“Earth Home Project” investigates the rising challenges Pakistanis in rural areas have to face. The focus is on trying to find applicable solutions for people to erect affordable, stable and sustainable homes. Architecture plays a crucial role in finding new ways of designing by incorporating local materials and building techniques, thereby minimizing not only the cost but most importantly the reliance on the economic situation. The project started in Pakistan in 2011, initiated by Irshad Balouch, as a direct response to the flood that devastated his country during the summer of 2010 and the lack of support people in rural areas where given following the loss of their land. For most it is strictly impossible to build their houses on their own; the inflation in the cost of basic building materials forcing those able to acquire a loan to take on life-long debts often resulting in the loss of their land. The goal of the project is to acquire, develop and spread the necessary know-how required to build stable constructions, by involving residents of flood affected areas into the process of rebuilding their houses, accompanied by skilled craftsmen, employed by the project, and neighbors, there on a voluntary basis. The project (thanks to donations) is able to cover the unavoidable expenses of some basic building materials such as concrete and burned bricks for strong foundations, wood for window and door frames as well as basic tools. Locally sourced materials such as earth, straw and bamboo, contribute to the sustainability of the design since they are highly accessible, do not require heavy machinery, and empower people by virtue of those materials being relatively easy to acquire and handle. Sustainability, understood as an environmentally as well as socially responsible answer therefor becomes the starting point for the type of architectural thinking at the heart of “Earth Home Project”. Architecture can do more than just provide blueprints for prepackaged products of consumption if it integrates the process of construction and the production of materials as an integral part of what defines it. The hope is that this will enable the community to be more prepared against future disasters resulting from climate change. They will be able to rely on their neighbors and their own abilities to build up their life despite the cruel and unjust conditions of the economy which is pushing many into desperation and towards the margins. So far the endeavor has been able to help raise 121 homes around the area of Multan, which had been very badly affected by the flood due to its position in the Indus river basin.
By: Amandin Richard
By: Waleed Shehata
Historic Cairo contains possibly the finest and best surviving collection of more than 600 listed building, as well as its preserved urban fabric. Sorrowfully, sixty or more years ago, Cairo’s historic quarters have started facing deterioration symptoms. The long government neglect resulted in squatter settlements, diluted infrastructure and informal industries. This situation together with poor public awareness toward the value of heritage contributed to severe deterioration conditions for years. Despite dedicating a huge financial resources from the local government and international organizations the preservation, restoration and protection of historic Cairo’s monuments extend far beyond saving, or even restoring bricks and mortar for tourists. With conservation of the authentic fabric in mind, the adaptive reuse of Cairo’s heritage buildings is a recommended strategy for integrative revitalization and urban development of the historic city.
In architectural heritage conservation, adaptive reuse refers to the appropriate functional conversions of heritage buildings to suit the existing use or a proposed use. “The fact is that the best of all ways of preserving a building is to find a use for it, and then to satisfy so well the needs dictated by that use…” Viollet-le-Duc, 1854. The function is the most obvious change, but other alterations may be made to the building itself. Adapting a valuable building for reuse can include intensive exterior and interior modifications that are purely aesthetic and/or functional; such as the circulation route, the orientation, and spatio-physical relationships. In some cases the process of adaptive reuse may exceed the boundaries of the existing structure, or it may even necessitate the construction of an annex building depending on the peculiarities of the project. In other words, adaptive reuse includes any intervention to adjust, upgrade, introduce new services and uses to suit desired functional requirements, while safeguarding the place. The process itself should be applied to the building while retaining its structure, character, original identity and general authentic significance for future generations.
Thus, adaptive reuse of heritage buildings does not only step up the maintenance of the structure and delay its decay, but it also allows the functioning building to get involved in the living context it lies within, unlike buildings that are deserted and disused.
By: Joe McBride
The urban forests of Johannesburg, Lagos, and Cairo were surveyed to provide a data base for a comparison of their composition, structure, and condition. Tree species diversity in these three urban forests was compared to the species diversity of trees in each biome in which the city occurred and to climatic parameters of each biome to measure the correlation between urban forest characteristics and the characteristics of the biomes. Structure of the urban forest was examined in relation to historical precedents for urban design in each city. Current problems of urban forest condition and management are discussed.
To obtain a copy of the presentation, click on the link below:
Urban Forest of Africa (Johanesburg, Lagos & Cairo)
By: Amna Alruheili
This study focuses on quantifying shoreline change through the use of remote sensing techniques, multi-temporal Landsat images, on the southern region of Oman’s coast (Dhofar, Salalah). The coastal shoreline of Dhofar Governance witnessed a major cyclone in 2002. As a result, morphological changes including the accretion and erosion of the coastline along Salalah took place.
In this study, coastline changes were researched using radiometrically and geometrically corrected multitemporal and multi-spectral data from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) dated 1984 and 1998, Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) 2002, and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) dated 2015. In the image processing steps, band rationing (B4/B2) and digitizing were used to carry out coastline extraction, and the Digital Shoreline Analysis System was used to calculate the rate of coastline changes. In some parts of the research area, remarkable coastline changes of more than 56.4 m withdrawal and -0.9 m/year erosion were observed in 2002.
Inspired by the existing modernist façade, the new courtyard at IBM Victoria Ward tower showcases a landscape expression of modern Hawaiian architectural motifs and powerful cultural history. The historic IBM tower was designed by Vladimir Ossipoff—Hawaii’s quintessential modernist. The new landscape is a distilled expression of Hawaiian identity and serves as an introduction to a larger mixed-use master plan of over 60 acres in central Honolulu.
Picture taken 29th March 2014 in Lake Naivasha, Kenya.
If this is the situation for a development occurring within a park that is full of environmental researchers and park rangers, then what is the fate of other development that is occurring in absence of any environmental or climate change considerations.
Rice feeds more people than any other crop in the world and uses approximately one third of global freshwater resources. Most rice is produced and consumed in Asia. This talk will examine the evidence of current and future impacts of climate change and air pollution on rice yields in Asia.