Thumbs Up! Arriving in Berlin is Our Favourite Project of the Month!

There are tonnes of good ideas that can change the world. Regular readers of RESET will already know of a few. Every month, we will choose one idea that stands out thanks to its impact and innovative approach. Our favourite project in January: refugees use their experience and recommendations to map out Berlin.

Author Anna Rees, 01.13.16

There are tonnes of good ideas that can change the world. Regular readers of RESET will already know of a few. Every month, we will choose one idea that stands out thanks to its impact and innovative approach. Our favourite project in January: refugees use their experience and recommendations to map out Berlin.

Syrian businessman Alhadi Aldebs; Iranian biotechnologist Farhad Ramazanali; translator Mohammad Yari as well as city planner Hanidullah Ehrari, both from Afghanistan all live in Haus Leo, a community shelter for refugees from all over the world located in the borough of Moabit in Berlin. With support from the Berlin City Mission and Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures), the four refugees have developed an interactive map of Berlin using open source tools. What’s unique about the project is that the collective mapping project is based upon the refugees’ experiences and is offered in English, Farsi and Arabic. Take a look at their work here: www.arriving-in-berlin.de. Alongside maps, the site provides insight into incidents and problems that new arrivals to the city face.

The first problem I encountered was to get all the necessary documents and to find a doctor“, Alhadi Aldebs mentions on the website. Arriving in Berlin resembles an interactive online guide, a city map full of colorful icons with the main focal points for refugees in Berlin plotted out. The interactive map not only shows where to find language-capable doctors but also where to get legal advice or buy public transport tickets. The colourfully-coded map also shows important government offices, police stations, educational institutions like language schools or adult learning centres, sports centres, shops and libraries that have free WiFi. Just click on the symbol and the relevant address, phone number and website will pop up. It is important to mention here that a list of residential refugee accommodation options has been omitted to lower the risk of potential attacks these may incur.

Work in Progress

Berlin is big and often confusing even for locals. Gaining a foothold in a new city is tough which is why the creators of Arriving in Berlin are calling on anyone with tips and useful information relating to the project to get in touch with them. This way, the widely-used map – which has over 250 entries – can be spread even further and improved upon. Head to www.arriving-in-berlin.de and think about what information you can contribute.

Take a look at all our favourite projects: Thumbs Up!

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