A big topic to explore. Vox gave an excellent breakdown of the refugee crisis in numbers in a December 2015 blog, http://www.vox.com/2015/12/30/10684672/in-2015-one-of-122-persons-worldwide-was-a-refugee. It ended by saying, “That’s the size of the challenge that the world faces today with displacement — and with no clear solution in sight.” Fine for a blog post but cities have to respond somehow and now. The latest incidents in Germany where as Angela Merkel said, “despicable criminal acts” occurred against women and were attributed to “young [men] of North African descent” shows how volatile the refugee situation can become. Who these people are and what their motives may have been remains blurry. But these incidents provide the kind of spark that can obliterate goodwill and have tragic consequences for the law abiding majority. Most commentary on the refugee crisis (and we don’t know if these men were refugees) has been written from a political and economic point of view considering the plight of the refugees and the crisis for both them and the communities which receive them. We would like to explore the crisis from a cultural point of view and think about what cities can do to mitigate the effects. More on that.