Quinta Monroy, Chile

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Quinta Monroy, Chile

Mismatches Location Price Vulnerable groups Demographic/Urban growth
Policies and regulations Building capacity Planning
Urban Design Modelos De Ciudad Urban fabrics Environments Quality Liveability Inclusion Equity
Promotion and production Public promotion Innovation Favelas/Slums

Main objectives of the project

Quinta Monroy, a social housing project in Iquique, Chile, defied convention by retaining an expensive site in the city rather than displacing families to the periphery. With a limited subsidy of $7,500 per family, the team took an innovative approach by designing a two-story building that allowed for vertical and horizontal expansion of housing. Thus, one half of the building structure was delivered. The other half and the development of the first half was left to the community. This made it possible to maximize the use of the land and offer medium quality housing with the possibility of growth, fostering social integration and avoiding the marginality associated with peripheral developments.

Date

  • 2004: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Architect: ELEMENTAL
  • Architect: Alejandro Aravena

Location

Continent: South America
Country/Region: Chile, Iquique

Description

Quinta Monroy was initially the last informal camp in the center of Iquique, a city in the Chilean desert, located 1,500 kilometers north of Santiago. The site's poor living conditions led to its inclusion in a state program to replace the camp with a set of 93 decent housing units for the families that occupied it. The project's primary decision was to preserve the land, which had a cost three times higher than that usually assigned for social housing developments, thus avoiding displacing those affected to the periphery, where the land is cheaper but entails problems of marginality and does not favor the revaluation of the construction. Moreover, the subsidy of US$7,500 per family made it possible to build, in the best case scenario, a house of 36 m², half the area of a standard middle-class home.

If each house was considered equivalent to one lot, even using the small social housing lots, only 30 families could fit on the land. This was because, with the typology of detached houses, land use was extremely inefficient. The tendency was then to look for land that was very economical, which was generally located in the peripheries, marginalized and far from urban opportunity networks. Reducing the lot size to match that of the house led to overcrowding, while building in height did not allow the houses to expand, which was necessary in this case, where each house was required to expand to at least double its original area.

Thus, in order to build this social and affordable housing development, this problem had to be overcome: land was expensive and not all the families could fit following what had been done so far. The initial strategy was to change the perspective of the problem: instead of designing the best possible unit with $7,500 and multiplying it 100 times, the question was posed as to what would be the best building with a budget of $750,000 capable of housing 100 families and allowing for their respective expansions. It was observed that a building blocked the growth of housing except on the first and top floors, where horizontal and vertical expansion was possible, respectively.

The solution was to design a building with only the first and top floors. The better half of the house was provided, almost rough but with quality installations, and technical support was offered to the families to carry out the expansions. Since 50% of the square footage of the assemblies would be self-built, the building had to be porous enough to allow expansions to occur within its structure. The aim was to frame rather than control spontaneous construction to avoid deterioration of the urban environment over time and to facilitate the expansion process for each family. Instead of building small houses, it was decided to design middle-class housing, of which, for the time being, only a part would be delivered.

It was decided to introduce a collective space between the public space (streets and passages) and the private space (each house), a common property with restricted access that would allow the development of social networks, a key mechanism for the success of fragile environments. By regrouping the 100 families into 4 smaller groups of 20 families each, an urban scale was achieved that was small enough to allow neighbors to agree, but not so small as to eliminate existing social networks.

The resulting buildings have three main advantages: they revalue self-building, they generate community, and they use an innovative design that allows families to be housed on non-peripheral land, generating a unique heterogeneity. This project has been referred to by the prestigious sociologist Richard Sennett as an example of open urbanism.

