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Transitional Housing an Expansion Strategy for SPRAR Refugee Second Reception

Politecnico di Milano Master Thesis in Architecture A.Y. 2019/2020 Tutor: prof. Gennaro Postiglione Tutor Assistant: Francesca Gotti Student: Emad Lajevardi (matricola: 10633713)



I. The Age of Refugees The practice of architecture is inseparable from the people who experience, interact, visit, and inhabit the built environment. It is for this reason that architecture as a discipline must always contribute to the conversation regarding any challenge that humanity faces. This is true in one of the most dominant global issues of the 21st century, the refugee crisis. Architects and designers have been quick to interject solutions to the dilemma, especially when addressing the thousands of temporary shelters needed to house millions of forcibly displaced persons in refugee camps across the world. However, as forcibly displaced persons move beyond a temporary camp environment and are resettled into another country, the role of the architect has receded. In many countries, including Italy, refugees and asylum seekers are usually placed in inadequate apartments in unwelcoming neighborhoods. Although they are provided with many services by local agencies, the services cannot compensate for the negative effects of housing related stresses. Studies by both architects and researchers have found that housing for refugees often are insufficient in terms of size, layout, safety, and tenure among others, and that they are often unaccommodating to the culture and prior lifestyles of the forcibly displaced. These studies have shown that this has a detrimental effect, causing continual stresses on the refugee that continue the physical, mental, and emotional trauma of displacement. This thesis argues that the discipline of architecture should reinsert itself as a prominent voice into the conversation regarding refugee housing and the architecture of resettlement. By combining findings of the previously done research with the topic of Uncertain Living and other relevant literature and analysis about different dimension of migration and policies, a new design methodology will be established with the intent to create transitional, supportive housing that alleviates, rather than amplifies, the inherent stresses of post-displacement resettlement from the point of entry into Italy until the point of self-reliance of the refugee. This framework will then be implemented through the expansion of SPRAR transitional housing in Milano. With this new framework of design, housing for refugees will move beyond being just shelter and become a sanctuary, helping the recovery of the forcibly displaced.

Another Wave of Refugees .............................................................................................................................. 06 Europe; at the Intersection of Eastern and Southern Flows ....................................................................... 10 Migration as a Trajectory ................................................................................................................................ 14

II. Temporal and Spatial Dimension of Migration Migration in the City ....................................................................................................................................... 20 Home away from Home .................................................................................................................................. 24 Three Urban Conditions ................................................................................................................................. 26 Migratory Procedures in Italy ........................................................................................................................ 30 SPRAR Structure ............................................................................................................................................. 34

III. Milan; a Transit City became an Arrival City Migratory Procedures in Milan ..................................................................................................................... 40 Urbanity of Ethnic Districts ........................................................................................................................... 44 NIL ..................................................................................................................................................................... 48 Migrant Social Resources ............................................................................................................................... 54

IV. Co-Living Scenario for Newly Arrived Immigrants Co-Living Strategy ........................................................................................................................................... 64 Informal Co-Live situation in Refugee’s Receptions ................................................................................... 66 Refugee’s Households ...................................................................................................................................... 68 Case Studies ...................................................................................................................................................... 69

V. Project Urban Resources and Infill Architecture ...................................................................................................... 90 Construction Methodology ............................................................................................................................ 110 Project Proposal Type H ................................................................................................................................. 112 Project Proposal Type V ................................................................................................................................. 134

I. The Age of Refugees

Another Wave of Refugees Human beings don’t wander in the void but on earth, on the ever-changing, seismic and always hard ground of history. The search for the material conditions of life, each time at different historical circumstances, determines past and new population movements, along with the suspended status of the contemporary refugee. In all migrations one can recognize what Spinoza called conatus, the impetus and effort of every being in suo esse perseverare , to persevere its existence. It’s the potential to exist, and therefore its own active substance. No prohibition can erase it, no boundary can annihilate it. Large irrigrations in pre-capitalist conditions and communities were of a different nature and had different dynamics from those of Modern Times. Let us not forget that at the beginning of bourgeois modernity, the discovery of the so-called “New” - for Europeans - “World” and its’ colonization was accompanied not only by the deportation and extermination of indigenous populations, but also by the forced deportation of the Jews from t’le Iberian Peninsula in Europe itself. The traditional societies and economies were destroyed and looted. Entire regions and “postcolonial” states, particularly in Africa, experi­enced what Alain Badiou named “zonage’’, the split into zones, which are the prey of gangs and mercenaries of large multinational companies. Asia, the Middle East and North Africa experienced direct imperialist military operations (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya), but also incited religious civil wars and “proxy wars” (Syria), especially to halt the revolutionary wave that gave birth to the overthrow of dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt and was named Arab Spring. The appearance of the ultra-reactionary “Daesh” or “Islamic State” in 2014-15, a “monster of Frankenstein” that is turning against its cre­ators, and its march into Iraq and Syria, made clear the dismal failure of the American and European imperialist strategy in the area. Even more: not only the strategy of the past fifteen years has failed starting with Bush’s notorious terrorist “war on terror” - but the entire imperial­ist world order in the region has collapsed, along with the borders, as they were artificially imposed one hundred years ago, in 1916, with the Anglo-French agreement of Sykes-Picot, with no new order in the short or medium term to be formed or enforced. This is the driving force of the qualitative leap, the gigantic dimension of the refugee wave in 2015, actually its conversion to an unstoppable tsunami We are not dealing with yet another wave of refugees, a repeat of past experiences of the 20th century, as for example with the “sans papiers” in 1990s France, or those whom the far right 1n Greece calls “illegal migrants’’. After battling rough seas and high winds from Turkey, migrants arrive by rubber raft on a jagged shoreline of the Greek island of Lesbos. Fearing capsize or puncture, some panicked and jumped into the cold water in desperation to reach land. This young boy made it, unlike hundreds of others (Tyler Hicks, The New York Times - October 1, 2015).



People of Concern



Europe At the Intersection of Eastern and Southern Flows

The number of global refugee reached 80 million by early 2016. This is the largest ever since the humanitarian system was put into place. Left out of this count are many of the internally displaced and the growing number of undeclared or not yet counted refugees; this might be the case with some of those crossing the Mediterranean.

Europe has emerged as the destination of a broad range of new refugee flows. The Mediterranean has long been and continues to be a key route for long-established migrant and refugee flows. The Mediterranean, especially on its eastern side, is now the site where refugees, smugglers, and the European Union (E.U.) each deploy their own specific logics and together have produced a massive multifaceted crisis. One facet was the sudden surge in the numbers of refugees in late 2014, a possibility not foreseen by the pertinent E.U. authorities given that the wars they were escaping had been going on for several years. A second one was that the crisis became a business opportunity for smugglers that would expand over the ensuing year to reach an estimated $2 billion in income by mid2015, which is now estimated to have grown to $5 billion. One feeder was that the smugglers benefitted from keeping the flows going, persuading their potential clients/victims, that everything would be fine once they reached Europe. A third was the major crisis in Italy and, especially, Greece, two countries already burdened by their struggling economies, with Greece the destination for over a million refuge-seekers by early 2016 who had to be sheltered, fed, and processed. And yet, the facts on the ground in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, and others, were all familiar. If anything, the surprise should have been that the surge in refugees did not happen sooner. The UNHCR, among others had been recording the escalating numbers of the internally displaced and of refugees. The conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria were not going to end anytime soon. Nor will those in Somalia or in South Sudan, each with their specific character. The brutality of these conflicts, with their full disregard for international humanitarian law, indicated that sooner or later people would start fleeing the violence. For three decades Afghanistan has produced the greatest number of refugees, according to the UNHCR: It has 2.7 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate. According to UNHCR, 7.7 million Syrians had left the country by September 2015, but those numbers keep growing.34 Iraq has 3.4 million recognised refugees. Its situation deteriorated further when much territory, including its second city, Mosul, was conquered by Isis, adding to the disastrous effects and religious divisions that became extreme with the west’s invasion of the country in 2003. The humanitarian crisis is escalating and spreading. According to Human Rights Watch, over the last two years about 25 million people were driven from their homes, including almost 12 million Syrians, 4.2 million Iraqis, 3.6 million Afghans, 2.2 million Somalis, and almost half a million Eritreans. Further, UNHCR has found that there are also far more unaccompanied children in the recent flows into Europe than were expected. To these flows we need to add the half million waiting in northern Libya, at any given time in the last two years, for ships to take them across the Mediterranean.


Dozens of refugee families, mostly from Syria, camping underneath the Keleti train station in central Budapest (Mauricio Lima, The New York Times - September 1, 2015).


Global Conflicts




Migration as a Trajectory Before some recent studies, migration has been conceived and studied as a mere arrival of some populations on a foreign territory, the observation therefore in most cases focused on the specific moment, when a newcomer entered a certain space. From this kind of understanding arises also the use of the word ‘im-migrant’, underlining the moment of arrival and entrance in a territory by the migrant actor. Such a way of approaching migration represents a quite narrow point of view, not only in terms of space, as it takes into account only the place where the (im) migrant lands, but also in terms of time, since it limits the various moments of the migrant’s path to his/her arrival in a certain context, which sometimes can’t even be defined as destination. Many recent authors underline the importance of broadening the point of view and start from the idea of movement when dealing with migration, concerning both a spatial wider dimension and a temporal differentiation. Most recently, the journalist Doug Saunders suggested a new way of thinking of migration, “not as a fixed and static point, a landing, but rather as a dynamic trajectory, one that leads from some place of origin, a village or a city in another country, through the Arrival City district [...] into an imagined destinations.” This definition is not only, as D. Saunders argues, a tangible reality in the minds of most migrants, but is also a meaningful way of conceiving migration fluxes as dotted lines crossing different spaces and having different durations (of the whole path and of the single part of it). Once migration stops being just im-migration, taking into account the whole length of migrants’ travels and the durations of their paths and stages, also its intersection with cities gains a more complex meaning. In order to approach this methodology we investigated the relation of architectural and human flows and infrastructure into four different levels. First, we try to establish a critical and theoretical framework of investigation. Secondly, we create maps trying to understand the routes and the geopolitical parameters and particularities of each case. Next, we go through a typological approach of the refugee and the refugee settlement regarding the design response and their organization into settlements, but also other informal spaces that emerge during the migrant’s trip. Finally we communicate our documentation, mapping and critical reflection in a form of comic narratives. Migrant movements indeed redefine the role of the single city within a broader network of trajectories and international migration leads to a renewed centrality of the city, as it is placed at the crossroads of flows that overlap. Moreover, depending on the different moments when the trajectory crosses the city, the latter embodies different roles and diverse urban spaces are involved. In the wider network of international fluxes, the city can be a first- arrival city (the border urban regions for instance), a city of transit and finally a city of destination. Giovanni Hänninen (Lampedusa, Europe the clandestinity factory published on Rolling Stone).



