As Mayor of Bristol (a City of Sanctuary in the UK), I am glad to see this issue of FMR exploring the pivotal role of cities and towns in welcoming and protecting displaced people.
Securing accurate, useful data on urban displacement is a difficult yet essential task.
A recent review identified three key principles for good practice in urban humanitarian response; taking these on board may help all actors to avoid wasting effort and missing opportunities.
Hamburg’s urban planning model, developed in response to the arrival of large numbers of asylum seekers in 2015, offers a number of lessons for refugee housing policy.
Members of the Athens-based Syrian and Greek Youth Forum explain how it provides a platform for active citizenship in the city.
A geographically focused, multi-sectoral, integrated approach is increasingly recognised as more appropriate when responding to the needs of both displaced and host populations, especially in urban contexts.
Somalia’s cities are struggling to cope with the immediate and longer-term demands posed by their fast-growing populations and the arrival of people fleeing crises in rural areas. A multi-stakeholder, locally led response can help to sustainably address the challenges that arise.
Urban displacement can have a major impact on the local ecosystems of secondary towns and cities. In Niger and Ukraine, an area-based approach has proved effective in identifying priority needs and enabling a multi-stakeholder approach.
Applying key elements of the traditional camp management approach can enhance communication, community participation and coordination in out-of-camp urban contexts.
World Vision applied a citywide approach to reducing the prevalence of child labour and to protecting working children’s rights in four cities in Bangladesh. This approach offers lessons for others involved in urban programming.
A critical, but understudied, issue of concern is how climate change will affect migrant populations living in cities (including refugees and internally displaced people), and how local governance and actions to combat the effects of climate change will address migrants’ vulnerability and support their inclusion in cities.
Research with refugee women in Amman and Beirut shows the importance of access to safe urban leisure space for well-being and integration.
The scaling up of locally organised, city-led routes to resettlement could form part of a larger solution to Europe’s current political crisis and deadlock around migration.
The arrival of large numbers of refugees in western European cities since 2015 has spurred widespread endorsement of the role of these city governments in addressing displacement. Displacement to cities in other countries worldwide, however, also demands attention.
Humanitarian shelter responses should prioritise flexibility in order to accommodate diverse needs and capacities, particularly in the urban environment.
Evidence from a refugee community-led assessment in Nairobi shows that communication and information flows must be improved to build sustainable resilience and self-reliance among urban refugees.
Although Afghan refugees in Pakistan enjoy considerable freedom of movement and access to livelihoods, the absence of a national legal framework for refugee management creates challenges for urban refugees and local authorities alike.
In urban contexts where multiple governance actors compete for authority, a clearer approach is needed on whether and how to engage these various actors in order to reach the most vulnerable host and refugee populations.
The outcome of interventions in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, provides lessons for working in high-risk urban neighbourhoods and communities.
Several lessons can be drawn from the successful multi-level response – by both local government and the local community – to the arrival of large numbers of IDPs in Adama, Ethiopia.
With immigration detention expanding globally, civil society has responded with a range of advocacy strategies to address rights and protection concerns.
Despite the widespread incorporation of the expanded ‘Cartagena definition’ of refugee into their national asylum frameworks, States in Latin America must do more to apply this definition – and resulting protection – to displaced Venezuelans.