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Urban Planning and Displacement

15 September 2021 at 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM / National / Online

15 September 2021 at 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM
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RTPI National Events | [email protected]

Forced displacement of people is increasingly common with more people fleeing violence, conflict and disasters than ever before. Planning can help spatially coordinate efforts across development and humanitarian actors to ensure that response to displacement is not only timely and effective but aligns to local development trajectories and increases displaced people’s self-reliance.

This event will explore how urban planning expertise is utilised in different ways by a range of actors in displacement settings, from international agencies to local governments and displaced and host communities. It will address how engagement with planning poses new challenges and can help navigate new opportunities offered by urbanisation processes.

Learn more about our speakers here



Olafiyinfoluwa Taiwo - Chair of the Commonwealth Young Planners’ Network and member of the RTPI International Committee

Speaker 1

Jonathan Weaver – Partner at Urban Logic; Senior Urban Planner (Consultant) at UN-Habitat

Jonathan will present cases where coordination between humanitarian and development actors has utilised participatory planning approaches in displacement settings, which involved local governments and affected communities. These include coordinating the infrastructure planning for the Rohingya refugee settlements in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, urban profiling in protracted displacement contexts in East Africa and developing an advisory development plan for the settlement of Kalobeyei in Turkana County, Kenya.

Speaker 2 

Melissa Weihmayer - Doctoral Candidate in Regional and Urban Planning at the LSE; former Information Management Officer at JIPS. 

Melissa will discuss innovative approaches to urban data collection with local governments and affected communities in displacement settings in Ukraine, and new methods to support urban responses in Syria. She will address how challenges in those contexts demonstrated a need for specific planning expertise and open-end new research questions on local governments’ role in internal displacement responses.

Speaker 3

Husam Al Waer - Reader in Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Dundee. 

Husam will present on his research on the Syrian refugee camp of Za’atari, Jordan, illustrating the process of adaptation and transformation which have taken place there between 2012 and 2020 initiated by the camp’s residents. It focuses on how collective action has empowered refugees to customise the camp environment, expanding opportunities for income-generating activities and social interaction.”

Speaker 4 

Rami Shamma - Operations Director for World Vision Lebanon

Rami will speak about Lebanon’s multi-crisis context and what lessons learned / successes of coordination of efforts in urban settings have been experienced – there will be a highlight to the uniqueness of the prolonged Syrian refugee crisis. Moreover, he will tackle the adaptive management approach that World Vision utilized to accommodate the dynamic changes, with the focus on urban settings.

Q&R chaired by Olafiyinfoluwa Taiwo

Final remarks 

Michele Vianello - RTPI International Policy and Research Officer


Please be aware bookings close at 4pm on Tuesday 14 September. Tickets are limited and based on a first come first serve basis.