'A City of Comings & Goings | Een Stad van Komen en Gaan'

31 May 2017

In 2015 Crimson Architectural Historians initiated the research project 'A City of Comings and Goings' with the aim of researching the spatial impact of migration on (Dutch) cities, villages and landscapes. We understand migration as a structural and permanent factor of (European) cities and therefore expect cities to become increasingly characterized by temporal stays and dynamic lifestyles.

By conducting quantitative and spatial research, the project strives to provide insight into the changed conditions in Dutch cities as well as in comparable cities in Western Europe. Furthermore, the aim is to contribute to an improvement of the Cities of Comings and Goings in a concrete manner by formulating and carrying out pilot projects in different Dutch cities and neighbourhoods in cooperation with local project developers, urban planners and grassroots organisations among others. Using a spatial perspective, the project contributes to the important ongoing public discussion on what migration means for cities and its inhabitants. This contribution will crystallise in public events as well as in an action-oriented handbook (expected in 2018). This book will analyse the different lifestyles and usages of space of migrants in cities, and will provide guidelines on how we can best contribute to migration challenges through (spatial) policy and design.

The first research phase included:

The first phase of the research took place from 2015 until 2016 and consisted of several parts. First, it entailed extensive research on the current and expected impacts of migration on our cities, based on meetings with experts in the field, literature research, quantitative research and the study of pressing case studies. Partly based on the outcomes of this research, Michelle Provoost and Wouter Vanstiphout published the essay ’City of Comings and Goings’ in which migration is conceptualised as a permanent feature of cities. Furthermore, the results of the research were presented in the public manifestation ’Reading Migration’ in December 2015 in Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam and were discussed during expert meetings. Moreover, Crimson was co-organiser of the Graduation Studio ’A City of Comings and Goings. Designing for Migration and Mobility’ 2016-17 at the TU Delft, which has resulted in five design proposals. The outcomes of the first research phase have informed the second research phase.




The second research phase includes:

#1 International context:
As a basis for the entire project Crimson is mapping the international historical context of the issue of migration and its spatial implications. Hence, Crimson has asked five renowned authors in five different European cities (Aarhus, Prato, Berlin, London, Vienna) to write an illustrated essay which provides insights into the spatial, urban, architectural and socio-economic implications of migration from the late 19th century until today. First results will be presented at the International Social Housing Festival in Amsterdam on June 18th in 2017. The final essays will be part of the action-oriented handbook. ecol-piazza-immaginario_2_filippo_bardazzi.jpg

#2 National context:
Next we zoom in the Dutch context by providing an essay with the same aim as the international ones, analysing the spatial, urban, architectural and socio-economic implications of migration in the Netherlands from the late 19th century until today. This essay will be written by Crimson Architectural Historians and will also be part of the action-oriented handbook. rotterdam_diversity.jpg

#3 Catalogue of Europe’s best practices:
The catalogue researches a number of best practices in the field of temporary accommodations of migrants in Europe and of manners in which the increasing dynamics of our city inhabitants are considered. For this we are searching for a variety of experiments in the range of temporary accommodations, new typologies, collaborations, creative measurements, and so forth. The catalogue will be part of the action-oriented handbook.

#4 Pilot projects
In cooperation with a broad range of stakeholders, we are working on the development of several pilot project in the Netherlands. The aim of the pilot projects is to develop prototypes that can be exemplary for cities throughout Western Europe. These prototypes will center on different dimensions of migration and have varied forms. For example, they can be focused on spatial interventions, such as the transformation of a building or the development of new typologies for temporary accommodation, but they can also be focused on social projects or on experimenting with regulations.


The project will end with a public event, which will present the final results of the whole project in the form of exhibitions, debates, excursions, and movie presentations and the publication of the handbook in 2018. The book’s aim is to show how Dutch cities can better react and act to the conditions of permanent migration. It will include introductory essays, the conclusions of the conducted research, and various guest contributions of experts in the field of migration.
[modula id="2121"]

The project is supported by Crimson Architectural Historian's partners and project sponsors: EFL Foundation, BPD Developers, Creative Industries Fund NL International New Town Institute, TU Delft, International Social Housing Festival and Aarhus School of Architecture