Non-profit co-spaces for intercultural exchange and co-development

With the "Architecture for Refugees SCHWEIZ" association, we work for more than two years now on the topic of bringing refugees, newcomers and local society. How can we bring people together and how can we support an intercultural discussion and collaborative city "building". One of the most important findings is the lack of non-profit intercultural spaces in the city of Zürich. We aim to develop such space(s) but it is a very challenging issue. These spaces could bring different cultural and people together. They would offer an analog / physical platform for developing a new city where every resident of the city would find itself at home. The GZ (Gemeinschaftszentren - Community Centres) are kind of these spaces, but for newcomers they offer very little space for joining. They are also very static / rigid structures. The new co-spaces should let the users to be re-designed and continuously shaped based on the current needs and socio-cultural contexts. The new co-spaces must be even more central located. Close to main transport hubs and railway stations. We highly support the development of new physical spaces in the city for intercultural community developments.

Bence Komlósi
co-founder, Architecture for Refugees SCHWEIZ

(1) Offering intercultural programs for different users and offering programs where the residents of the neighbourhood could collaborate in the development process of the neighbourhood and city
(2) Well located situations - with good public transport and on the ground floor. Visibility plays a key role in the success of these spaces.
(3) Some examples - close to the Hardbrücke station and the Schiffbau. Close to the Kalkbreite. Close to the Oerlikon station. Close to the Altstetten station. Close to the HB main station...
(4) These spaces must be run be intercultural NGOs. It is even better, if they are founded exactly for this project. The intercultural mix of the team is a must.