Parque Novo Santo Amaro V

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Parque Novo Santo Amaro V

Mismatches Location Segregation Services Cultural suitability Diversity Vulnerable groups Climate change
Urban Design Modelos De Ciudad Urban fabrics Services and infrastructure Environments Quality Liveability Inclusion Equity
Promotion and production Public promotion Favelas/Slums
Ownership and tenure Ownership

Main objectives of the project

São Paulo's housing initiative in Santo Amaro stands as a testament to conscientious urban planning, prioritizing the needs of marginalized communities while preserving their social fabric. By strategically integrating social housing within existing settlements and leveraging environmental considerations, the project mitigated risks of displacement and fragmentation. Through thoughtful interventions like reclaiming green areas and improving water management, the initiative not only provided homes but also fostered a sense of belonging and sustainability within the community.

Date

  • 2012: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: City of São Paulo
  • Constructor: Mananciais Consortium
  • Architect: Vigliecca & Associados

Location

Continent: South America
Country/Region: Brazil, São Paulo

Description

This initiative took place within Santo Amaro, one of the informal settlements situated on the southern outskirts of São Paulo. Public transportation options within the neighborhood are limited, often resulting in a two-hour commute to downtown. Furthermore, essential infrastructure such as educational and recreational facilities is lacking, contributing to diminished productivity and prosperity within the community. Covering 13 acres, the intervention site lies within a special social interest area (ZEIS 1), also designated as an environmental protection area due to its proximity to the Guarapiranga reservoir.

Established in 2001, the ZEIS category encompasses four types of areas: slums requiring physical upgrades, slums situated in environmentally sensitive zones, undeveloped peripheral regions, and abandoned neighborhoods in the city center. The updated São Paulo master plan designates an additional 13 square miles as new ZEIS areas, aiming to foster social interest housing development while identifying areas with low population density and adequate access to public services.

Initiated by the municipal government of São Paulo and overseen by the Housing Department, the project's primary objective was to relocate 200 families living along the banks of the Guarapiranga reservoir, vulnerable to natural disasters. To prevent gentrification and internal displacements, the project was strategically developed within the existing community area, considering water and environmental management aspects.

Collaborating with the state government, the municipal administration facilitated the expropriation of homes belonging to the 200 families. During the construction phase of their new homes, these families were temporarily relocated to subsidized rentals nearby. Upon project completion, each family was allocated a residential unit. However, as the land is city-owned, families do not possess ownership rights to their apartments initially. Instead, they pay a monthly occupancy permit fee until the land titling process is finalized, enabling residents to purchase their homes with state subsidies.

The total project cost in 2009 amounted to approximately USD 6 million, with an average unit cost of around USD 30,000. Rather than imposing a new urban reality, the project focused on thoughtful interventions in the existing urban landscape, leveraging its inherent resources. A linear park, serving as the project's focal point, reclaimed green areas lost during informal settlement development. Community amenities, such as children's parks, skating rinks, soccer fields, and schools, were strategically integrated along the park, promoting resident engagement and neighborhood cohesion.

Prior to the project, children had to navigate a contaminated stream to reach school. As part of the intervention, the stream was diverted underground, and water mirrors were created to preserve residents' environmental connection. Today, the area sources water from various rehabilitated outlets.

Comprising buildings ranging from five to seven stories, the 200 residential units offer diverse layouts, including options for individuals with disabilities. The design prioritizes pedestrian-friendly features, accommodating non-residents who utilize the walkways.

The overarching goal of the project was to enhance living standards and foster prosperity within the vulnerable Santo Amaro community. By delivering formal housing infrastructure and comprehensive services, the project facilitates daily life for residents and cultivates a sense of belonging among families. Moreover, by relocating families susceptible to natural disasters, the project mitigated the risk of community displacement and fragmentation.

Furthermore, the project successfully integrated building design with the surrounding landscape, addressing structural challenges such as water management. Plentiful high-quality public spaces, accessible not only to residents but also to the broader neighborhood, were incorporated. Given the precarious conditions of informal communities in Latin America, social housing initiatives should be accompanied by comprehensive social programs, empowering communities to manage and care for their habitats while fostering development and ownership.

