Building Identities: Architectural Approaches to Integration

  • Abstract:

    Cities are at constant change, continually and simultaneously old and new, but in the urgent context of an emergency situation, there is an immense shift in the identity of a city. Old and new city dwellers adapt to both this constant change and the already existing; contemporary urban development approaches take into consideration the ever-evolving city; practices today revolving around immigration focus much more on the aspect of integration both socially and physically in the urban fabric. But at a sudden point of crisis, what (or who) then defines city identity in light of displacement’ Digging into the aspect of typology and architecture, as a simplification for the basis of planning, in the sense of pre-defining the needs of new users, is identity, as well as the welcoming sense of the city, then, dictated upon. This paper looks into relevant urban interventions that attempt to maintain or develop the identity of the city, in light of the emergence of unfamiliar identities that arrive together with migration. Emergency situations result to the need for both short and long term solutions. The integration of immigrants in the city deals with a shift in patterns, both for the newcomers and in context of the already defined urban fabric. Differences in parameters as well as distinct parallel patterns evolve from prototypical intermediate settlements to more accommodating and sustainable solutions. Attempting to look at the city as not just a vaguely undefined identity in constant change, rather as the continual progression of identity in the making and redefining.