Urban Development & Housing: City of Ouagadougou.
With more than 1 million inhabitants, Ouagadougou is the largest city in Burkina Faso and the country’s administrative, economic, and cultural center. The city experiences a population growth of approximately 100,000 migrants each year from the surrounding rural areas, creating new neighborhoods, many without electricity or running water. Moreover, the majority of Ouagadougou’s buildings are one-story clay constructions. The aim of this design studio is to generate new affordable living spaces for the low- and middle-income groups within the city. The project involves the creation of a 45-square-meter modular housing unit for a family of five. This standard module is used in a new urban development of 10,000 units. The intervention is integrated in the city center to avoid creating a socially segregated society. Throughout the process it is important to take into consideration the layout of existing neighborhoods, the city’s economic situation, and the local climate.
Students are required to consider economic, cultural, environmental, and social factors to design a suitable house with available resources. The project gives students an insight into some of the important challenges facing the developing world.
As affordable housing demand increases, a system of agricultural “silos” shift function and begin operating as “collectives”—infrastructural chimneys—around which housing is constructed. While the “collectives” act as an infrastructural seed, the housing they support rings preserved agricultural land within Ouagadougou’s greenbelt. This insertion of a new housing typology, where human agency can assist with the protection and maintenance of public infrastructure, addresses Ouagadougou’s growth at an urban level. While the local government would initially fund construction of the “collectives,” standard methods of taxation on informal economic activity would replace government assistance. Collaborative construction, locally sourced materials, and sweat equity, all familiar to rural-to-urban migrants, supports housing construction. Existing housing settlements are connected to and through the site by preserving and intensifying the well-worn paths in place, becoming evidence of the human agency of the place.
|ISSN : 2575-5374|