I’ve been making an unreasonable number of notes over the last few weeks, scouring the internet for information about the asylum system in Germany and the Netherlands, and trying to understand how cities like Hamburg and Amsterdam understand and organise housing for people seeking refugee protection.
There’s definitely lots out there, but the main thing I’ve noticed is how both Germany and the Netherlands provide extensive public information about housing provision for refugees and people seeking asylum. From interactive maps showing the locations of main reception centres across Hamburg to clear information sheets on the City of Amsterdam’s website explaining reception conditions, this is far more information than what is available in the UK.
Now, does this have any impact on how these cities understand their role in the integration of newcomers? Is a more open attitude to information about refugee housing a symptom of a government and society which is more welcoming to newcomers?