BIBLIOGRAPHY Gotham K. E, 2003, Toward an understanding of the spatiality of urban as spatial actors, International journal of urban and regional research, 27, p. 3. Jeremy NeĚ meth, Joern Langhorst, Rethinking urban transformation, 2013 DIDA, New Cities and Migration, edited by Roberto Bologna Saunders, D., 2016, Making Heimat. Germany Arrival Country. [German Pavilion catalogue at the 15th Venice Biennale]. Ostfildern, GE: Hatje Canz Verlag. Corsellis, T., & Vitale, A. (2005a). Transitional settlement: Displaced populations. Oxford: Oxfam GBUniversity of Cambridge. Corsellis, T., & Vitale, A. (2005a). Transitional settlement: Displaced populations. Oxford: Oxfam GBUniversity of Cambridge.



II. Temporal and Spatial Dimension of Migration

Migration in the City In order to define the relation between urban spaces and migrant movements, it can be useful to examine the different durations of migrants interaction with urban spaces, the spatial dimension of migrant agency, and finally to try and understand how the two aspects affect and are linked to each other. On these regard, the mentioned intersection should be read in terms of duration, before going more deeply in the definition of the spaces involved, in order to observe the latter through the “lenses of time”. On this hypothesis and with a certain degree of simplification, it can be identified a very short duration, characterizing the condition of migrants only passing through the city, a longer temporality and thirdly a stable condition of permanence; it must be said that often what matters the most is not the actual time spent in the city, but the perspective of staying. The case of short intersection between migrants and certain urban spaces, can be linked to two conditions, from the one hand, the city could be a simply transit stop over and its spaces could be used for few days , on the other hand, most of the cases of temporary uses and practices belong to a much wider set of actors, who could have been living in the city for many years and experience only certain spaces (for instance public spaces) in an ephemeral way. This is the case of population coming from eastern Europe who meet up on Sundays in Milan Central Station, south Americans who play football in Campo della Polveraia in Rome and many other cases. The duration of the intersection with the city can be longer, particularly when migrants live in a middle-way condition. The duration of their permanence in the city can be of several months, or even years, but their perspective of staying is continuously uncertain. This is often the case of people occupying urban spaces, both reception centers and abandoned buildings, who live in a condition of “stable impermanence” and wait. Thirdly, a long-term perspective leads to a stable and long intersection with the city, conceived as a destination and finally turning into a new starting point for future life. The long duration of interaction with the city drives more consistent transformations of space, which in the most evident cases turns into the modification of entire urban district. Although the population inhabiting them changes, the newcomers carry out the transformation, since such spaces keep playing a strategic role for immigrants, who wants to root stably in the city. Assuming that time strongly defines the character of migrants spaces in the city, or better said, that different durations leads to diverse interactions of migrant with the urban context, the spatial dimension of migrant agency is addressed, and the definition of migrant spaces is based on the awareness of the various durations mentioned above. The spatial implication of social phenomena are widely discussed by many authors, E. Ostanel and A. Cancellieri affirm that a full understanding of human


actions requires indeed the recognition of the spatial nature of human agency, since space is an assemblage of spatial uses and practices involved in the production and reproduction of social structures, social action and relation of power and resistance. Spatial dimension of migrants’ agency in the city is widely visible in most of contemporary urban contexts, through ephemeral traces and deep signs. The effects of migrant fluxes on the city spaces should be read at different levels, according to the degree of interaction of people and space, so that spaces can undergo a simple use, more evident occupation, until actual transformation. The introduction of new and unexpected uses of urban spaces by migrants belong to a broader issue, the presence of an increasing number of practices and experiences which suggests a new way of living urban spaces and in some cases gives new meanings to them. Pier Luigi Crosta well describes the entity of this question when writing that the territory is the way people use it, he underlines indeed the importance of the practices carried out in urban spaces, even when they consist in temporal experiences and do not affect the space in its physical form. The same question is defined as a lack of coherence between expressions of experience in the urban space and expressions of the city itself; practices have been traditionally conceived as mere validation (positive or negative) of a planned use of the space, conferred ex-ante to it, whereas today they start being referred as starting point for the design of space Within this new attention to practices and uses, migrants’ action is often referred to as a hint at new ways of living some traditional spaces in western cities, which in most cases have been forgotten by locals. Arturo Lanzani writes that in this sense migration can be a seismograph of emergent spatialities, it is the case of some squares and streets, which are much more lived by newcomers than by permanent residents. In some cases the agency of migrants undertakes with urban spaces a deeper interaction, a more structured occupation of some parts of the city takes place. This kind of experience involves more defined places, which are occupied more permanently, although always with a date of expiration. Such spaces can be formally or informally used as temporary accommodation, or reference places; migrants occupy reception centers displaced throughout the city for different periods of time, but they also live unexpected spaces, whose occupation sometimes turns into quite structured forms of organization. Many authors underline the opportunity that lies under the observation of such experiences and highlight the social and planning role of these practices and their spatial expression. The most evident sign of migration in the city is, however, the result of transformation of entire part of the city by migrant population; as it will be further shown, a more stable project on the city leads migrants to root in certain urban areas and develop a network of socio-economic relations first and then of visible spatial connections. This is the case of arrival district and ethnically characterized areas, which modify deeply the identity of the urban space and fully become a well-defined part of the city. Also in this case, the physical transformation appears at different 21

levels, only the interiors or also in the public space, nevertheless the effects of migrants’ agency bring in a long term change in the city. These three degrees of interaction are not so clearly marked in the real shape of the city, they often overlap; generally, it can be stated that migrant spatial agency is more and more evident in its interaction with the urban fabric. While in the past it was mostly described merely though the transformation of space, i.e. through the most visible and deep signs, recently it has been claimed the need to take into consideration also more ephemeral experiences of the city space. Some specifications, as seen, are needed and not all different uses of space can be linked to a precise amount of time spent, in the city, nevertheless the introduction of time as funding parameter in the observation of space seems to be extremely significant and necessary. Already Alain Tarrius, while defining the “Territoires Circulatoires”, underlines the double nature of migrant movements, spatial and temporal, and states the need to keep the two dimensions always together when referring to migrant agency in the urban space. Many authors indeed suggest to have a new approach, where time becomes a fundamental part of the urban configuration, crucial vocabulary of a new way of describing and thinking the city, which is more as a static picture, but rather as a dynamic landscape. For this reason and on these considerations, it can be meaningful to look back and define migrant spaces through a new category, which keeps together the temporal and spatial dimension.

Giovanni Hänninen (Mix City Urban project in Milan, Hambourg and Copenhague, 2014).



Home away from Home

reception centres can be an extension of the violence. This prompts an examination of the notion of home within the IDPs in the case of Syria not as a product, but as a process that produces different typologies of temporary housing. What are these typologies? How do they reflect the politics behind their design, material, location and infrastructure? How were this politics manifested in sheltering temporality and permanence?

Although the international displacement of people caused by the Syrian conflict has dominated the media for the past several years, an inside story that is less visible requires more attention: that of internal displacement. More than half of the population of Syria has been forced to flee their houses. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in December 2017 accounted for more than six and a half million, more than a third of the total of population of Syria in 2011. Displaced Syrians have experienced constraints in getting adequate housing for the short and midterm inside and outside the country. However, displacement, in particular, adds a dimension to the complex notion of mass sheltering. Sheltering policies, as well as the shelter itself as a design and construction product all express the power of those who govern more than the aspirations of those who inhabit.

The International Federation of Red Cross uses the terms ‘emergency shelter’, ‘temporary shelters’, ‘transitional shelters’, ‘progressive shelters’ and ‘core shelters’. The differences between these categories are the length of stay, permanency of the location, durability and expected lifespan of the shelter. Emergency shelters are usually provided in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Temporary shelters or ‘Transitional’ shelters, commonly referred to as ‘T-shelters’, are generally designed to be relocated and re-used, whilst progressive shelters and core shelters are built with the aim of becoming part of permanent solutions. Differentiations on the basis of stages in post-disaster respons: emergency shelter, temporary shelter, temporary housing and permanent housing. The distinction between shelter and housing was based on Johnson’s definition of ‘temporary housing’ as a unit that allows the resumption of everyday activities rather than simply ‘sheltering.

Adequate housing is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as part of the right to an adequate standard of living. Nevertheless, over a billion people worldwide are not adequately housed. Housing is more than a shelter. Houses provide human dignity, personal safety, security, cultural identity and protection from the climate and diseases. The loss of one’s house implies more than the absence of shelter; it also implies the lack of home, in the broader sense. Somerville defines seven dimensions of home: shelter, hearth, heart, privacy, roots, abode and paradise. If home encompasses these complex dimensions, homelessness can be understood as the lack of them, which results in a detachment from society due to the lack of connecting bonds. Homelessness implies a lack of belonging rather than not having a place to sleep.

Transitional housing refers to a supportive yet temporary type of accommodation that is meant to bridge the gap from homelessness to permanent housing by offering structure, supervision, support, life skills, and in some cases, education and training. Transitional housing is conceptualized as an intermediate step between emergency crisis shelter and permanent housing. It is meant to provide a safe, supportive environment where residents can overcome trauma, begin to address the issues that led to homelessness or kept them homeless, and begin to rebuild their support network. Transitional housing, as an approach, has long been seen as part of the housing continuum for people who are homeless, and in particular for sub-populations such as youth. However, in recent years it has become somewhat controversial, particularly in light of the success of Housing First models, which do not require ‘readiness’ for a transition. The temporary social residence (TSR) in milano and Housing first model (HF) in belgium are examples of transitional housing programme in europe.

