Dissertation Title: Refugee Camps: from camp to town. Syrian refugee camps and spatial practices in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Supervisor: Prof. Dipl. -Ing. Heinz Nagler


Layla Zibar is an architect, and a PhD researcher at the Urban Planning department at BTU. Her main research focus is the socio-spatial aspects of refugee camps.

Since 2017, she is a member of the teaching staff in the Master Course Urban Design - Revitalization of Historic City Districts.

In 2016 Layla has obtained her M.A. in Architectural Engineering from Cairo University, Egypt, and in 2010 her B.A. in the same field from Aleppo university, Syria.

Research Focus:

Refugee Camps in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI): the spatial transformation of camp spaces and the importance of geo-political factors and socio-cultural background of camp-dwellers that reshape the camp spaces into a more town-like setting, despite of its “temporary” label. Following her Master thesis about temporary cities and in particular the refugee camps, now with her PhD studies Layla foucese on the process of camp transformation form an emergency response into a more quasi-stable state in the specific context of KRI. 

Other research Interests:

  • The spatial dimension of the activation and formation of social networks in marginalized urban contexts
  • Practices of everyday life and its spatial manifestations
  • Placemaking by participation in different urban contexts