Join us for the Webinar ‘How architecture and urban plans matter to immigrant and refugee integration’.

Join us for the Webinar ‘How architecture and urban plans matter to immigrant and refugee integration’.

Wondering how architecture and planning influence the settlement, integration, and well-being of immigrants and refugees? Join us for the upcoming webinar organized by Metropolis International.


Wednesday June 30, 2021, 11:00-12:15 EDT (Ottawa, ONT)

This equals 08:00 EDT (Vancouver), 16:00 BST (London, UK), 17:00 CEST (Amsterdam), 18:00 TRT (Istanbul) or 23:00 SGT (Singapore).


Among the aspects of newcomer settlement and integration that we usually emphasize such as language, education, skills, discrimination, respect for rights, we rarely include architecture and urban planning. And yet, if we think about what makes immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers feel comfortable in a new society, allows them to feel that they belong there, the built environment is significant. Whether the homes they live in, the shops they visit, the places of worship in which they gather, the schools they and their children attend, the spaces in which they can socialize, the design of the buildings and their location relative to one another, all of these affect the quality of their lives. Informal neighbourhoods in developing countries often arise without the hand of professional architects or planners, yet bear identifiable cultural hallmarks. Urban plans of cities in the West tend to ignore the cultural differences among their residents, and architectural designs, whether mandated by regulations or not, tend to reflect the mainstream populations’ preferences. But when newcomer neighbourhoods become larger and more highly concentrated as in modern middle class suburban ethnic enclaves or in arrival spaces for large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, the effects of architecture and urban plans can become acute. This Metropolis webinar will explore the effects of architecture and planning on the settlement, integration, and well-being of immigrants and refugees and offer a corrective to the general neglect of these effects in our discussions of how best to manage the arrival of newcomers in our societies. Our speakers will offer a rare combination of expertise on both migration and architecture/urban planning.


  • Dr. Faten Kikano, former architect, Centre d'étude en responsabilité sociale et écocitoyenneté – CÉRSÉ, Montreal, Canada
  • Martina Bovo, Architect and PhD student at the Politecnico di Milano, Milan
  • Dr. Zhixi Zhuang, Urban Planner and Professor, Ryerson University, Toronto


  • Howard Duncan, Carleton University & Metropolis International
  • Jan Rath, University of Amsterdam & Metropolis International

Hosted by

Metropolis International, established in 1996, is the largest cross-sectoral international network of professionals in the field of migration, integration/inclusion, and diversity. It provides an international platform for constructive dialogue and effective production & dissemination of policy-relevant, socially-meaningful, and evidence-based knowledge across the policy, research, civil society, and private sectors.


Only registered persons can be allowed to the webinar. For those who have not yet registered, click here to register.

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