‘Home’ has been defined as a place (physical structure, location) and a set of feelings (meaning and emotion) and also as the relationship between the two. Therefore, home is a tangible object and also represents the concept of belonging to a place that reflects our particular culture, needs and way of living: a place to feel attached to. In summary, the concept of shelter for displaced people is challenged through the ideas of home, memory, identity and belonging as well as the design, application of materials, construction and infrastructure. While rightly criticising the onefits-all shelter, migration studies make few, if any, distinctions between different types of displacements. According to UNHCR’s Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, internally displaced persons are ‘persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border. Due to its nature, internal displacement implies an extensive use of legal and socioeconomic frameworks in which the definition of state sovereignty must be broadened to include responsibility; displaced movement is not only a result of a conflict, but also a cause of subsequent conflicts; and IDP sheltering and


Emergency Shelter

Temporary Shelter

Temporary Housing

Permanent Housing


Three Urban Conditions According to the time spent, or planned to be spent, in a certain city, the migrant interacts with its spaces in different ways, from a temporal occupation of reception spaces to a deep transformation of the urban pattern in ethnic districts. The link between the duration of staying and the use of spaces is not always linear, therefore it can be useful considering a further element, which are the needs of migrants at the different stage of migration. The temporal dimension can be quite clearly translated into needs, which differ from the short timespan of first arrival to the longer phase of integration. Following this hypothesis, the various durations of intersection between the migrant trajectory and the city can be summarized into three main categories, first arrival, integration and rooting, and through these categories can be redefined urban spaces of migration. The moment when a migrant arrives in a certain city, be it his/her final destination or just a stop-over, is always characterized by a high degree of impermanency, given by the lack of stable and long-term perspective on future staying. However, the actual time spent in the city under this condition can vary a lot, from less than a week to several months, and in some worse cases entire years. The requirements of the migrant are strongly linked with their condition of wait, both in case they are willing to keep on their travel and when they are supposed to be displaced among city reception centers. Based on this high degree of impermanence, migrant requirements at this stage can be regarded as “essential” needs: night shelter, food and information. The longer the period of staying and the perspective of integration in the same urban area, the wider the range of needs gets. Migrants planning to stay in a certain city, after a few weeks are willing to learn the language, get more information, look for a job, even if their legislative status keep them in precarious and uncertain conditions. The first arrival is however the most dynamic expression of the intersection of migrant trajectories and urban areas, people arriving rapidly change, although the fluxes are continuous. The way cities usually spatially respond to such a high dynamism is by camp-organized spaces; open spaces (outdoor or indoor structures), previous schools, barracks and sport arenas often are chosen to accommodate migrants arriving in the city for the first period of their staying. This kind of spaces derives from the emergency-type of spatial organization and it seems to be the only vocabulary cities use to deal with a high degree of apparent impermanence. Such places are rarely within the centers of the urban area, and more often displaced around its boundaries, or even in little towns surrounding the larger metropolitan region. When the migrant trajectory does not only cross the city and, above all, the perspective of staying in the arrival city gets clearer, the migrant overcomes the “wait-stage” and enters a longer phase of integration [12]. Such a condition is certainly different from the first arrival, but not yet


as stable as the rooting final moment; migrant agency indeed starts now to gain autonomy both in the socio-economic and spatial dimension, but in most cases the spaces lived are not yet conceived in a long-term perspective and are still characterized by a deep impermanence. The range of needs is of course broader and more complex, people do not only demand a shelter, but also more complex services necessary to become part of the hosting society and to gain autonomy. The range of migrant spatial actions is much wider and their interaction with urban spaces gets more complex; from a simple use of certain given spaces (such as reception centers or camps), they occupy more permanently their accommodations places and start interacting with a network of other spaces within the city. Formally the city responds to these needs with a second level of reception spaces, the cases differ a lot from country to country. The most recent trend seems to favor a greater diffusion of these kind of accommodation and the smaller scale; migrants willing to stay and owning a certain legal status tend to be displaced throughout the city in small apartments, which are in some cases made available and managed publicly, in some other cases are just found by migrants out of the reception system. Within the international network of migrant movements some cities play the role of arrival cities, they become actually the final destination of migration. The urban spaces most evidently involved are those resulting from the spatial agency of migrants, willing to root in the city and who are finally able to build and foresee a long-term perspective in a certain urban area. Their needs cannot be any longer summarized in some essential requirements, but start gaining the same complexity of locals’ needs; similarly their spatial agency broadens up potentially to the whole city, even if in most cases it describes a new geography of urban spaces. In this case the migrant action leaves visible signs in the urban pattern, as result of a proper rooting in the territory; the most evident case is the one of the so-called ethnic district. The act of setting up has many different aspects; it may imply a simple residence, the launch of economic activities, until the creation of a neighborhood dimension and each of these actions has a clear spatial dimension. As Elena Granata observes, some districts are more likely to undergo such transformation and they are usually the ones under transition or in neglected conditions, both near the city center and along urban borders. The dynamics of transformation can take place in different ways, sometimes they involve entire urban districts, in other cases they just follow some past migrant phenomena. Ethnic districts derive from the compromise between existing physical spaces and migrant populations; the territorial structure is transformed through the growth of urban “settlements”, through new networks of activities, which give an ethnic character to the space. In many cases the process of rooting has two main results: on the one hand, it implies a certain degree of permanence 27

and stability for the new inhabitants of the space, on the other hand, it becomes the stage of a series of local practices which start an alternative development for the city (territorialization processes).

of their migration paths, sometimes only a few days along their travel, sometimes entire years when already rooted in a certain city. Finally, when addressing urban migrant spaces should be mentioned the geography of the so-called networked urbanism [19]; it is built on the broad network of migrant connections and movements through the city (workplace-residence, places of encounter, ethnic districts..). This network spreads up to the entire metropolitan region and thickens itself in certain points, which becomes nodes within a system of fluxes [20]. They are usually public transport hubs, places of worship, urban parks and green areas, the streets of ethnic districts; these spaces do not undergo physical transformation and could be included in the category of merely “used” spaces. Differently from other urban cases, migrants repeatedly use them in a specific way, so that they become unique reference points within the city and gain a deeper meaning among other migrant urban spaces.

Authors agree that ethnic districts should be regarded as strategic spaces for the future growth of the city, their nature has a strong potential, which can lead to very different scenarios. In the last years, traditionally ethnic urban areas have been the starting point of gentrification processes, at different degrees, therefore playing a really significant role in urban planning. Moreover, D. Saunders highlights also a further potentiality of such areas, i.e. their role as arrival cities, or as Mohammad Saeidimadani specifies, arrival spaces within the city. The arrival space is not only a product of a visible transformation of an urban area with an ethnic character, but it has a fundamental importance for new comers. These spaces are indeed sets of informal resources and social capital, where to find a first help to undertake social mobility; here migrants who want to root in the city can find a structured network of social connections, already started economic activities and in some cases low cost accommodations. Also under this point of view, ethnic districts and the arrival spaces within them play a crucial role for urban planning, they should be seriously considered as catalysts of urban reception and integration, not only for their social dimension, but also as concrete spatial capital. The three typologies of urban space identified until now describe only part of the geography of migrant spaces in the city, nevertheless their definition through different timespans represents a useful tool to generally address the spatial agency of migrant. In the cases mentioned above the relation between the duration of permanence (actual or planned) in the city and the kind of space involved result quite direct.The spaces considered are in fact in most cases those formally recognizable in the city, i.e. reception centers, small apartments provided by the municipality and other institutions, accommodations permanently occupied by migrants and all those public spaces temporary used by these new inhabitants of the city. There is, however, a further amount of urban spaces with ephemeral and more visible traces of interaction with migrant populations; in these cases the different organizations of the space cannot be described as a proper response of the city, but rather as a reaction of migrant spatial agency to the absence of proper formal spatial solutions. Examples of these spaces are abandoned buildings or outdoor spaces, where people with different migration paths settle, more or less permanently; the geography of such spaces is referred in many cases as “invisible” to a traditional observation of the city. In the case of Milan, Paolo Cottino [16] in 2003 developed a well-structured research of these spaces, writing about agglomeration of shacks, in the eastern area of the city, to a previous printing press building occupied by migrants from eastern Europe. In Rome an abandoned warehouse by Tiburtina train station was renamed after its new function, Hotel Africa; it has been indeed for several years the accommodation for migrant and newcomers, embodying an informal but quite structured model of reception [17]. These are only few of the Italian cases [18], many other international examples can be made. These places, differently from the previous ones, are “hybrid” spaces, where migrant spend various periods of time, in different moments 28

The definition of migration as movement and as a trajectory appears to be the most significant understanding of it. When observing the conditions of intersection between it and the urban space, it turns necessary to shift from a static point of view to a gaze including the parameter of time. The latter, as fundamental dimension of movement, should not only be included in urban planning tools, but should be regarded as the premise for any definition, or design, of urban spaces of migration. The hypothesis, shared by several authors, is that movement, and especially the temporary use of space, should be a fundamental key of interpretation of the contemporary city and a crucial ingredient for a renewed urban project.

Giovanni Hänninen (Mix City Urban project in Milan, Hambourg and Copenhague, 2014).


Migratory Procedures in Italy The Italian Reception system deals with immigration throughout three main steps: a First Aid and Reception, a First Reception and Qualification and a Second reception and Integration. Such an approach involves different aspects of the management system, rights and duties of migrants, legal staying in the country, services offered to them etc. All these issues could be summarized into three themes: the phases of the migration procedures and the related status of the migrant, the duration of each phase, and finally the centers of staying, where all the services and procedures should be carried on. The three aspects are obviously thought to be related one to the other, although often one’s malfunctioning deeply affects the others, this leads for instance to have people spending months waiting for a legal recognition, in a center thought as a temporary accommodation. Nevertheless, going through the procedures, duration and reception centers of Italian immigration helps drawing an overall picture of the current situation and management. As far as the procedures are concerned, the migrant landed in the Italian territory is supposed to undergo four main phases before receiving a formal recognition of his/her status of refugee, in need of subsidiary protection, or a formal denial of protection. To each phase corresponds a different status, which is respectively attributed to the same person. Firstly, the migrant should present to a public officer (at the harbor, or any other border) a “Manifestation of Willingness” [step 1] (it. Manifestazione di volontà), which declares his/her will of being recognized by the country. Such a declaration should be followed by a meeting, where the authorities formalize the request (Modello C3) of protection [stcp2]. The migrant should subsequently be given a temporary permission (It. Permesso di soggiorno temporaneo) [step3], with a six-month validity, which temporary recognizes the migrant as an asylum seeker in the Italian territory. After a certain amount of time, which should not exceed the mentioned six months, the migrant is called at an audition by a Territorial Commission (It. Commissione Territoriale) [step4], where he/her is asked to explain his/her condition and justify the asylum request. The Territorial Commissions have been lately enhanced, in order to speed up their work, they are currently twenty spread up in the country. The Commission has then thirty days to express its decision, which the migrant can accept, or refuse starting a complaint procedure. The Commission’s decision can lead to three outputs: a- the migrant is recognized as refugee or as owner of a subsidiary protection, in this case he/her gets a five-year permission of staying and travel pass, which can be renovated after expiry; b- the humanitarian protection is recognized, the Commission denies the refugee status, but accepts a staying permission for humanitarian reasons, which has a two-year validity;


