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Design Ideas Show How EU Cities Can Make Room for Refugees

(Credit: Leibniz University of Hanover)

As cities and countries in the EU debate what to do about incoming Syrian refugees, those giving sanctuary to the newcomers must also figure out a way to welcome them. In the last month alone, 100,000 Syrians have arrived in Germany, and a German officials said this week that the country could easily accommodate 500,000 refugees a year.

Though the word “refugee” often conjures the image of informal tent cities, Leibniz University architecture students in Hanover, Germany, have another vision — they see potential in unused parts of urban cores. Here are some of their ideas — not actual projects yet, but certainly deserving of consideration.

Starting right in their own backyard, one design suggests adding on to University building rooftops.

(Credit: Leibniz University of Hanover)

Other ideas include floating houses on Germany’s 870 barges, charged with solar and power, as well as expanding the Dutch pavilion from Expo 2000.

(Credit: Leibniz University of Hanover)

(Credit: Leibniz University of Hanover)

Some students also considered designing shelter in a defunct freight station in Northern Hanover and using old train cars as houses.

(Credit: Leibniz University of Hanover)