Displaced people and the places they inhabit

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Civil Environmental and Geomatic Eng


This study explores the ways in which displaced people regard the places they inhabit in terms of the conundrum of impermanence (they would prefer to be somewhere else) and permanence (in practice they may find that they are inhabiting 'this' place for a very long time). This understanding will then be used to inform how this might affect the ways in which cities and communities might be designed to accommodate a thriving community in which people who have been displaced play a significant part.

The study will use a qualitative descriptive framework, to allow for a straightforward and comprehensive description of circumstances whilst examining phenomena in their 'natural' environment. The method will be to collect QD data in a settlement of displaced people, which has recently entered a protracted state so that first generation displaced people and their activities can be studied and definitions derived around thriving and human development.

The data will be analysed using NVivo textural analysis software, with qualitative and quantitative analyses made of the perceptions and phenomenological factors that emerge, in order to provide an analysis and interpretation suitable for urban planners and designers to understand better the needs of a community.

Study Design
The design of this study is qualitative descriptive (QD) with a directed content analysis approach. This design allows for flexibility in theory use throughout the research process. Data collection strategies employ: (1) individual and focus group interviews with minimally structured guides, (2) Photo-elicitation interviews (PEI), and (3) observation tools. PEI is a method where photographs are used during interviews or focus groups to prompt or guide the conversation about a particular topic. With consent, researchers and refugees will capture images that highlight specific environmental elements that are pertinent to the project. Images will not identify any individuals. Ax4 (Actors, Artifacts, Activities, and Atmosphere) observation method will be employed for collecting information about the internal and external built environment and how refugees interact with their surroundings.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/R501256/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
2143807 Studentship ES/R501256/1 24/09/2018 30/09/2021 James Shraiky