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Social cohesion in Badr Nazzal: Bringing the local community and refugees together



In 2016 alone, more than 435,000 Syrians were reported to be residing in Amman. The influx of Syrian refugees has increased the pressure on municipal infrastructure and public services, particularly with regards to education, transport, public spaces, waste management, energy and water. Greater Amman Municipality’s overall response is to seek ways of reducing socio-cultural tensions and spatial segregation between host and refugee communities. This broad objective builds on multi-stakeholder partnerships.

One such example is the initiative between the Greater Amman Municipality, the French Agency for Development, the French Red Cross and the Jordanian Red Crescent. This cooperation aims at strengthening the resilience of vulnerable populations, improving living conditions, expanding social communication between refugees and the local community, and establishing community-based activities and opportunities for capacity building in Badr Nazzal, a district located in the south of the city centre.

The below case study highlights two micro-initiatives within this broader initiative, namely the rehabilitation of local parks; and the organization of football training courses for Syrian and Jordanian children. Both initiatives demonstrate how social cohesion can be strengthened through the creation of spaces of encounter and social networking programmes.

This case study was developed in the framework of the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM), a project coordinated by ICMPD and funded by the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The MC2CM project has been working since 2015 with Amman, Beirut, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Tangiers, Tunis, Turin and Vienna to increase the knowledge base on urban migration.

Additionally, the project has sought to nurture a peer-to-peer dialogue and mutual learning on specific urban challenges such as social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, employment and provision of basic services for migrants, among others. This case study was selected by the Municipality of Amman in order to showcase a practice that contributes to social inclusion of migrants at the local level.