c- denial, due to different reasons the Commission refuses to foster protection and ask the migrant to leave the country, even if without supporting him/her to do so. The duration of each one of the four steps is often much longer then it should be; after having presented the Manifestation ofmWillingness [1], a time-period of three or four months passes before being called by the authorities for the formalization of the request [2]. Once the temporary permission has been received, the migrant waits an undefined number of months for the meeting with the Territorial Commission [3], usually they can wait from six to twelve months (exceeding therefore the validity of the temporary permission). To these months are to be added the thirty days (officially) needed by the Commission to express its opinion. Finally, it can be stated that, through the overwhelming randomness of the listed phases, the total period of time between the arrival in the country and the final recognition, or denial, of refugee (or under subsidiary/humanitarian protection) can vary from seventeen months up to two years, leaving aside the time (circa three months) needed in case of complaint. In order to manage and sort out the immigrants throughout these procedures, different typologies of Reception Centers are thought and functioning on the Italian territory. The First Aid and Reception Phase is operated by the CPSA (Centri di primo Soccorso e Assistenza_L. n 563/1995); they are present mainly along the southern Italian coasts and carry out the very first procedures of health screening, immediate aid and identification; the immigrants shouldn’t spend more than seventy- two hours within the CPSA. The Italian Roadmap (28.09.2015) decided to turn them into Hotspots, where besides the listed services, should also be started the migratory procedures and mainly a first distinction between those who could undergo the asylum seeker process and the so-called “economic migrant”, which should instead be repatriated. In order to temporary host the “rejected” migrants and to separate them from the others, are organized the CIE (Centri di Identificazione e Espulsione_D.lgs. n286/1998). Accordingly with the aim of avoiding the dispersion of economic migrants on the territory, the people held within the CIE aren’t allowed to freely leave the center; here they are identified, they get the expulsion measure and are then are forced to leave the country; officially people should spend here ninety days, but they end up staying up to eighteen months. The migrants who are instead reckoned as possible asylum seeker are moved to centers of the First Reception and Qualification system. They are of two kinds, the CD A (Centri di Accoglienza_L. Puglia n 563/1995), where the migrants are further identified and their regularity is once more checked, and the CARA (Centri di Accoglienza per Richiedenti Asilo_D.lgs.24/2008). While the foreseen time to be spent in the CDA is thought to be of max. forty-eight hours, a longer period of staying regards the CARA. In the latter centers indeed the migrant is supposed to be starting the immigration procedures [steps 1,2] and he should be ho31

sted in the center until the reception of the temporary permission [step 3]. Formally the period of staying should vary between thirty days and one-hundrcd-and-fifty days, but it actually ends up lasting several months (in some cases also one year). These centers are progressively turning into regional or interregional “Hubs” (Centri Governativi di Prima Accoglienza_D.lgs. n 142/2015), closer to the European model.

Asylum Seeking Procedure and Timeline

The First Reception should be followed by the Second Reception and Integration System, although it often happens that the transfer between the two occurs with great delay, or due to “emergencies” the staying in the CARA/HUB substitute the time to be spent in the Second Reception structures. On the other side, it also happens that because of the overcrowding of the First Reception centers, their functions get operated by units of the other system. Such a confused exchange makes it hard in some cases to clearly define certain centers as belonging to the First or Second Reception Phase and mainly to correctly evaluate the fostered services. Nevertheless, officially the final moment of the immigration reception should be operated by the SPRAR (Sistema di Protezione per Richiedenti Asilo e RifugiatiJL- n 189/2002); the system is thought as a spread reception mechanism, where projects of integrated reception should be carried on, the services provided do not only include staying solutions, but should also offer support for the social and economic integration; the migrant is supposed to be hosted in these centers six up to twelve months, in any case until the decision of the Territorial Commission is expressed [4], or until the first grade judgment in case of Complaint Procedure (exceeding therefore the period of some months).

Reception System Procedure and Timeline

Although the SPRAR system is mainly referred as well-structured and functioning, in 2014 another kind of Second Reception centers have been defined, the CAS (Centri di Accoglienza Straordinaria_ Circolare 08/01/2014). These structures mainly differ from the firsts for their “extraordinary” nature, which far from limiting their use, allows a freer and less structured management, by operators who are asked fewer guaranties. Unfortunately, for the listed reasons the number of CAS ends up in most cases outnumberingthe amount of SPRAR. Considering the three aspects of procedures, duration and centers separately helps understanding how the whole reception system is conceived in Italy; nevertheless, the three themes should always be approached together along the First Aid, First and Second Reception phases. Their superposition though reveals also the main issues and lacks of the mentioned approach, in terms of management, time and services.



SPRAR Structure Reception centers including SPRAR system are generally set up by public authorities at first (State) or third level (Municipalities). However, there are other relevant actors engaged in the Italian reception system, both on national and local scales: they are above all third sector organizations, whose task is to individually manage each reception center scattered over the territory. The structures available to host asylum seekers and refugees mainly consist of flats (83.3% of the total number of facilities), small reception centres (10.3%), and community homes (6.6%). The community homes are mainly addressed to unaccompanied children. The accommodation conditions in the facilities of the SPRAR system differ considerably from those in first reception centres. In bigger facilities of the SPRAR, rooms may accommodate up to 4 persons, while in flats, rooms can accommodate 2 or 3 persons. On average, the SPRAR facilities host about 10-15 people each. In some SPRAR structures, it is possible to cook autonomously, using either pocket money given by the managing entity to buy food – the amount of which varies mainly depending on the typology of beneficiaries, as more is provided to vulnerable individuals – or the products/ ingredients provided. In this case the kitchen is shared by the guests. In other structures, meals are provided by an external catering or internal canteen. The abovementioned criteria are considered the minimum standards foreseen in the SPRAR system. In the case of reception projects hosting categories with particular need or for example unaccompanied children, these services are normally widened (e.g. sport, cultural visits etc). As a beneficiary of international protection accommodated in SPRAR, you will keep the right to accommodation for six additional months after the notification of the protection status. If you are move to a SPRAR project after obtaining protection, the right of accommodation is continued for six months from the entry into that project. A further extension can be authorised by the Ministry of Interior for another 6 months or more, based on duly motivated health problems or specific integration reasons. Unaccompanied minors are, accommodated for 6 months after their coming of age, only if they have obtained one of the protections. If they are transferred in the SPRAR, after the interview with the Territorial Commission, they have the right to stay longer till 6 months after receiving the answer. However, SPRAR represents only a small part of the accommodation system and, even if the law provides that asylum seekers be moved to it as soon as possible, the majority of asylum seekers spend all the asylum procedure in government centres or CAS. 34

Gift, a Nigerian girl victim of human trafficking is welcome to a SPRAR housing. She will share the flat with three other women. (lensculture magazine, 2015)


BIBLIOGRAPHY Cancellieri, A. & Ostanel, E. 2015, The struggle for public space: the hypervisibility of migrants in the Italian urban landscape, Analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, London Gotham K. E, 2003, Toward an understanding of the spatiality of urban as spatial actors, International journal of urban and regional research, 27, p. 3. Crosta, P.L., 2010, Pratiche. Il territorio aë Tuso ehe se nefa”, Milan : Franco Angeli. Giecillo, L., 2005, Le dimensioni del pubblico. Tre ipotesi sullo spazio dell’immigrazione, in: Dipartimento Studi Urbani, Dottorato in politiche territoriali e progetto locale, La città eventuale. Pratiche sociali e spazio urbano dell’immigrazi one a Roma, Rome: Quodlibet, pp. 152160. Lanzani, A. & Vitali, D., 2002, Metamorfosi urbane. Iluoghi delTimmigrazione, Pescara: Sala. potential for strategic urban planning; Cottino, P., 2003, La città imprevista. Il dissenso nelPuso dello spazio urbano, Milan: Elèuthera. Kronauer, M., 2010, Exklusion. Die Gefährdung des Sozialen im hoch entwickelten Kapitalismus, 2nd ed. New York: Campus-Verlag. Granata, E., 2001, Arrivare, Rimanere, Andarsene, Territorio, n 19, pp. 78-82. Saeidimadani M., 2012, Arrival Space, Der schmale Grat zwischen Erfolg und Scheitern migrantisch geprägter Räume, Tesi Magistrale, Politecnico di Milano - Hafen City University. Cottino, P., 2003, La città imprevista. Ildissenso nelVuso dello spazio urbano, Milan: Elèuthera. Giecillo, L., 2005, Abitare spazi di frontiera. Esperienza di autoaccoglienza ai magazzini della stazione Tiburtina, in: Dipartimento Studi Urbani, Dottorato in politiche territoriali e progetto locale, La città eventuale. Pratiche sociali e spazio urbano dell’immigrazione a Roma Saunders, D., 2016, Making Heimat. Germany Arrival Country. [German Pavilion catalogue at the 15th Venice Biennale]. Ostfildern, GE: Hatje Canz Verlag. Marconi, G.& Ostanel, E., eds., 2016, The inter cultural city. Migration, minorities and the managemnet of diversity y London: IB Tauris, p. 6. Pezzoni, N., 2013, La città sradicata. Geografie delldbitare contemporaneo. I migranti mappano Milano, Milan: O barra O edizioni, pp. 32-33. Pezzoni, N., 2013, La città sradicata. Geografie delldbitare contemporaneo. I migranti mappano Milano, Milan: O barra O edizioni, p. 25. Corsellis, T., & Vitale, A. (2005a). Transitional settlement: Displaced populations. Oxford: Oxfam GBUniversity of Cambridge. Blunt, A., & Dowling, R. (2006). Home. New York: Routledge. Corsellis, T., & Vitale, A. (2005a). Transitional settlement: Displaced populations. Oxford: Oxfam GBUniversity of Cambridge.



