The Cities of Refuge Podcast

The Cities of Refuge Podcast

S1E9: The meaning of public space for refugee integration

March 28, 2021

Urban public spaces play a vital role in the experience especially of refugee youth, and therefore also for their integration. Sara Miellet speaks with Ilse van Liempt, Associate Professor in Urban Geography at Utrecht University, about her ongoing research on this topic. Their discussion addresses aspects such as the difference between formal and informal spaces of encounters, the everyday expressions of integration, the ways refugees claim public space, and the role that local authorities can play to facilitate such processes. They also consider the changing character of public space in times of a global pandemic – and what we can all learn from refugees as involuntary “lockdown experts”.

Ilse van Liempt is a member of the HERA research project Refugee Youth in Public Space and the research leader of the focus area Migration and Societal Change of Utrecht University.

For more information on home-making and place attachment of refugees in the Netherlands, read this article (open access), co-authored by Ilse van Liempt and Sara Miellet (forthcoming in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies).