The Concept of Place in Displacement Management
The concept of place increasingly appears in literature produced by and for actors of global displacement management relating to interventions concerning the built environment. Place, in this context, is presented as a concept appropriate for interventions in especially urban, non-camp settings. The introduction of so-called place-based approaches indicates that displacement management literature builds on existing conceptualizations of place found in the practice and theory of architecture and urbanism, as well as in other social science literature. A study of operational displacement management literature reveals that the varying conceptions of place apply place thinking to displacement management in particular ways. This analysis finds that diverse uses of place-related terminology and contested ideas of placemaking, contributes to a de-professionalization of design matters in displacement management. Nonetheless, it suggests that place can be a useful concept when combining technical site analyses with urbanism mapping methods in displacement management practice. The perspectives identified in this article seek to strengthen the existing yet tenuous links between competences within displacement management and architecture and urbanism. It is also meant to call attention to the social agency of displaced populations concerning built environment interventions.