Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

City planning with displaced communities: the benefits of inclusion

Samer Saliba, Nassim Majidi and Anna Walnycki




Displacement affects more than 100 million people worldwide and is often prolonged. Many displaced people seek opportunities in cities. Whereas participatory planning can be tokenistic and lack impact, the Protracted Displacement in an Urban World project explores participatory information gathering and decision making that meaningfully involve displaced and host communities in catalysing more equitable and inclusive urban development.

The project’s planning forums in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Jordan and Kenya enable displaced people to voice their needs and objectives and work with city authorities and other municipal stakeholders to co-develop practical solutions. There is transformative potential in involving displaced people as active participants, creating services that reflect local needs and knowledge, and addressing power imbalances. This requires strategic support and adequate, decentralised and agile international humanitarian and donor funding.

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