THE SEASONAL ARRIVAL CITY

Forthcoming, MAS ETH Housing, ETH Zurich

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In his seminal book Arrival City, Doug Saunders (2010) paints a picture of arrival to the city as an once in lifetime linear endeavor that migrants from countryside undertake. Contrary to this, the experience of cities in the global south, especially those in Asia and Africa, has been starkly different. The cities here experience a phenomenon known as circular migration, meaning that migrants arriving from the countryside often return back seasonally maintaining a circular or cyclic relationship with the city. The migrants often do so in order to maximize their livelihood prospects, taking up work in the city whilst maintaining a farming homestead in the countryside. The phenomenon although prevalent is hardly taken into consideration in city planning and housing in the cities across the global south leading to a rise of precariously built and serviced tenement-housing settlements.

During the autumn of 2019, the students of MAS Housing had an opportunity to visit the city of Bhuj in Gujarat, India and learn from the experiences of 'Homes in the City', a coalition of civil society organisations working with circular migrants and their right to the city. 

This seminar week hopes to build on the knowledge gained in Bhuj through a publication oriented, weeklong workshop in Zurich. In addition to developing ideas and designing housing prototypes for circular migrants in the city of Bhuj, the seminar week participants will develop illustrated storylines of circular migrants in Bhuj. In addition to credits, the participants will feature as contributors in a publication which is scheduled to be published at the end of 2020 tentatively entitled 'THE [SEASONAL] ARRIVAL CITY'.

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