limited time;
– Flexible and temporary housing;
– Housing is integration;
– The sectors need to be re-thought to match the current and future needs.
The political discourse at the national level in Denmark was not evident among the participants, who were driven by having a task or an idea and wanting to contribute to solve the current challenge. One participant asked: What would you do if these new citizens were your children?
The last 30 minutes of the meeting were spent on a discussion among the participants about “What next?” The majority indicated they would like to meet again, some had specific topics they want to further discuss, and others were more intrigued by the inter-disciplinary inspiration and talks.
The IFHP, along with the Danish Town Planning Institute, will wrap-up the feedback from the meeting and propose a new one, to realize if there is an interest and engagement from the participants.
Stay tuned for our next posts!
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are those of the authors of the blogposts and do not reflect those of the International Federation of Housing and Planning.