Europe-wide councils and communities facing the challenge to house refugees appropriate and in a human way. But far too often many of them who arrive alone or with their families need to stay in abandoned caserns or gyms. As being citizens of second class there is neither the possibility to participate in the everyday life of the society nor to create their surroundings actively.
Facing these facts the network of Refugees for Co-Creative Cities decided to join forces. Initiatives from Oberhausen, Helsinki, Ljubljana and other european cities searching for strategies to improve the ways of participation of refugees, to exchange experiences and making them accessible to others. Their goal is to proactively look for new ways of a more respectful interaction and support in order to enable refugees to take part in social and creative processes in their new living environment and to help them integrate themselves into the local society. Through common processes, they can contribute something to the city as in the same time strengthen their self-confidence.
The thought behind Co-Creating is that many voices can shout louder than a single one and that diversity and different perspectives give great additional values to a project. Co-Creating isn´t just the key to understand each other in a better way. It is rather the way to build a corporate feeling within a group. Because everyone has their own part in this but working together: Refugees, other disadvantaged population groups and everybody who belongs to the society and is interested in a peaceful living together and livable environment. Therefore are any ideas, suggestions and contributions from different sides more than welcome – including citizens, activists, city makers, politicians and so on.
As one of the first projects kitev renovates together with refugees and engaged citizens of Oberhausen a high-rise building in the city centre and is willing to create a self-organized living among the inhabitants. There lies huge potential of use in the abandoned shop on the ground floor as well as some apartments in the upper floors of the building. The current inhabitants should get involved into the projects as much as encouraged to participate.
The kick-off for all activities inside the high rise was the conference „Mehr [als] Wohnraum“ in cooperation with StadtBauKultur NRW in July 2016. From the 6th until the 10th of September 2016 a Co-Creation Festival will take place which is organised by Interkultur Ruhr and kitev and should create the ground to build, discuss and plan further. This event is part of the project „New ideas for old buildings“ which will develop new strategies to reactivate disregarded buildings in order to upvalue quarters in an architectural and social matter.