III. Milan; a Transit City became an Arrival City

Migratory Procedures in Milan Drawing a complete picture of urban spaces of migration in Milan would require an extremely vast study, underlining some differences, between spaces involved today in facing present migrant fluxes and spaces deeply signed by older migration, could certainly be of use. More recent fluxes have not been the first since the economic boom, but followed with some differences the path already traced around 2010, with the peak of migrants coming from the African continent, known as ENA; the spaces displayed recently indeed are in some cases the same used few years earlier. Migration trajectories today do not come only from the global south; if until 2013/2014 Milan has mainly played the role of transit city towards northern Europe, today the border closure has turned it more and more into an arrival city. According to its geographic position on the broader Italian territory, Milan is quite far from the terrestrial borders and the Southern coasts, nevertheless, the city is also the last Italian great center before the transit to Northern Europe. For these reasons, although the major reception activity consists in second reception centers, there are also some structures operating as first reception; particularly, the latter ones cover the seven per cent of the city reception activities, while the SPRAR represent the twenty-one per cent of it and the CAS the seventy per cent. According to the way it is conceived, first reception spaces are supposed to host high number of people, from fifty to five-hundred, and are managed by third sector actors, winners of calls supervised by the Prefettura or the Municipality. These premises allow to understand the main features of first reception structures, they are usually big disused buildings, belonging to the institution managing them or, rarely, to the Municipality. The schools, previous-barracks, sport arenas, hostels are scattered throughout the city without a real localization criteria; their distribution indeed does not follow any logic, but strictly depends on the real estate availability of the managing institutions. The map of such structures cannot be statically defined, since the opening or closure of many facilities depends on the amount of incoming migrants, so that in summer a high amount of centers can be identified, while during other months some of them stop working as first reception facilities. As regards the structures themselves, they vary a lot depending on the institution, but it can be generally said that the spaces are organized to provide basic night shelter to migrants and, almost everywhere, three meals a day. The general observation made by many authors and operators is that the first reception system struggles in overcoming an emergency approach on the space organization, as in their management.


The second reception, on the other hand, lives a clear contradiction; from the one hand its ordinary shape is conceived as a structured answer in terms of spaces and management (SPRAR), on the other hand the wide substitution of this solution with extra-ordinary structures (CAS) follows an emergency approach. The ordinary reception facilities are conceived as a diffused system of small apartments, some hosting only two migrants, where the funding idea is to provide migrants in a phase of integration with a space to be appropriated and that allows reaching progressive independency. The spaces are therefore scattered throughout the city, again based on the real estate availability of operating institutions and generally these spaces are distributed within the metropolitan border of Milan. Within the SPRAR some further services are provided, i.e. migrants can receive language courses, help for grocery shopping in local markets and so on. From a spatial and managerial point of view this system is a successful answer to migrants needs, especially in a second phase of staying, when they start gaining a greater complexity and variety. Milan presents some best practices, in terms of SPRAR accommodation, one of them is the example of Via Zendrini where thirty minors live and receive educational and professional formation. The organization of the space and the limited number of hosts allow a progressive independence and appropriation, furthermore the distribution of such spaces throughout the city and mainly their reduced dimensions make their integration in the urban context much easier. This intuition is often stressed as a successful spatial solution, to be spread to the whole system; nevertheless the SPRAR network only hosts twenty-one per cent of the total amount of migrants in the city. In 2014, following the already mentioned emergency approach, a second typology of centers have been conceived, the CAS (Extraordinary Reception Centers). According to their extraordinary nature their spatial and management features are required to follow fewer and much lower standards, so that these structures evidently differ from the small and diffused apartments of the SPRAR. The facilities indeed look much alike the large building of first reception, reaching up to a hundred hosts; their spatial conditions are often not designed for helping migrants through an independent life, but rather keep them in a waiting and uncertain condition. Rarely inside are provided further services and their size prevent them from integrating within the urban context, so that they are mainly perceived as isolated problems, lacking of well designed connection to the surrounding. If the SPRARs are spread inside the city borders, CAS structures are mainly located outside the urban area, where probably it is easier for institutions to rent a building at lower costs.


Receptions and Distribution of Refugees The above description follows as defining criteria the planning intention of public administration, it has to be underlined however that the distinction between the centers, in terms of users is absolutely not so sharp. Spaces are often undergoing overcrowding and therefore second and first reception structures host alternatively migrants at different stages of their permanence in the city; moreover, the staying of people in the described centers should depend on the stage of their legal procedures, the centers are displayed on the base of the amount of time people are supposed to spend there, but rarely the prediction corresponds to reality. So that migrants end up spending months in spaces of first reception, where they should stay maximum a week, and people who should get a more permanent accommodation within the SPRAR system never reach it. The facilities described, in terms of spaces and distribution on the Milanese region, show how recent fluxes affect the urban territory. Both in the case of first and second reception spaces, it can be stated that recent fluxes have not left structural signs on the urban fabric; if this observation is probably due to their extremely short life, compared to the longer time of the city, it is more important to highlight how the solutions proposed in terms of spatial planning also lack of a structural character. First reception centers are the most evident example of an emergency approach, which is sensible only to the impermanence of the single migrant, forgetting the permanence of the flux. Such an approach leads to address the question of first arrival with no structural term, nor any attempt to recognize this function and its spaces as proper urban realities. As regards second reception, taking apart the extraordinary structures, the SPRAR system can be regarded, in spatial terms, as an attempt to figure out how to introduce the facility within the urban pattern; the strategy of diffusion and fragmentation indeed means also recognizing the need of “urbanity� of certain spaces and represents a tangible attempt to realize it.



Urbanity of ethnic districts Milan can be described as a multiethnic city, even if it doesn’t show big ethnic districts as the north American ones, nor closed urban ghettos remembering the Parisian banlieu. The description of migrant spaces should be carried out through a stratigraphic reading of the city; in the Eighties Milan found out to be the landing of a new migration, ten years later it started to be clear a new geography of districts’ transformations and the development of symbolic spaces. From the last decade though immigrants’ urban consolidation is characterized by community based integration, self-organized processes, social articulations, together with the second generations’ growth. These dynamics overlap most of the time, the arrival of new migrants in some cases follow the traces of previous migrant spaces, in some cases ethnic structured district serve as arrival spaces and hosts new comers, substituting the reception system, different populations back each others in the effort of integration, so that strict distinction do not always make sense. Within this complex and multiple landscape, some greater transformations already occurred and are still taking place, spaces with a clear ethnic identity within the city have proved to play a crucial role, not only in the urban development, but also as strategic context for migrants at different stage of their migration. Therefore a look at their location and characters can be an interesting window on the broader geography of Milanese past migrations. Paolo Sarpi is the oldest and most known migrant settlement in Milan, the consolidation of the Chines presence started already in the Eighties, exactly in this area. Today it has turned into a proper reference center for the whole Chinese community in Lombardy, both as a commercial hub and as a place of encounter. In the last thirty years the migrant presence has affected the social and economic structure of the district, rather than its physical structure, which remains Milanese. Similarly to what happens in China, also in Paolo Sarpi there is a sort of specialization of commercial fields visible on certain streets or blocks, Via Bramante is the trading street, via Messina is a recreational and cultural node, while via Sarpi hosts most elegant activities. This part of the city presents also some critical issues: firstly the district has gained an “incubating function”, it is broadly recognized as a reference and safe point of identity for Chinese activities, which indeed struggle to find still available spaces today. Secondly, this urban area has fully undergone a symbolic transformation, so that a migrant identity is now fully recognized; the third issue deals with the relationship between the Chinese community and locals residents, the latter seem to fear any further expansion of the Chinese action and appear to be experience an identity distress. The progressive strengthening of this district has led it to play today the role of a sort of “liminal space” within the whole city, easily accessible to new comers and fully recognized by locals. The area of Via Settembrini is an evidence of the middle-class Milan, at the beginning of the Nighties some small apartments and lofts star


Source: Bini, Gambazza, 2019. Elaboration on the basis of interviews with officials of the Municipality of Milan (2018)


ted being rent, as bed-lodging, to Bangladeshi migrants, by Italian owners. In 1997 opened the first Bangladeshi phone-shop, from then on the area has undergone the birth of an ethnic district, following quite typical dynamics: an initial residential concentration brought to the introduction of local economic activities, opening of a multiplicity of services responding to different needs of the community, then other ethnic business started, and finally the district gains a clear identity and turns into a community reference point. What characterized this district from others is that today, after the mentioned process, Bangladeshi residents are no more present, so that the so-called “Small Bangladesh” works as an ethnic district in terms of commercial activities and uses, but without residents. Not far from Via Settembrini there is the area of Lazzaretto, representing a further case of ethnic presence; first Ethiopian and Eritrean migrants started moving there during the Seventies, from the previous Italian colonies, so that the area soon turned into a reference node for the community. The district was then known as the “casbah” in Milan the small-sized and low-cost accommodations had always drawn immigrants, so that the common perception of the area was the one of an unsafe place. The situation today has clearly changed and the district has undergone a path, quite similar to the previous seen; after the residential concentration of Ethiopians and Eritreans, started a series of commercial activities in the shape of micro-spaces, often together with the ones of other migrant populations. The nature of the activities drew the attention of Italian businesses, which followed the ethnic character of the service, although broadening their target; moreover, thanks to the presence of social institutions the area present a wide range of immigrants help services. In the last decade urban regeneration has interest public and private spaces, so that a general increase of estate value has occurred. Although the inhabitants have changed, the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities have recently started to invest in the area once again, confirming its character of “ethno district” and strengthening the symbolic centrality on a communitarian base. The last and more recent area, widely interested by ethnic agency, is the area surrounding the axis of Via Padova, at the northeastern periphery of Milan. This area is a particularly rich field of observation to spot settlement dynamics of immigrant population in the city. The process in this case also started from a basic diffused availability of low-cost and small-sized or neglected accommodations, but in the Nighties the area was still a traditional Milanese residential area of workers. Already then some ethnic services were functioning as references for the city, but apparently not affecting the area itself, there were already commercial and religious places (as the mosque of Via Padova). Today the area is in the first place a multiethnic district with a plural and diffuse identity, resulting from recent migrant fluxes; the multiplicity of populations continuously overlap and make it very hard to “read” a unique nature or development. More stable and rooted migrant populations, Egyptians and Chinese, initially offered to weaker migrant residents services and goods directly addressing their needs, for instance Egyptian phone centers provide a service to all migrant populations, while Muslim butcher shops 46

