dpr-barcelona – Housing The Remnants Of Capitalism

A few days ago we found the project let’s talk about garbage through a tweet by @alucidwake and immediately two things catched-up our attention, the renders of such a big slum project and the quote “the land (and people living there) has been put up for sale by the city authorities.” The people has been put for sale?

We have been writing recently about capitalism and his close and deep relationship with architecture, and this project is a clear example of this fact. Dharavi is one of the largest slums in the world, with an estimated population between 600,000 and over 1 million people. This land, according to the architects’ research, is worthover 2.3 billion dollars, because the slum generates profits worth 500 million dollars, supplying the whole of Mumbai with necessary products and goods. In this context, UGO architecture and design has proposed a new facility based on a structure without a prescribed function, with blocks for residential uses to the south and a recycling part to the north, only divided by two corridors, and with the ground floor space serving mainly to supply garbage from the dump.

Assuming that we were moving on arena of speculations, it was not surprising that this project was the start point of a deep and intense open discussion on facebook, with more than fifty comments, including several references in a thought-provoking debate. That’s why we want to keep the debate alive and decided to bring here some of those thoughts, arranging them as a form of collective writing, born from the exchange of ideas between a group of architects and thinkers which engaged the conversation.

Read more: http://dprbcn.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/housing-remnants-capitalism/

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You Deserve To Know


Film was shot in 2009 in Kibera, one of the biggest African slums. The story unveils the positive side of the slum, showing the power of information and people’s grassroots initiatives. Six social initiatives of local innovators, are trying to change the face of their dwelling place. Those engaged with the projects work and live in Kibera and might be described as humble leaders in this one million-people society. Their only resources are ingenuity, talent and engagement.

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Teke Ngomba – Challenges Of Urban Housing Provision In Lagos And Johannesburg

africafiles.org – In November 2010, UN-Habitat (the United Nations Human Settlements Programme) published a pertinent report on the state of African cities. The report confirmed that Africa is the fastest urbanizing continent in the world and that by 2030 “Africa’s collective population will become 50 percent urban” (UN-Habitat, 2010:1).

Apart from multi-storeyed buildings, traffic jams and street beggars, one of the central “faces” of Africa’s rapid urbanization in most if not all of its large cities is “non-standard, poor-quality housing units” (Kasarda and Crenshaw, 1991:479) which the UN calls “urban slums”. According to UN-Habitat (2010:4), Africa currently has a slum population of 199.5 million people and this represents “61.7 per cent of its urban population” (UN-Habitat, 2010:4).
As the scale of urbanization increases, the task of providing appropriate and affordable housing to the urban poor has  persisted as one of the most intractable problems facing developing countries. In the wake of an unprecedented pace of urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa and a corresponding increase in urban poverty, how have African governments been handling this problem? What are the challenges they face and what are the chances of these governments living up to the ideal of having “cities without slums”?

Read more: http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=24844

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UGO Architecture And Design: Let’s Talk About Garbage

www.designboom.com. August, 15, 2013. ‘Let’s talk about garbage’ by polish firm UGO architecture and design is focused around the biggest slum in asia dharavi, which is home to over 1 million inhabitants. The selling of the slum’s land requires a solution for the relocation of this unique community. Located only ten minutes from the centre of the metropolis, its financial district and the famous bollywood, the land (and people living there) has been put up for sale by the city authorities, it is worth over 2.3 billion dollars. The slum generates profits worth 500 million dollars, it supplies the whole of mumbai with necessary products and goods.

The substitute accommodation offered by the local authorities does not meet the needs of the self-sustained community. The replacement flats are based on westernized models of housing and ignore the cultural and social needs of the people. they do not allow them to run craftsman’s workshops and other businesses from their homes. ‘Let’s talk about garbage’ is a solution for the occupants of dharavi, one that adapts a completely different attitude towards space and privacy within the typical apartment typology. The economically constructed housing block allows its inhabitants to shape and modify the functions within. People become the architects of their own home, as families are able to decide the number of rooms, their arrangement and the materials used.

Read and see more: http://www.designboom.com/lets-talk-about-garbage/

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Eric Kigada On The Historic Neglect Of Nairobi And Why Slums Do Not Disappear

Architect and planner Eric Kigada, B & A Studios talks about: the history of how Nairobi developed; historic underfunding in its infrastructure as its population grew; how slums develop; the renting out of slum dwellings; why the City Council does not see slums; slum landlords as a powerful political lobby; and the growth of tenement areas.

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SciDev.Net – Rachel Mundy – Open-Source Opens Up Architecture For The Poor

trust.org. August, 12, 2013. Architects and community leaders are combining forces to lead the way in creating many types of innovative housing in developing nations as part of an open-source collaboration.
In 2011 the non-profit design company Architecture for Humanity, which finds architectural solutions to humanitarian crises, merged its Open Architecture Network with Worldchanging, a website featuring green solutions to improve inadequate housing.

The outcome of the merger was a unique online repository making sustainable design ideas freely available to communities in need.
The website can be accessed from anywhere in the world and allows people to see projects progress in real time from design to construction.

“Countries in need deserve good design, no matter what their income,” says Karl Johnson, a representative for Architecture for Humanity.
“Architects are armed with the tools to solve sophisticated problems,” he adds, and architectural ideas to solve common challenges in low-income countries can be shared globally.

Read more: http://www.trust.org/Open-Source

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