Halle-Neustadt als dynamisches Ankunftsquartier nach dem langen Sommer der Migration – Migrantische Aushandlungs- und Aneignungspraktiken in einer ostdeutschen Großwohnsiedlung
Urban spaces are changing through transnational migration processes and the increasing diversification of society. Thereby immigration is concentrated in specific urban areas, regarded as arrival spaces or neighbourhoods. The impact of urban arrival spaces also has also been the focus of media, scientific and (departmental-)policy in Germany, particularly regarding the immigration of refugees since 2015. In geographical and sociological urban research, the structures and networks of these arrival spaces are examined in how they affect arrival processes of such district-newcomers. Consequently, challenges and opportunities can be recognized and deliberately promoted. This paper discusses the meaning of the district Halle-Neustadt as an arrival space for immigrants who moved there from 2015 onwards, focussing on processes of appropriation and negotiation in their day-to-day life. The research builds on discussions about arrival spaces in Germany and attempts to illuminate blind spots and contradictions on previous concepts about arrival areas. The large East German housing estate Halle-Neustadt, which marks the western outskirt of Halle (Saale), has undergone rapid change since the beginning of the 1990s. Through guided interviews, immigrants’ perceptions of the area are recounted, carving out the meaning and the role of Halle-Neustadt as a potential arrival area. Interview partners were newcomers from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iran who migrated since 2015 to Germany. The analysis considers the choice of residential locations, as well as the individual expectation and experience of one as a newcomer. Based on this, the general wellbeing, and the valuation of the district, plus the neighbourhood relationship and social contacts were questioned.