are quite cheap and have international clients. The second interesting feature is that the area is still undergoing today a process of development and its results are only partially predictable; within this ongoing process finally the hints of gentrification are more and more evident, in the creation for instance of the brand “Nolo”, as the district has recently been named. Whether the transformation will be positive or not, is still to see, but the strategic role of this area can be already fully recognized. The spaces described, both the ones of recent reception and the ethnic districts, represent very different spatial evidences of the migrant presence in the city. The traces of this intersection are realized in these cases through an occupation of some spaces and through deep transformation of entire parts of the city. The wider picture of migrant spaces should include as well all those hybrid spaces, more or less formally lived, and the broader network of urban nodes (worship spaces, transport hubs..) and smaller spaces, which host everyday ephemeral practices of migrant agency . In conclusion, migration has written some pages of Milan’s history and keeps doing so; the spatial agency of migrants has proved to potentially leave deep signs on the urban fabric, migrant settlements have been capable to build an absolutely new identity for some urban parts. When facing such evident actions, the city can have different re-actions, i.e. be an open field and interact with the spatial agency of its users, until the point of undergoing structural changes, or work as a fixed box, allowing only superficial uses. From the brief picture described above, it seems that the city succeeded in challenging its permanent structure and let the changes in, only on the long term; in other words, the city manages to modify its structure only when dealing with permanent actors, whose needs might be complex, but do not vary in time. On this hypothesis, it can be explained why Milan can be defined a multiethnic city, giving space to a multiplicity of diverse populations, but on the other hand still struggles in successfully reacting to recent migrants demands. The first arrival condition can be expressed through few basic needs, but extremely variable in time; it is exactly this variation which seems to prevent the city from recognizing to first arrival spaces any degree of urbanity and therefore to successfully plan reception s spatial dimension.



(Nuclei di IdentitĂ Locale)

The NIL represent a real territorial atlas, a tool for checking and consulting for the programming of services, but above all for knowing the neighborhoods that make up the different local realities, highlighting unique and different characteristics for each nucleus. This aim is pursued through the organization of the contents and their graphic representation, but above all through the operation, returning a dynamic structure in an information system, constantly updated. In particular, the NIL data sheets, as an analytical-planning tool, summarize the socio-demographic and territorial components.

Source: geoportale comune milano, Nuclei di IdentitĂ Locale (NIL)



Source: geoportale comune milano, Nuclei di IdentitĂ Locale (NIL)



Source: geoportale comune milano, Nuclei di IdentitĂ Locale (NIL)



Migrant Social Resources






BIBLIOGRAPHY L’accueil des demandeurs d’asile dans les espaces urbains : le cas de la ville de Milan D’Elia, R., 2016, Accoglienza: cose il “modello Milano” citato da tutti, Piuculture. available from: http : //www.piuculture.it/2016/12/accoglienza-cose-modello-milano-citato-tutti Marconi, G.& Ostanel, E., eds., 2016, The inter cultural city. Migration, minorities and the managemnet of diversity y London: IB Tauris, p. 6. Sala, D., 2015, Modello Milano, L’accoglienza ai transitanti, in: Daniela Sala. available from: https://saladaniela.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/modello-milano-laccoglienza-ai-transitanti Nembri, A., 2016, L’accoglienza ehe non e’era: aperto Sprar per minori. available from: http://www.vita.it/it/article/2016/08/05/laccoglienza-che-non-cera-aperto-centro-sprar-per-minori/140381 https://www.pgt.comune.milano.it/psschede-dei-nil-nuclei-di-identita-locale/nuclei-di-identita-locale-nil Demiri, K. 2013, New Architecture as Infill in Historical Context, Architecture and Urban Planning Djordje A, Sanja S, 2015, Infill Architecture: Design Approaches for In-Between Buildings and “Bond” as Integrative Element



IV. Co-Living Scenario for Newly Arrived Immigrants

Co-Living Strategy The project proposes a co-live scenario with integrated supportive services from SPRAR system for the early transition of new arrivals to city of Milan. It empowers new immigrants to achieve a sustained, enriched, and quality living experience. First by summarizing a general picture of new arrivals, including their experience, housing conditions, as well as challenges and opportunities. Then by introducing the concept of co-living, regarding its historical precedents, current market and vacancies, and potential opportunities for immigrant housing in Milan. As immigrants settle in Milan, they look to their families and immediate networks for help and approach local community organizations by the SPRAR system for resources. In new housing developments that target the newly arrived population, is vital to integrate such social resources. In such spaces, residents can easily gain access to language help, technical education, job training, social connections, information assistance, legal aid, and other opportunities to settle and grow. Creating a more integrated housing structure to help immigrants succeed and prosper requires re-thinking housing models at the unit, building, and neighborhood scales. Architecturally, many immigrants have larger families living together with multiple generations under one roof. Socially, they share and bond over cultural and domestic collaborative activities: preparing large meals together, eating together, collaborative childcare, and entertainment are far more communal in nature than that of nuclear households. In many cases, these co-living experiences connect individuals together forging a resilient community.

Living together by Space10 Space 10 (2018). IMAGINE: explore the brave new world of shared living. Space 10.

At the scale of the neighborhood, each Co-Living housing site will have an associated SPRAR that residents will have access to for resources needed during their early transition. It can be strategically located at the intersection, or within a certain radius of transit and high-immigrant density neighborhood and ethnic district like Via Padova and Vialle Monza.



Informal Co-Live Situation

in Refugee’s Receptions

The new arrival experience often involves group living in a shared spaces and they typically settle informally in co-live situations. First reception centres are collective centres, up until now set up in large facilities, isolated from urban centres and with poor or otherwise difficult contacts with the outside world. generally speaking, all centres are very often overcrowded. Accordingly, the quality of the reception services offered is not equivalent to reception facilities of smaller size. In general, concerns have systematically been raised about the high variability in the standards of reception centres in practice, which may manifest itself in: overcrowding and limitations in the space available for assistance, legal advice and social life; physical inadequacy of the facilities and their remoteness from the community; or difficulties in accessing appropriate information. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that the material conditions also vary from one centre to another depending on the size, the occupancy rate, and the level and quality of the services provided by the body managing each centre. Number of refugees in temporary centres CAS are also the same as those guaranteed in first reception centres. The functioning of CAS depends on agreements by the management bodies with the Prefectures and on the professionalism of the bodies involved, there are notable cases in which the reception conditions the number of refugees per each center were equal to SPRAR centers, although in bigger facilities of the SPRAR, one bedroom in an apartment might contain four from a single family, with two other such families in the adjacent bedrooms, cramped and unable to support a comfortable shared living space. A formalized and regulated co-living housing model can beneficially address the immigrants’ needs as they settle in Milan. A new co-live housing model can improve the current informal condition by regulating design standards for co-living, creating sharing-friendly spaces with proper quality-of-life, and strengthening immigrants’ housing stability. Co living could define as a housing model that provides shared living spaces and integrated resources for newly arrived immigrants in the city.

Alessio Paduano Montesano, Italy -Migrants play checkers inside Hotel Rendez-Vous where about 40 migrants are hosted in Puglia, Southern Italy on November 12, 2016.

Alessio Paduano Lago Patria, Italy – Assan, 30 years old from Costa D’ Avorio is seen in his room inside “Crescere Insieme”, a CAS (Extraordinary Reception Center) in Campania, Southern Italy on April 23, 2017. CAS are imagined in order to compensate the lack of places inside ordinary reception center in case of substantial arrivals of migrants.



Refugee’s households

Case Studies

Among newly arrived or recently settled immigrants, overcrowding was the single most important and commonly reported housing issue. Among recently settled immigrant groups, there are challenges to finding housing that will accommodate their large households.

The case studies selected are related to the category of “co-living�: apartment characterized by the aggregation of small units independent to each other but connected to a shared common space. Each unit, owned by a single family, is composed by one or two bedrooms with generally a small bathroom and sometimes small kitchen and living room; while the shared space is an assemble of different spaces connected one another, living room, dining room, kitchen, study room and work place.

On average, many of these families have a household size between six and eight people. So, finding a unit with an appropriate number of bedrooms is a challenge. Other housing issues that were noted among newly arrived immigrants with large households included high rents for large apartments, poor insulation, and poor living conditions. Households Variation

These solutions are not designed for a type of user in specific but for everyone who would like to live in a shared apartment, for people who are alone or in a family and would like to live inside a big group of people, where of course, they can always take their private time in their private space, whenever they like. For each case studies there have been inserted the most important general information then, both the private and the shared spaces have been analysed in order to understand what could be the final rules that can be used to design a co-living housing typology. For the shared area and each single unit there have been inserting critics and comments related to the space, what was positive, what was a good strategy and what should be implemented. The analysis was summarised for each case study, leaving a clear vision for each project.

Single Adultliving alone

Studentliving alone

Two AdultsCouple

Familytwo adults and two or three chidren


Two Adultstwo person live together

Adult and a Childsingle parent

Big Traditional Family up to three adults and children


COOP HOUSING AT RIVER SPREEFELD by Carpaneto Architekten Berlin, Germany 2013

This Co-Operative project born after differents previous projects in Berlin. Its importance deals with a lots of positive characteristics: being close to the centre of the city, low costs, low renting, economy of the space, self- help construction, self production of renewable energy. It is composed by three blocks which contains three type of spaces: private, communal and public. The communal and public parts are located on the ground floor and on the upper floor, in different terrace or gardens. In the first case we have workshop, kitchen and co- working spaces, while in the gardens we have more chilling and collective activities area. The block included standard apartment and cluster units: the clusters are on an area of 1905 m2 and they are designed for people who prefer to share also their house with the others. Since it is a Co- Operative project, people who are living there, participate in the working progress of the building and for this reason the rent are affordable for everyone.









The meander shape is a good layout since it allow the private units to have a direct access to the shared facilities. At the same time, the units have access to different facilities one to another so they are obligate to walk in the meander shape to do other activities and consequently, meet other residents.

The shared facilites are not much but they are sufficient to stimulate the residents to meet each other. Their dimension in most of the case is good as well.

The cental core of the house is the kitchen and the dining room. This is visible from the dimension of the room, which is the bigger of the house. The shape of the kithchen is also good for a shared accommodation: it reduce the troubles that can occour in a close shape shared kitchen.

The Coop offers three main typologies of units. One for a single person and the other for a couple. They are also really different one to another, so the resident can choose the apartment that he prefers more.

