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German Cities Rewrite Building Codes to Provide Homes for Refugees

Germany has reformed building codes in a marshaling of political will known as the "Culture of Welcome" for an expected one million refugees. German cities, many of them shrinking for decades, see the refugees as an opportunity and a responsibility.
September 24, 2015, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Over the past several weeks, scores of German cities, big and small, east and west, have begun jumping over one another to receive and settle as many refugees and migrants as they can get – often for purely self-interested reasons," according to an article by Doug Sanders.

Why? "Some want to rebuild their labour force or tax base; others simply want to fill up abandoned housing tracts or military bases, even if they’re in the middle of nowhere. And others are simply trying to get a slice of the funding announced by Berlin to build hundreds of thousands of homes in a few months."

How? "Two weeks ago, ministers met to rewrite the country’s rigorous building code to allow for lower standards of housing so that hundreds of thousands of prefab homes can be built under government contracts in months."

The article includes more about the local economies of these cities and how they are paving the way for the expected arrival of one million refugees by the end of the year and even more in 2016. 

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 in The Globe and Mail
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