Youth Centre as an Urban Laboratory in the Sahrawi Refugee Camp of Smara


Projecy by Beatriz Villapecellin Villanueva, a graduate from the Institute of Architecture and Design and programme Spatial Design. 

 The project focus on Saharawi young people living in the Smara refugee camp. The aim of the project is to improve living conditions, reduce the vulnerability of Sahrawi refugees and strengthen their resilience. The centre proposes youth retention initiatives to ensure that refugees can stay in the camps with a certain degree of self-sufficiency, giving them a new sense of dignity and security, as well as more control over their own affairs. 



The programme outlines the urgent need to question assumptions about the conditions and dynamics within the Sahrawi refugee camps and to develop policy and programming responses accordingly. This is particularly significant, given that idealised depiction of life in the Sahrawi refugee camps potentially risks normalising the status quo.