All the units ( except the guest room) are provided with all the equipment: a kitchen, a bathroom, sofa or / and table that can guarantee the resident a living or dining area. All the residents have all the privacy needed.

The double and three rooms apartments offers an independent standard apartment inside the cluster. Who is living here will not only have a private full apartment but also all the common area.



KRAFTWERK 1 HEIZENHOLZ by Adrian Streich Architekten Zurigo, Svizzera 2012

Heizenholz is the second intervention realized by the cooperative Kraftwerk 1 in Zurich. The project is based on the reconversion of two adjacent buildings from the seventies and the insertion of an extra block that will connect both buildings. The cluster apartments ( Cluster - Wohnungen ) are found on the second and third floors. They both follow the same plan and they are located on one single floor. The shared space has a meander conformation, in this way the different areas are divided inside the same space: the centrality is given to the presence of the corner kitchen and the dining area. The single units are six per cluster, they are all made up by one or two rooms, a kitchen corner and a bathroom. The Cluster- Wohnungen of Heizenholz guarantees the socialization and the interaction between the residents, with a balance living between the private units and the shared area.









The meander shape of the shared space create different areas inside a unique space. Moreover, it implies the disposition of the private units around the shared area. In this way the socialization between the residents is facilitated.

The meander shared space help in the creation of corners and areas with different dimensions that represent different facilities or uses of the space. There are three different shared area: the biggest in the centre, with the kithen and the dining table. A medium area located in one corner with few armchairs and tables, and a medium - big one on the opposite corner provided with armchairs and sofa.

The strongest place for interaction is given by the shared kitchen and the dining table. Even if all the room are equipped at least with a cooking corner, the presence of a shared kitchen increase the possibility of socialization and interaction between the residents. The dining table offers a solution for eat all together.

The creation of a hall is a good solution in order to have a buffer zone before entering the proper private space. In all the units the buffer zone include an access to the bathroom, and in some of them it include the kitchen as well.

In the solution with two rooms, the bedroom is designed as a separate room. In this case the room is not provided with the living area equipment but they are located in another room.

The presence of a second room is good since it give the possibility to have extra space that can be used not only as living room or dining room, but also as working area or for other uses.



SHARE HOUSE LT JOSAY by Naruse Ikonuma Architect Nagoya, Japan 2013

The Co-Living is an increasingly popular style of living in Japan, somewhat close to a large house, where the water systems and living room are shared by the residents. What makes it different from a large house, however, is that the residents are not family and are, instead, unrelated strangers. So a special technique in both its management and its space becomes necessary for complete strangers to naturally continue to share spaces with one another. In this design, focus was given to the fact that it was a newly constructed building, and the share house spaces were created through a reconsideration of the building’s entire composition. The shared and individual spaces were studied simultaneously and, by laying out individual rooms in a three-dimensional fashion, multiple areas, each with a different sense of comfort, were established in the remaining shared space. Through the creation of such spaces, the residents are able to use shared spaces more casually, as extensions of their individual rooms. At the same time, the individual rooms, which seem to have the same character in plan, are all different due to their relationships to the shared space, defined by characteristics like their distance and route from the living room.








The common space is articulated in one single volume that occupy the centre of the house and the three floors of the house. Units are located on the border of this volume; this shape help the interaction of the units with the shared space and consequently the interaction between the residents. In few words, when residents came out of their rooms they are already in the shared space and they can be connected with everyone.

The strongest place for interaction is given by the shared kitchen and the dining table. Their location is mixed with the living room and it increase the possibility of socialization and interaction between the residents.

The single volume create different living area that guarantee different level of privacy, different possibility of interaction and different use of the space. On the ground floor there is the strongest living centre, on the mezanine floor a middle and the first floor contain only the rooftops as living area.

The private space is a bedroom. It is in fact provided by a bed and a wardrobe; it also has an empty space that can be use by the residents as they prefers.

The bedrooms are display in a good position one another and in relation with the shared space: they are directly connected and this facilitate the interaction between the residents.



GARDEN HOUSE by Teatum Architects London, England 2017

Garden House is a new addition to the Network of spaces being produced by Noiascape across London. From one-off homes to mixed use buildings Noiascape is creating an infrastructure for urban renting. Designed specifically for renting, Garden House is organised to adapt to a number of users, from a couple to a group of sharers. The house acts as a landscape of surfaces and objects against which the renter’s life can be staged. The project involved the complete reorganisation of an existing terraced mews house with the addition of a new roof level and a connected garden room. Bedrooms are located at ground and living spaces are located at first and second floor. A study space at second floor provides a day lit room connected to a roof garden to make working from home a pleasure. Flexibility is integrated into the spatial organisation. Flexible interconnected spaces flow horizontally and vertically allowing an interaction between each level. The plan and section resists cellular enclosure. Living spaces are double aspect and double height, structured to overlap and interconnect, allowing a visual continuity across space. At the scale of a house or a mixed use building Noiascape create spaces that activate relationships and organise social interaction.








The vertical layout of the building crates different level of privacy for the residents. The layout implies the disposition of the private units in one floor and the diposition of shared area in other floor. In this way the socialization between the residents is facilitated.

The shared facilites are not much but they are sufficient to stimulate the residents to meet each other. Their dimension in most of the case is good as well.

One floor of the house is the kitchen , the living room and the dining area: these spaces are so connected that is hard to define a specific function for each of them. They guarantee in this sense, a strong connection and interaction between the residents.

The bedrooms are display in a good position one another and in relation with the shared space: they are directly connected and this facilitate the interaction between the residents.

Both units are provided with a bathroom, sofa or / and table and big closets that can guarantee the resident a living area. All the residents have all the privacy needed.



BIBLIOGRAPHY Saunders, D. (2011). Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History Is Reshaping Our World. Vintage. Wishnia, S. (2011). City’s Immigrants Face Varied Housing Problems. Metropolitan Council on Housing Lamport, J. (2004). The Housing Problems Of Immigrants. Gotham Gazette Legal Assistance Group. (2016, November 21). Housing Policy Punishes Vulnerable Immigrants, Retrieved August 20, 2017 Semple, K. (2016). When the Kitchen Is Also a Bedroom: Overcrowding Worsens in New York. The New York Times. Lanzani, A. & Vitali, D., 2002, Metamorfosi urbane. Iluoghi delTimmigrazione, Pescara: Sala. potential for strategic urban planning; Cottino, P., 2003, La città imprevista. Il dissenso nelPuso dello spazio urbano, Milan: Elèuthera. Granata, E., 2001, Arrivare, Rimanere, Andarsene, Territorio, n 19, pp. 78-82. Saeidimadani M., 2012, Arrival Space, Der schmale Grat zwischen Erfolg und Scheitern migrantisch geprägter Räume, Tesi Magistrale, Politecnico di Milano - Hafen City University Cottino, P., 2003, La città imprevista. Ildissenso nelVuso dello spazio urbano, Milan: Elèuthera. Pezzoni, N., 2013, La città sradicata. Geografie delldbitare contemporaneo. I migranti mappano Milano, Milan: O barra O edizioni, pp. 32-33. Boeri, T., De Philippis, M., Patacchini, E., & Pellizzari, M. (2015). Immigration, Housing Discrimination and Employment. The Economic Journal, 125(586) https://inhabitat.com/13-bedroom-house-by-naruse-inokuma-architects-puts-a-fresh-spin-on-the-sharing-economy/share-house-lt-josai-by-naruse-inokuma-architects-10/ https://www.dezeen.com/2015/08/21/seoul-apartment-block-housing-archihood-wxy-balconies-gables-south-korea/ STAR strategies + architecture. (2013). “Co-Résidence: Habiter en Grand” – AIGP. [online] Available at: http://st-ar.nl/co-residence-habiter-en-grand/ [Accessed 1 Mar. 2019]. https://www.archdaily.com/587590/coop-housing-project-at-the-river-spreefeld-carpaneto-architekten-fatkoehl-architekten-bararchitekten/ [Accessed 23 Feb. 2019].niesgables-south-korea/ [Accessed 23 Feb. 2019].



V. Project

Urban Resources and Infill Architecture In search for potential voids as a resource for housing, the choice is to interact with some specific categories. Not the infrastructural voids, because they are located along the great flowing arteries and rail-tram communication lines; not the surfaces available along city waterways, because are limited areas, with settlement characteristics peculiar, naturalistic and landscape; not the abandoned areas, historical memory areas of the war bombings suffered by the city, because they are areas of significance symbolic; not the voids of the metropolitan infrastructures because they are fast flowing environments, hypogean environments located in the confluence points and concentration of flows; not abandoned industrial areas, because they are areas of interest for large urban redevelopment projects. There are a lot of streaked and fragmented fabrics within a dense and saturated buildings. places which are unlived since they are not included in the public eye because they are minimal and small.

confirming or denying the surrounding urban framework. For this type of operation, awareness of one intervention as a tangible sign is absolutely necessary position towards the city. The two key elements in achieving good quality of architecture infill in immediate, current surroundings, are the selection of optimal creative method of infill architecture and adequate application of “the bond� as integrative element. In order for the infill procedure to be carried out adequately, it is necessary to carry out the assessment of quality of the current surroundings that the object will be integrated into, and then to choose the creative approach that will allow the object to establish an optimal dialogue with its surroundings.

