Jordan is a country located in a region that is in turmoil, making it a refugee-host country. Having lived in Amman, the capital, I became interested in how this place, with very limited resources, managed the continuous influx of refugees from neighboring countries. My thesis project had evolved alongside my dissertation which focuses on Amman's resilience and adaptation to the refugee crisis.
My dissertation analyzed Amman's socio-economics, housing, and infrastructure systems and their resilience in relation to the continuous refugee influx, taking Talbieh Camp as an example. I discovered through this research that Amman's infrastructure and facilities are inadequate and cannot cope with the number of hosted refugees, low refugee-integration levels, and highlighted that; as much as refugees are trying to cope with their harsh living conditions, the city’s development is not happening at the same pace.
Realizing Talbieh’s isolation from Amman’s urban fabric, my thesis project aims to establish a social and physical connection between the camp and its surroundings and to enhance the quality of life for refugees, as the camp lacks basic amenities and the buildings suffer from weak foundations. Finally, the project intends to create a sense of place and belonging for refugees, being a cornerstone that boosts their motivation and development.
Refugees are people affected by wars, conflict, or natural disasters seeking stability and better living conditions away from their natural homes. It is, therefore, essential to protect their livelihoods and help in their integration. All refugee camps have a temporary nature, and are urbanized based on the assumption that someday refugees living in them will return to their countries. However, with Talbieh Camp existing and urbanizing on temporary foundations since 1967, planning laws and decisions need to become more positive and sustainable towards such camps, as they are becoming more permanent than ever.