Course code TUD17
Course title Urban Development Strategy for Za’atari Refugee Camp
Institution Delft University of Technology
Course address Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment - Julianalaan 134
City Delft , The Netherlands
Minimum year of study 4th year
Minimum level of English Fluent
Minimum level of French None
Key words


refugee camp; urban development; multi-disciplinary; urban planning; economy; politics

Language English
Professor responsible Ronald van Warmerdam
Telephone +31651518964
Participating professors


Ronald van Warmerdam

Number of places Minimum: 25, Maximum: 30, Reserved for local students:


To design a Development Strategy for Za’atari Refugee Camp.


Refugee Camp Development

‘A week of multi-disciplinary strategy design”

We are looking forward to welcome you in Delft in the second week of November for the Athens week at Delft Technical University! We plan to make it an interesting week with challenging and intensive team work. The subject is Building an Urban Development Strategy for the refugee camp Al Za’atari, located close to the Syrian border in Jordan. During the days, inspiring lectures will be given by students and experts that have been working in the camp. Subject of these lectures is the political, economic and spatial context of the camp. Also, lectures will be given about academic tools and methods to support your thinking and discussions. Interactive workshops support you and your group in building your own strategy. We invite you to actively participate in this process of team work and to bring in your own expertise. We challenge you to think out of the box!

Al Za’atari is a refugee camp located in Jordan, only 15 kilometres  from the Syrian border. The camp was opened midst 2012, initiated by UN-aid organisation UNHCR and the government of Jordan. The camp is the second largest refugee camp in the world and has a capacity of over 150.000 persons. At this moment, the 530 hectares’ area houses around 80.000 refugees in 25.000 cabins. This city -to be- is full of life and its vibrant streets houses over 3.000 shops and restaurants. Step by step the camp is urbanising.

Now that the camp is almost six years old, decision makers start to think about future development. We think this is an enormous challenge and therefore it needs to be designed thoughtfully. What can actually be understood by Urban Development of a refugee camp, hardly anyone seems to know. During lectures and workshops, your team will develop a strategy of Camp Development taking economics, sustainability, spatial development, social aspects, ecology, water and governance into account.


Programme to be followed

First preliminary program





Morning 13 November

Case introduction

Workshop PESTLE analysis

Tuesday 14 November

Lectures Economy & Politics

Workshop scenario planning

Lecture transportation

Wednesday 15 November

Lectures Greening

Site visit Amsterdam

Thursday 16 November

Lectures Housing

Workshop Housing strategy

Preparation for presentation

Friday 17 November

Lecture about presenting

Preparation for presentation



Economy: Aligning the economy of camp and country

Transportation: Threat of a car-filled future

Greening: To green the city by water harvesting

Housing: from caravan to stone




MSc education.


The student preferably majors in:

  • Urban planning & Development

  • Economy

  • Social studies

  • Governance & Project Management

  • Development studies

  • Humanitarian-aid studies

Course exam

Final presentation for a professional Jury on Friday afternoon 17 November.