The best potential choice is to operate microarchitectures and sewing interventions through two main categories: 1) Restoration of the eaves line Generating continuous urban scenes, creating a system of environments that reconstitutes a single road front, in accordance with the landscape principles of the general regulatory plan. 2) Occupation of the interstitial voids Generate a system of environments that settle in the crevices of the fabric urban going to fill the gaps on the ground of minimum dimensions through the creation of microarchitectures. In urban matrix the chance of presence of these small interstitial voids are greater within the historic part of cities. there are infinite unsaturated micro voids In the cracks of the city center fabric. on the other hand the scenario of infill housing considered in the inner city area since the network of public services overlaps and densifies offering greater assistance to the new citizens of the city. Infill housing in close relationship with the built area generates a recognition filter of a new intervention that does not operate by mimesis but knows how to constitute a complex and articulated urban scene in respect of landscape and urban planning constraints. Awareness of the urban site and relevance of the intervention are design criteria that cannot be missing from the project to make it a complementary intervention and necessary to the urban framework. Today Milan is no longer the nineteenth-century city, in which a building intervention is the sign of continuity re-proposed to consolidated aesthetic sense. There is no longer a uniquely codified language, consequently the new intervention poses a problem not only of quality but of the need to evaluate, place by place, the relevance to the place of intervention. Relevance can be done by proposing a sort of continuity with the context both with



Typologies of Infill Resources

Type V-Vertical Occupation of the interstitial voids


Type H-Horizantal Restoration of the eaves line


Infill Resources NIL 19, 20

















Construction Methodology One of the main issues that hinder the delivery of housing in the UNECE region, and affordable or transitional housing in particular, relates to the several challenges faced by the construction industry: high construction costs, slow construction pace, and scarce or expensive land, which prevent the fast provision of affordable housing and lead to a significant housing shortage in the UNECE region. In many cases, housing is constructed in the same ways it was half a century ago. Studies claim that the use of industrial approaches, i.e. prefabrication or modular methods could offer a potential solution to the challenges of the construction industry. Industrial approaches to construction refer to any kind of off-site production followed by on-site assembling. prefabricated and ecological methods can address the housing issues for vulnerable groups in society, rather than merely acting as an emergency solution. The challenge for local and national governments alike, is to use the examples presented and implement them at the scale needed for each context. There is a continuing need for housing policy to support social housing provision, as well as a wide range of affordable housing options, to enable the social mobility of the most vulnerable groups including the migrants and refugees, without prioritizing over home ownership as a single model.

Practices utilising social networks and in case of this project the SPRAR system are some of the most practical practices identified while they rest on the premise of integration through co-habitation with the local population. practices that provide the most benefit in terms of integration are the ones involving the beneficiary population in the process, thus providing integration through interaction with the host community. In this prctice the aim is to extend the capacity of the SPRAR system by presenting housing solution with the use of industrial approaches, i.e. prafabrication and modular method; contrary to most reception facilities which do not pay much attention to design, this prefabricated housing could offer each family the possibility to have a family life which is as normal as possible. The housing solutions which can address the housing continuum beyond emergency shelters to cover transitional housing and social housing. In localities where a wide variety of social resources are available along with comprehensive long-term integration strategies funded by SPRAR system, ensuring the fulfilment of all housing needs, as well as leaving room for progression - enables migrants and refugees to improve their living conditions, supports their social mobility and supports the long-term integration process.

Innovative housing supply methods or industrialised construction techniques have been increasingly employed in countries with a large amount of arrivals like Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Italy. The high level of prefabrication allows the assembly of housing complexes in a considerably shorter time (up to 40%) than in the case of traditional construction. While the cost is also reduced by an average of 30%, it should be also noted that increasing the construction speed needed at times to be coupled with a temporary freeze in housing standards. Italy experienced a significant increase of refugee arrivals, and it expected to rewrite the new building construction code to allow for new standards of housing to enable the construction of prefabricated dwellings under government contracts. The success of the housing projects depends to a considerable extend on the creativity of cities, housing associations, NGOs and other civil society groups. Consequently, experiences of reception, integration and access to housing may differ greatly between countries, but also within them depending on the capacity (and willingness) of each city, neighbourhood (or even households) to absorb newcomers. Regarding the observed diversity, innovative solutions for housing exist in a variety of tenures and levels of implementation (e.g. national, regional, local, etc.) there is also a variety of potential providers for the housing.



Project Type H Restoration of the eaves line

Timber Frame Structure

Structural Strategy

H11 Via Padova, 47, 20127 Milano MI Void No:

Cross Laminated Timber structural Utility Block

Attic Structural Beam

Cross Laminated Timber structural Utility Block

Cross Laminated Timber structural Base

Timber structural base



Structural Elements

3 layers cross laminated timber XLAM t=180mm

100.300mm timber wood with lo-

100.300mm timber wood with lo-

300.300mm timber wood with lo-

Sheet steel brackets are made out of 4 mm thick sheet steel, punched and cold-formed. The use of modern beam constructions

has rendered traditional carpentry joints affordable once again. For this reason they are being increasingly used in modern wood construction.

Sheet steel brackets are fastened with authorized special nails that are chosen according to the installation location.

ad-bearing capacity.


ad-bearing capacity.

ad-bearing capacity-the structural base


Ground Floor Plan Scheme


First Floor Plan Scheme

Modular Division of Shared Area 95.70 sqm + 17.60 sqm Balcony

Modular Division of Shared Area 18.70 sqm + 6.60 sqm Balcony

Modular Division of Private Area 79.20 sqm

Modular Division of Private Area 52.80 sqm + 13.20 sqm Balcony


First Floor Plan 1:100

Second Floor Plan 1:100

Double Room 13.20 sqm for a Couple

Twin Room 13.20 sqm for Two Single Person

Twin Room 13.20 sqm for Two Single Person

Family Room 26.40 sqm for Four Person

Twin Room 13.20 sqm for Two Single Person

Family Room 26.40 sqm for Four Person

Double Room 13.20 sqm for a Couple


Double Room 13.20 sqm for a Couple


Interior Section 1:50



Interior Section 1:50



Section Elevation 1:25

galvanized steel sheet t=0.4mm standing seem roofing waterproof plaster board t=12mm structural plywood t=15mm purling 60.100mm @570mm rigid insulation foam 100mm exposed plywood t=15mm

structural plywood t=15mm purling 60.60mm @570mm rigid insulation foam 60mm exposed plywood t=15mm

3 layers cross laminated timber XLAM t=180mm purling 60.100mm @1100mm rigid insulation foam 100mm



Utility, Structural Block 1:50

Utility, Structural Block 1:50

dark grey, waterproof plaster

3 layers cross laminated timber XLAM t=180mm

structural timber base 200.400mm


galvanized steel sheet t=0.4mm standing seem roofing waterproof plaster board t=12mm structural plywood t=15mm purling 60.60mm @600mm rigid insulation foam 60mm exposed plywood t=15mm

electrical installation false wooden ceiling

existing structural wall


Structure as a Bond The inclination to adjust the structures of the newly designed object with the existing ones is aimed at transferring certain characteristics of the neighboring objects to the new, infill object. Adjustments on the level of facade elements structure or architectural level can be conducted only by lengthening horizontal and vertical directions in situations when floor heights of the neighboring objects are of similar values as those of the new object and when the position of their facade elements, such as bay windows, loggias, windows, doors, terraces, balconies, etc. can be visual-ly aligned with the heights on the infill object. By the same principle, the adjustment of the facade structures can be conducted through transfer of characteristic rhythm of the elements from neighboring objects to the new infill object. In this case the modularity of the infill structure ori-ginated from the rhythm and the values of neighboring windows which facilitates the bonding of the infill object with the neighboring buildings.





Material as a Bond

Facade Matter 1:100

The last level of integrating objects involves utilization of different materials, with an aim of transferring visual, artistic characteristics (color, reflection, translucence, etc.) from neighboring objects to the new, infill object. The use of material as a bond is one of the primary means in achieving the unity of the infill object and the surrounding objects. Most often the same or similar material is used as the one on neighboring constructions and this establishes general artistic unity of the facades. However, if the new object has to be representative or emphasized or in this case has according to the level of prefabrication and the weight bearing limitations , a different material is used. the selected material for the facade is dark grey galvanized steel that is a effective materials with a level of reflection, thus visually separating the infill object from the existing objects and dematerializing the boundaries of their physical contact at the same time in harmony with the main grey tonality of the the context.



Project Type V Occupation of interstitial Void

Structural Strategy

Timber Frame Structure

V02 Via Matteo Maria Boiardo, 1, 20127 Milano MI Void No:

Cross Laminated Timber structural Utility Block

Timber Frame Structure

Cross Laminated Timber structural Utility Block Cross Laminated Timber structural Utility Block Cross Laminated Timber structural Base



Structural Elements

3 layers cross laminated timber XLAM t=180mm

150.200mm timber wood with lo-

100.200mm timber wood with lo-

has rendered traditional carpentry joints affordable once again. For this reason they are being increasingly used in modern wood construction.

Sheet steel brackets are fastened with authorized special nails that are chosen according to the installation location.

ad-bearing capacity.

Sheet steel brackets are made out of 4 mm thick sheet steel, punched and cold-formed. The use of modern beam constructions


ad-bearing capacity.


Floor Plan Scheme

Floor Plan 1:100

Fifth Floor plan

Double Room 9.90 sqm for a Couple

Modular Division of Shared Area 48.40 sqm + 13.20 sqm Balcony

Fourth Floor plan

Twin Room 9.90 sqm for Two Single Person

Second and Third Floor plan Modular Division of Private Area 49.50 sqm

Double Room 9.90 sqm for a Couple

First Floor plan

Ground Floor plan



Interior Section 1:50





Section Elevation 1:25

galvanized steel sheet t=0.4mm standing seem roofing waterproof plaster board t=12mm structural plywood t=15mm purling 60.100mm @570mm rigid insulation foam 100mm exposed plywood t=15mm

structural plywood t=15mm purling 60.60mm @570mm rigid foam 60mm exposed plywood t=15mm



Utility, Structural Block 1:50

Utility, Structural Block 1:150

electrical installation false wooden ceiling dark grey, waterproof plaster steel mesh t=15mm

structural plywood t=15mm purling 60.60mm @600mm exposed plywood t=15mm

3 layers cross laminated timber XLAM t=180mm



Rhythm in Roof Level The inclination to adjust the height of roof cornices of the newly desi-gned object and the existing ones in most cases involves a very complex method of reflection. The simplest example of connecting the objects is the situation when the cornices of neighboring objects are of the same height and the new object can fit in the frame of existing height regula-tions. More complex examples of interpolation are present when the hei-ghts of neighboring objects are different in comparison with infill object In most of the cases, some type of bond is unavoidable, as shearing of different heights of roof cornices. In situations when the neighboring objects are oriented towards the street by their gable wall side, inter-polation of the new object in the existing setting presents itself as an even more complex problem, as it is important to take into account the rhythm, roof pitch and the character of roof plane, and to adjust the bonds in accordance with these characteristics.





Facade Matter 1:100



Profile for Gennaro  Postiglione

Transitional Housing in Milan.  

Emad Lajevardi (Diploma: Fall 2020) Supervisors: Gian Luca Brunetti, Francesca Gotti, Gennaro Postiglione  By combining findings of the prev...

Transitional Housing in Milan.  

Emad Lajevardi (Diploma: Fall 2020) Supervisors: Gian Luca Brunetti, Francesca Gotti, Gennaro Postiglione  By combining findings of the prev...


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