In order to address the rising tide of refugees and migrants over the years, UN-Habitat co-launched the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration (MC2CM) project that brings together experts and cities to contribute towards improved migration governance at city level, including migrants’ access to housing, basic services and human rights. The participating cities exchange information about their individual contexts, challenges, opportunities and existing strategies regarding local urban migration and integration policies: they include Amman, Beirut, Tangier, Tunis, Lyon, Madrid, Turin, and Vienna.
As of mid-2015 there were over 15.1 million refugees and migrants worldwide a 45 per cent increase in just 3 and half years with 5 million newly displaced in the first half of the year alone, contributing to the 880 million people that are currently living in non-formal settlement globally.
In the greater Mediterranean region internal and international migration movements have a direct and long-lasting impact on the development of urban areas, as these are often the actual destinations of migrant populations. Improving the access to adequate housing in cities is one of the fundamental pathways to further improvements in the dimensions of social and spatial integration of migrant populations. Research shows Carter Tom, the Influence of Immigration on Global City Housing Markets, Urban Policy and Research, 2005, Taylor and Francis that adequate housing forms the third most important factor contributing to the successful integration of international migrants after sufficient language skills and access to employment.