A City of Comings and Goings


Our cities are increasingly defined by the dynamics of temporary inhabitants. Whether we are rich expats, hard working labour migrants, young international students or refugees. Climate change, armed conflicts, oppressive governments and a globalised economy keep us constantly on the move. But when looking further back, we have to conclude that migration is a fundamental phenomenon in the history of mankind and has always been influential in the development of our cities. To move past the current debate and polarised positions, we propose to zoom out of space and time, and to view migration as a general phenomenon as to bring into view the similarities and shared needs of migrant groups instead of their obvious differences. Looked at in the context of migration as a fundamental part of our cities’ opportunities and challenges, perhaps we can come up with more pragmatic approaches.

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