International architecture non-profit Shelter Global has just announced the winners of its third annual Dencity Competition, highlighting innovative solutions that will improve living conditions for over 1 billion slum dwellers worldwide. The goal of the competition is to foster new ideas on how to spread awareness and handle the growing density of unplanned cities .
There are currently over 1 billion slum dwellers in the world. This number is expected to reach 2 billion by the year 2030. Now, more than ever, architects and planners need to play a central role in the development of substandard neighbourhoods. Contestants were asked to consider how design can empower communities and allow for a self-sufficient future. – Shelter Global
Check out the winners below:
First place: “Palestine: The Right to Water”
Majed Abdulsamad, Jun Seong Ahn, Maria Isabel Carrasco, and Haochen Yang (Columbia University)
The project looks at refugee camps in Palestine and is titled “The Right to Water.” It utilizes the irregularity and extreme density of the refugee camp to create an adequate and independent rainwater collection system that has the capacity to empower the population towards sustainable access to resources beyond regional limitations. Advocates for a system that in its first stages can be implemented individually and collectively by its own residents (DIY) following these phases: installation of individual deflectors and tanks, construction of shared tanks, and connection of the shared tanks with gutters and aqueducts. The later phase includes the city (Amman Water Authority), DPA (Jordanian Department of Palestinian Affairs) and UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) for the construction of the major underground tank and the building that will allocate the collective activities. This model allows not only for independence and flexibility in terms of implementation, but will also become part of the legacy and memory of the camp to be left for future populations.
“Designing for permanent impermanence is a great challenge. This proposal demonstrates with great diligence how an informal community living in a water scarce environment can become pro-active to secure their livelihood without questioning their permanent impermanence. Providing the community with an ephemeral but lasting tool kit to collect water, this group enables a community to take on current and future water shortages within their region from the bottom up.” – Jury member Peta Kempf
Second place: “Syria: Beyond Slums”
Abdelrahman Magdy, Islam El Mashtooly, Idil Kantarci, and Muhammad Habsah
The project also looks at the informal settlements formed by refugee camps – this time in by the war in Syria. Around 40,000 Syrians have migrated to Turkey, with 100,000 still waiting at the border. Border camps have become a new reality, and new urbanity, for those fleeing Aleppo. Hastily constructed, but inhabited for years, the refugee camp is its own type of city. These camps simultaneously act as prisons and safe havens by providing feelings of security, but also hopelessness. Objective of the project is planning and organizing the rapidly growing density of refugee camps and improving their living conditions by introducing new infrastructure that is inspired from their rich history and culture. The design process starts with one human and his needs which creates the smallest unit.
“Beyond Slums conveys a strong concept for growth at scale with compelling imagery for how such a pre-fabricated build might come to look lived in with individual identity possible in a larger framework.” – Jury member Garrett Jacobs
Third place: Delhi: Flood Resilience
Adèle Hopquin is a French landscape architect specializing water management projects in Europe and China. Her project aims to use the recurring flood risk as a tool to build a more equitable city in Delhi, India. It focuses on the transformation process of community areas, and the way public spaces can be adapted to the flood and the peoples needs. The question of the flood is political and can only be resolved at the city level. First, we propose an overarching city-wide plan. It maps the potential places of transformation in association with the existing settlements along the river in order to develop a model of co-management. Giving the opportunity for people to act on the land represents an alternative to relocation. The larger vision aims at empowering citizens, especially the slum inhabitants.
“Resilience addresses multiple critical issues of Delhi. It creates a civic structure and protection for informal communities. It combines public space and with addressing flood mitigation. It restores a “biologically dead zone.” The design solution has a formal reference to sacred Hindu water tanks.” – Jury member Bryan Bell
- Jo Ashbridge, Founder of AzuKo
- Jhono Bennett, South African Architectural Urbanist
- Bryan Bell, Founder of Design Corps
- Oscar Carracedo, Professor of the National University of Singapore
- Garrett Jacobs, Executive Director of the Open Architecture Collaborative
- Petra Kempf, Professor at Columbia University, New York
- Liz Ogbu, Founder and Principal of Studio O
- Sheela Patel, Founding Director of SPARC
- Rachel Law, Vice President, AIAS National
- Sarah Wahlgren, President, AIAS National
News and project descriptions via Shelter Global