The built environment for refugees from the middle east

Mira Shami
ARC623 | Fall 2020

● Around 79.5 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Twenty-six million are refugees, around half of whom are under the age of 18 and 4.5% are older adults.

● According to the UNHCR, more than two-thirds of all refugees came from Middle Eastern countries.

● Over 6.7 million people have fled Syria since 2011, seeking safety in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq and Egypt.

● The World Bank projects that 143 million people will be forcibly displaced by 2050.

Design Issues Identified (Zaatari Camp, Jordan):

+ Built environment’s design does not account for the rapid increase in population in the camp. Resulting the camp’s individuals to have limited access to resources, inadequate infrastructure, and shelter

+ The shelter’s thermal performance and design are often overlooked, and the design lacks sustainability, which significantly affects the health and wellness of the users

+ The camps are designed in a way that creates a barrier between the refugee and the community. Consequently, creating hardship for the individuals to adapt to a new environment

+ The street scape design lacks integrated green spaces, and walkable paths which negatively impacted users’ mental health in the camp