IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Urban Planning for the Integration of Refugees: The Importance of Local Factors


  • Shahd Seethaler-Wari

    (Socio-Cultural Diversity, Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany)


Housing location is one of several characteristics that play a significant role in the future integration of asylum-seekers. Many of these characteristics or institutional arrangements are spatialized aspects relevant to urban planning. Drawing on experiences from fieldwork in Göttingen, a mid-sized city in the German Federal state of Lower-Saxony 2016–2018, this article demonstrates the local challenges, strategies and their resulting institutional arrangements on various aspects of asylum-seekers’ lives. It discusses the influence of those arrangements on the development of their social circles, and on their access to different resources, influencing their participation in and interaction with the social and urban life of their host cities; thereby influencing their integration processes. To do so, the article addresses local factors that are significant for urban planners to include into an integration plan. It observes the role urban planning can play in preventing aspects of segregation in the various life domains of refugees and in providing urban contexts that facilitate integration in European cities. The first assumption of this article is that integration, refugees’ attitudes towards it, and an urban context that can facilitate it start from day one of the arrival of new comers in their host city/town. The second assumption is that integration happens on the local level of the city, and more specifically on the level of the host neighborhood.

Suggested Citation

  • Shahd Seethaler-Wari, 2018. "Urban Planning for the Integration of Refugees: The Importance of Local Factors," Urban Planning, Cogitatio Press, vol. 3(4), pages 141-155.
  • Handle: RePEc:cog:urbpla:v:3:y:2018:i:4:p:141-155

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van Ham, Maarten & Tammaru, Tiit, 2016. "New Perspectives on Ethnic Segregation over Time and Space: A Domains Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 9663, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Richard Alba & Nancy Foner, 2014. "Comparing Immigrant Integration in North America and Western Europe: How Much Do the Grand Narratives Tell Us?," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 263-291, September.
    3. Tiit Tammaru & Maarten Ham, 2016. "New Perspectives on Ethnic Segregation over Time and Space: A Domains Approach," Working Papers id:9352, eSocialSciences.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hanhorster, Heike & Wessendorf, Susanne, 2020. "The role of arrival areas for migrant integration and resource access," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 105234, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Frank Eckardt, 2018. "European Cities Planning for Asylum," Urban Planning, Cogitatio Press, vol. 3(4), pages 61-63.
    3. Heike Hanhörster & Susanne Wessendorf, 2020. "The Role of Arrival Areas for Migrant Integration and Resource Access," Urban Planning, Cogitatio Press, vol. 5(3), pages 1-10.
    4. Dimitra Manou & Anastasia Blouchoutzi & Jason Papathanasiou, 2021. "The Socioeconomic Integration of People in Need of International Protection: A Spatial Approach in the Case of Greece," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 10(12), pages 1, November.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Zwiers, Merle & van Ham, Maarten & Manley, David, 2016. "Trajectories of Neighborhood Change: Spatial Patterns of Increasing Ethnic Diversity," IZA Discussion Papers 10216, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Frank Eckardt, 2018. "European Cities Planning for Asylum," Urban Planning, Cogitatio Press, vol. 3(4), pages 61-63.
    3. Willem Boterman & Sako Musterd & Carolina Pacchi & Costanzo Ranci, 2019. "School segregation in contemporary cities: Socio-spatial dynamics, institutional context and urban outcomes," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 56(15), pages 3055-3073, November.
    4. Leen Rahnu & Allan Puur & Tom Kleinepier & Tiit Tammaru, 2020. "The Role of Neighbourhood and Workplace Ethnic Contexts in the Formation of Inter-ethnic Partnerships: A Native Majority Perspective," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 36(2), pages 247-276, April.
    5. Manley, David & van Ham, Maarten & Hedman, Lina, 2018. "Experienced and Inherited Disadvantage: A Longitudinal Study of Early Adulthood Neighbourhood Careers of Siblings," IZA Discussion Papers 11335, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Veronika Mooses & Siiri Silm & Tiit Tammaru & Erki Saluveer, 2020. "An ethno-linguistic dimension in transnational activity space measured with mobile phone data," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 7(1), pages 1-13, December.
    7. Petrović, Ana & Manley, David & van Ham, Maarten, 2018. "Freedom from the Tyranny of Neighbourhood: Rethinking Socio-Spatial Context Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 11416, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Allan Puur & Leen Rahnu & Luule Sakkeus & Martin Klesment & Liili Abuladze, 2018. "The formation of ethnically mixed partnerships in Estonia: A stalling trend from a two-sided perspective," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 38(38), pages 1111-1154.
    9. Zhang, Yanji & Wang, Jiejing & Kan, Changcheng, 2022. "Temporal variation in activity-space-based segregation: A case study of Beijing using location-based service data," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    10. Shen, Yao, 2019. "Segregation through space: A scope of the flow-based spatial interaction model," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 10-23.
    11. de Vuijst, Elise & van Ham, Maarten, 2017. "Parents and Peers: Parental Neighbourhood- and School-Level Variation in Individual Neighbourhood Outcomes over Time," IZA Discussion Papers 10526, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Kristiina Kukk & Maarten van Ham & Tiit Tammaru, 2019. "EthniCity of Leisure: A Domains Approach to Ethnic Integration During Free Time Activities," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 110(3), pages 289-302, July.
    13. de Vuijst, Elise & van Ham, Maarten & Kleinhans, Reinout, 2016. "A Life Course Approach to Understanding Neighbourhood Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 10276, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Siiri Silm & Veronika Mooses & Anniki Puura & Anu Masso & Ago Tominga & Erki Saluveer, 2021. "The Relationship between Ethno-Linguistic Composition of Social Networks and Activity Space: A Study Using Mobile Phone Data," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 9(2), pages 192-207.
    15. van Ham, Maarten & Tammaru, Tiit & de Vuijst, Elise & Zwiers, Merle, 2016. "Spatial Segregation and Socio-Economic Mobility in European Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 10277, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Marina Toger & Ian Shuttleworth & John Osth, 2020. "How average is average? Temporal patterns in human behaviour as measured by mobile phone data -- or why chose Thursdays," Papers 2005.00137,
    17. Nancy DiTomaso, 2021. "Why Difference Makes a Difference: Diversity, Inequality, and Institutionalization," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(8), pages 2024-2051, December.
    18. Haralambie George Alin, 2017. "An Analysis Of Social Inclusion In Eu," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 4, pages 17-24, August.
    19. Hahn, Elisabeth & Richter, David & Schupp, Jürgen & Back, Mitja D., 2019. "Predictors of Refugee Adjustment: The Importance of Cognitive Skills and Personality," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-14.
    20. Richard Alba & Nancy Foner, 2015. "Mixed Unions and Immigrant-Group Integration in North America and Western Europe," The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, , vol. 662(1), pages 38-56, November.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cog:urbpla:v:3:y:2018:i:4:p:141-155. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: António Vieira (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.