The European Refugee Crisis is the largest crisis of this kind since WW II when millions of people were fleeing war and fighting or had to leave their home after the war because of new borders with new regimes forced people to flee by decree. Seventy years later, the new refugee crisis is not limited to Europe but actually originates in the Middle East and North Africa. This crisis is global in that it extends to additional African countries, North- and South America, and includes Afghanistan and Pakistan where people for many reasons (mostly war) decide to leave their home and look for a better place to live and work in Europe, notably France, Germany and Sweden. PUARL has begun initial, preliminary research by developing a set of focal areas situated within the broader context of this international crisis. These focal topics are also referred to as building blocks within this larger study of refuge escape, assimilation, integration and return to original home country. The building block that gives the name to this website is called patterns and pattern languages for refugees in Europe and the Middle East and is based on the book ‘A Pattern Language,’ and hundreds of books that follow this method of trying to improve the life of people on earth. The website is one of these building blocks that contains all the other building blocks. Current building blocks that are being studied by PUARL include the following:


PUARL started as a research arm of the Portland Urban Architecture Program in 2007. With the opening of the new building facilities in the Portland White stag Block in 2008, the School of Architecture and Allied Arts A&AA intended to broaden and expand research activities in Portland. The PUARL currently provides design assistance and consulting services to community organizations and municipalities in Portland and the region. Projects include the Oregon Historical Society Vision Design, the Tsunami Escape Wayfinding Project, two successfully concluded Tigard Center and Tigard Corridor urban design research and service projects. PUARL includes Portland architecture faculty as well as faculty members from Eugene and outside researchers professors: Dr. Hajo Neis (director), Howard Davis, Jim Pettinari, Don Genasci, Matt Brown, Frances Bronet, Lloyd Lindley, and others. Every two years PUARL conducts an International Conference that focuses on issues of wholeness and sustainability in cities and urban buildings. For the last two conferences we focused on city and urban development and on new developments in the overall Pattern Language Approach. For the last two years we alternate with the Danube University in Krems, Austria to conduct the conference annually.


Professor Dr. Hajo Neis (mail: ), Director of PUARL, Professor Howard Davis, Director of Collaborative for Inclusive Urbanism
Associates: Briana Meier, UO Doctoral Candidate, Tomo Furukawazono, UO Visiting Scholar, Doctoral Candidate

Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory
School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon Portland
address: 70 NW Couch St., Portland, OR 97209
PUARL logo


Associated Partners:
Professor Dr. Alexander Schmidt, University of Duisburg-Essen, ARUS Program
Professor Dr. Wolfang Starck, University of Duisburg Essen
Professor Dr. Ralf Weber, University of Dresden
Professor Maya Reiner, University of Kassel
Sabine Scherer, Landkreis Kassel