Growing community shaping place: A community centre and garden for refugees settling in Winnipeg

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Godfrey, Katie
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As refugees settle into life in a new country they learn the local customs and culture, but for a successful integration the host society must also adapt. In exploring the complexity of the settlement process and the important role that social networks play in refugee integration, this project proposes to design a community kitchen, garden and café – a cultural hub for recently arrived refugees and long-term locals alike. By engaging with urban agriculture as both a placemaking tool and a form of food subsidy, gardening practices provide a foundation for thinking about barriers to settlement and strategies in community engagement. The proposed design is a renovation to an existing building in Winnipeg. The space aims to foster a sense of place by promoting both participants’ feelings of ownership over elements of the program, and by creating an environment that welcomes the community. In considering the physical design of the space, theoretical conceptions of place, identity and sense of community belonging will inform strategies for designing for people in transition, and simultaneously, for long term connections. The result will be a design that respects diversity, fosters community, and that positions itself as a model for ways of living in the city.
Community garden, Refugee, Integration, Community kitchen, Place, Placemaking, Interior Design, Community belonging