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Migrating Nations: Global Perspective with Saskia Sassen and Michael Kimmelman

  June 16, 2016 - 21:01   1494     Submitted by WA Contents

reSITE: Cities in Migration hosted many discussions and panels with city leaders, architects, architecture critics and urban sociologists in its first day. Migration Nations: Global Perspective session is one of the discussions of reSITE, discussing 'migration flow in cities with dreams, realities and policies.' The panel moderated by Jan Machácek, Chairman, Institute for Politics and Society, Prague and three presentations were made from different fields and countries that shows different level of refugee crisis and housing conditions. 

The presentations featured Anu Riila, Senior Planning Officer, Working Group Migration and Integration, Helsinki, Miri Barbero-Elkayam, Director, Mesila - Aid and Information Center for Migrant Workers and Refugees, Tel Aviv and Marta Siciarek, Director, Immigrant Support Center, Gdansk. All presentations revealed that how complex housing conditions, a lack of affordable housing and refugee crisis are invading in many cities including Helsinki, Tel Aviv, London, New York and Paris. 

''60% of the refugees live in metropolitan cities of Helsinki region'' said Anu Riila, Senior Planning Officer, Working Group Migration and Integration, Helsinki. Annu Riila added that ''all these implications needed new relocation process in Helsinki.'' ''Freedom of movement, accommodation, mixing social-economic differences and providing equal access for all that are the basic things in Finland'' emphasised Anu Riila.

Saskia Sassen, urban sociologist and Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, evaluated different identities, nationalities not as foreigners, but as 'thick' cultures and she added that ''you can not have a cosmopolite city without thick cultures.''

''Think of many genius artists in the world, they are mostly immigrants. Migration problem is not just a result of war or conflicts, many different migrations are taking place in different cities. By observing and organizing them, we can produce our narratives. If you can create practical interventions, then you can develop a language in cities. Rigidity in control is hardly negative at all'' Sassen stated. 

The main theme of the panel focused on creating a mixing city in general, titled as 'mosaic', by respecting the boundaries of cultures and creating melting points without excluding any identities or cultures. 

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