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OrganisationGhent Centre for Global Studies - Ghent University




04 Sep 2019


04 Mar 2020

Project Title

Narratives on migration (housing and home-making) - MIGRATION-09-2020


At Ghent University (UGent, Belgium) we are interested with the Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees
(CESSMIR, https://www.ugent.be/cessmir/en) to join a consortium as a partner (not as coordinator) on the following
HORIZON 2020 calls:

- MIGRATION-04-2020: Inclusive and innovative practices for the integration of post 2015 migrants in local communities
- MIGRATION-09-2020: Narratives on migration and its impact: past and present

In particular we are keen to further explore, from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, how innovative and
inclusive housing models could enhance the integration of post 2015 migrants in local communities (MIGRATION-04-
2020). In this regard, we are also interested how narratives on housing for migrants and migrants home-making
practices take shape (MIGRATION-09-2020).

More generally, we are interested how the current gap between lived diversity and planned diversity could be bridged
by fostering a discussion among many stakeholders, including migrants.

Contact person: Luce Beeckmans (senior postdoctoral research fellow)
Ghent University, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning and the Centre for the Social Study of Migration and
Refugees (CESSMIR-UGent).
E-mail: luce.beeckmans@ugent.be
Phone: +32 (0)9 264 39 04

Expertise sought/offered

Expertise on offer as a partner

1. Project group

This expression of interest is supported by the Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR).
CESSMIR is an interdisciplinary centre at Ghent University, focusing on the social impact of migration and fleeing and
developing activities in the areas of research, education and service to society. Currently, CESSMIR is already running a
HORIZON 2020 project (H2020 SC - Health, demographic Change and Wellbeing: RefugeesWellSchool, Prof. Ilse

2. Competences relevant to the call

- Extensive experience with interdisciplinary research on the nexus between migration studies and urban studies,
architecture and housing.
- Extensive experience with mixed methods research, including ethnographic fieldwork, data visualisation, research by
design and action research.
- Experience with applied research, among others for the Flemish Refugee Action (Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen), the
main non-profit organization that rallies for asylum seekers and refugees in Flanders.
- Strong national and international network, also including non-academic stakeholders as Fedasil, the Flemish
Government Architect, etc.
- Extensive experience with societal outreach, for instance in the form of exhibitions (e.g. the exhibition Living in
Diversity. Inclusive housing solutions for newcomers in the International Arts Campus DeSingel, Antwerp).
- Organisation of several international conferences related to this topic, such as the 1st Annual CESSMIR Conference:
Needs and Care Practices for Refugees and Migrants (2018) and the EAHN Thematic Conference Displacement and
Domesticity since 1945. Refugees, migrants and expats

3. Ghent University expertise in this domain

- Mapping the Invisible City. Spatial Manifestations of sub-Saharan African Diaspora in the mid- size city in Europe.
(Ongoing postdoctoral research project Luce Beeckmans- financed by the Flemish Research Council)
This interdisciplinary research aims at gaining a multi-layered understanding of the processes and products of physical
place-making by African diaspora in mid-sized cities in Belgium. It studies how African immigrants have in quite
‘invisible’ ways occupied and appropriated urban locations to dwell or fulfil essential social, cultural or economic
needs and explores to what extent African practices of place-making, although often highly unstable and precarious,
have the potential to result in new sites of empowerment.

- Housing for Refugee Inclusion (Ongoing applied research project for the Flemish Refugee Action - Lead coordinator
Luce Beeckmans)
This action research aims at developing an innovative programme that increases refugees access to rental housing in
Flanders based on the belief that decent housing is crucial to socio-economic integration. The research trajectory
consists of several workshops in which actors from different domains, such as local governments, civil society,
architects, volunteers, academics and refugees are brought together to explore challenges and opportunities.

- Urban Diversity beyond Social Mix: alternative concepts and methods to design micropublic spaces of encounter in
Flanders midsized cities. (Granted senior postdoctoral research project Luce Beeckmans- financed by the Flemish
Research Council from 01/10/2019)
This interdisciplinary research aims to rethink the gap between planned and lived diversity in Flanders mid-sized
cities. Given that one of the main challenge for today’ s mid-sized cities in Flanders consists of finding innovative ways
to spatially deal with their increased diversity, this research aims to develop alternative spatial concepts to social mix
in which a broader understanding of urban diversity is incorporated. Building on recent socio-spatial studies, the
central hypothesis is that instead of forcefully applying social mix on every spatial level, it is more important that
people have the opportunity to meet ànd that these encounters get infrastructurized.

Tasks offered/requested

* Other

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