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IDS Policy Briefing 200: Public Spaces, Placemaking and Integration of Migrants in Finland (accessible version)

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Placemaking and urban public spaces are important but often neglected factors in the integration and wellbeing of forcibly displaced people and other migrants. Placemaking – a multifaceted approach to the planning, design, and management of public spaces – is highly relevant for many migrants, for whom spaces outside the home are important for building community and promoting wellbeing. Yet migrants tend to have limited access and ability to use public spaces and are under-represented in urban planning processes. Efforts to integrate migrants need to explicitly address spatial aspects, and processes of urban planning and redevelopment need to be more inclusive.

Key messages

  • Plans to integrate and support the wellbeing of migrants and other displaced people need to address spatial arrangements and provide equal access to public spaces in cities and towns.
  • The ability of migrants to access and use public spaces is often limited in ways that both reflect and reproduce wider social inequalities.
  • Although migrants are rarely represented in urban planning and redevelopment processes, they are often disproportionally affected by these processes and decisions.
  • Migrants in urban areas need facilities with reasonable rents in easily accessible locations for social and business purposes.
  • Urban planners should explicitly address social and cultural diversity to make cities more inclusive for everyone.

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