Encamping Displaced People: Planning for Today and Tomorrow

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Title: Encamping Displaced People: Planning for Today and Tomorrow
Author: Triulzi, Ananda
Advisor: Arbona, Juan
Department: Bryn Mawr College. Growth and Structure of Cities Program
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Urbanism emerging in the space of refugee camps is one of the exigent planning themes of our times. This particular urbanism holds an important place in international politics as a space of conflict through which national governments, NGOs, and international agencies exercise power. The camp is subject to the design methodologies of various parties, which attempt to mold it according to their individual policies and aims. Its unique emergent urban qualities and development are therefore of interest to those who would discover the effects of such policies on the camp. As well, the space of the camp is critical to the discourse of refugee and displaced person advocates. Many studies of encampments for displaced people have been made, yet few have set out to address the planning methods used to build camps. This thesis attempts to address that deficit by examining the physical planning methods and camp forms espoused by the UNHCR, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the U.S. Air Force. The study is conducted through examining the agencies’ planning texts, respectively, Handbook for Emergencies, Camp Management Toolkit, and Air Force Handbook 10-222, Vol. 22: Refugee Camp Planning and Construction Handbook. The documents set forward methods of planning, using qualitative argument that conceive of the space’s role as formative in reconstructing the lives of displaced residents. As well the texts are respectful of international law and the needs of aid agencies within the camp. Ultimately, deferring to too many perspectives, the planning documents struggle to take a meaningful position on encampments. Rather they remain caught between their humanitarian goals and the recognition that larger forces politically overpower them with policies that are not concerned primarily with the well being of displaced people.
Subject: Refugees -- Government policy
Subject: Refugees -- Housing
Subject: Refugee camps -- Design and construction
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Triulzi, Ananda. "Encamping Displaced People: Planning for Today and Tomorrow". 2010. Available electronically from

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