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ARCHITECTURAL ORGANISATION OF SOCIAL CLUSTERS IN BURUNDI

The situation of poverty in the Republic of Burundi is one of the most extreme in the world, 93% of the population lives below the poverty line. Less than 10% of the population lives in urban areas and many peasants mostly live on subsistence level. Because of poverty, many families build their homes on their own invented materials: cardboard, plastic, or mats on illegal land obtained during the occupation. These settlements, as a rule, do not have adequate public services, a healthy environment or public safety. The social environment in the vicinity can be a breeding ground for all kinds of problems: many children often do not attend school, people do not have paid work, and some of them may even be involved in criminal activity. Therefore, the government faces enormous challenges in the areas of sheltering the urban poor. This study focuses on showing the need of durable housing for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The objective of the study is highlight the needs of the low-income residents and to preserve the vernacular building cultures. A quantitative and qualitative methodology is applied with both social and physical analysis. The result of this research is a proposal of a typical cluster able to group a population of 5000. In this way permanent shelter will be gradually provided to the 80,000 Internally Displaced Peoples in different provinces of Burundi.

Keywords: Burundi, Housing, Internally Displaced Persons

 

ARCHITECTURAL ORGANISATION OF SOCIAL CLUSTERS IN BURUNDI

Fiona Kavakure

Research assistant. Interior Architecture Department, Eastern Mediterranean University, Gazimagusa, North Cyprus

 

Introduction

In many developing countries, prime actors in the process of providing housing are households themselves. In the Republic of Burundi many settlements do not have adequate public services, a healthy environment nor public safety. Burundi was ranked 178 out of 187 countries in the 2013 Human development index. In addition, the UNHCR anticipated that by the beginning of 2014, the country will be hosting over 50,000 refugees and close to 80,000 IDPs. Unfortunately, there are no durable housing project for low-income people, especially for returnees who do not have land and are placed in temporary camps. Also, most of the camps are located in the capital city and lead to overpopulation and to the rapid growth of informal self-help settlements and environmental degradation (UNHCR, 2014-2015). Thus, this study proposes an architectural solution to the housing problem by building an environment that will preserve the cultural values of daily activities while using new technologies and local building materials. Each cluster would be able to contain a population of 5000 and will be affordable and sustainable for the shelter deprived. However, the research is not an in-depth study but carries a general perspective.  The Study was motivated by the UNESCO / UIA Charter for Architectural Education general consideration "that there is, consequently, public interest to ensure that architects are able to understand and to give practical expression to the needs of individuals, social groups and communities, regarding spatial planning, design organization, construction of buildings as well as conservation and enhancement of the built heritage, the protection of the natural balance and rational utilization of available resources” and “that the educators must prepare architects to formulate new solutions for the present and the future as the new era will bring with it grave and complex challenges with respect to social and functional degradation of many human settlements” (UNESCO/UIA, 2011). Also, Kramer (2012), implies four main aspects of socially responsible architectural practice, namely: sustainability, responsibility to consider the needs of communities, ethics and civic engagement through public service. In order to carry out this research, a qualitative and quantitative method was adapted. The research approach is descriptive and deductive in both social and physical analysis. A survey of earlier published literature, especially from the UN-Habitat and related organisations, will help collect the necessary data. The conclusion will be a project proposal in form of a master plan. The results of this study can be implemented by the Government of Burundi with the support of local investors, international investors or the World Bank.

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Ultimo aggiornamento: 19/05/2015 10:37

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