On the second day of the Urban Thinkers Campus in Mannheim migrants and refugees where participating in the discussions about the city of the future. The demands of refugees, who participate in the discussions about the city of the future, are clear: they want to integrate quickly, be a part of society, regardless how long they can remain in Germany. Around 50 men and women from Syria, Afghanistan and other civil war countries came together at the Urban Thinkers Campus “Urban citizenship in a Nomadic World” for a refugee and helpers parliament.
400 people are attending the conference, which is part of a partnership with the World Urban Campaign of the settlement program of the United Nations (UN Habitat). The thematic focus is the current international migration and its importance for the life in the cities. The Mannheim Urban Thinkers Campus is one of 24 events worldwide, which allow a joint contribution of non-governmental partners to Habitat III Conference of the United Nations.
It is the only event in Germany focused on this topic – in addition to Paris, Stockholm, Palermo, Barcelona, Geneva and Alghero – it is one of seven similar events in Europe. The results of the Mannheim event, summarized today in a “Mannheim Manifesto”, will incorporate directly into the “New Urban Agenda” of the United Nations.
The New Urban Agenda will be adopted in October in Quito / Ecuador and serve as policy guidance for global urban development in the next 20 years.
A young goldsmith from Afghanistan, who is unable to work in his profession. A woman from Macedonia, who wants better medical care. They have all come to Germany randomly. “People who are on the run, do not pick a specific country”.
They all hope that the cities establish more meeting points for refugees, they hope that the integration already begins within the first hours – and “that we do not permanently live on a switchyard.”