Pedregulho Housing Complex Restoration

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Pedregulho Housing Complex Restoration

Mismatches Security Functional adequacy Services Cultural suitability Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations National policies Local policies
Urban Design Services and infrastructure Quality Liveability Regulación Técnica Participatory processes
Promotion and production Public promotion Self-management
Ownership and tenure Protection of social housing

Main objectives of the project

The restoration of the Pedregulho Housing Complex exemplifies the power of community involvement and strategic planning in revitalizing historic architectural landmarks. Led by the Pedregulho Neighbors Association and architect Alfredo Britto, the project addressed decades of neglect and deterioration, guided by a comprehensive restoration plan. By balancing the preservation of architectural character with contemporary demands, such as parking and security, the project not only restored Pedregulho to its former glory but also empowered residents to take ownership of their living environment. This successful restoration effort stands as a testament to the importance of community engagement in preserving cultural heritage for future generations.

Date

  • 2010: Construction
  • 2004: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • Pedregulho Neighbors Association
  • Architect: Alfredo Britto
  • Promotor: Companhia Estadual de Habitação do Rio de Janeiro

Location

Continent: South America
City: Rio de Janeiro
Country/Region: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

Description

Constructed between 1946 and 1948 in São Cristóvão, a neighborhood north of Rio de Janeiro, the Pedregulho Housing Complex provided 522 units for low-income municipal employees, featuring a comprehensive range of facilities and social services. Designed by architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy, the complex adhered to urban principles outlined by the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM), complemented by landscape design from renowned architect Burle Marx. Despite being a prominent example of modern Brazilian architecture, Pedregulho was part of a larger initiative by the Rio de Janeiro Department of People’s Housing, inspired by post-World War II British city reconstruction efforts. Inaugurated in 1950, the complex initially served as a relocation site for residents of informal settlements. However, by the 1960s and 1970s, neglect, disorderly occupation, and wear and tear led to its decline. Although recognized as a cultural monument in 1986, Pedregulho received minimal investment until 2002 when residents initiated a renovation campaign.

Led by the Pedregulho Neighbors Association and architect Alfredo Britto, the renovation efforts began in 2004 with the introduction of a Strategic Restoration Plan. TThe strategic guidelines encompassed several key aspects: maintaining the complex's architectural and urban character, adhering to its original intentions while restoring functionality, preserving existing materials and characteristics if compatible with proposed uses and restoration costs, and addressing contemporary demands and needs without compromising overarching restoration criteria. These contemporary demands include provisions for parking, television antennas, outdoor clotheslines, housing complex security, and garbage collection.

Restoration work commenced in 2010, addressing technical, social, and financial challenges, including residents' continued occupancy during renovation. To foster community involvement, job opportunities were provided to residents, with association leaders mediating between technical and resident concerns. Social workers facilitated ongoing dialogue and highlighted the complex's cultural value.

The restoration of Pedregulho reflects the broader need to revitalize existing housing complexes facing qualitative deficits over time. Community involvement was integral to the project's success, preventing unwanted gentrification and ensuring the active participation of original residents. A permanent maintenance committee further sustains resident engagement, underscoring their commitment to preserving their homes for the future.

Bilbao-Bolueta regeneration

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Bilbao-Bolueta regeneration

Mismatches Location Financing Functional adequacy Services Cultural suitability Diversity Climate change
Policies and regulations Local policies Land Building capacity Planning
Financing Public funding Land Based Finance
Promotion and production Public promotion Innovation Technology

Main objectives of the project

The urban regeneration initiative in Bolueta, spearheaded by VISESA and leveraging the natural landscape along the river, demonstrates a strategic approach to reclaiming degraded land for societal benefit. Through a blend of protected housing development and soil remediation, the project not only addresses housing needs but also fosters citizen engagement in decision-making, contributing to social cohesion and environmental sustainability. In fact, the social housing building is, today, the highest passivhouse in the world. Bolueta serves as a model for Bilbao's broader transformation strategy, exemplifying the city's shift from industrial decline to innovative urban development.

Date

  • 2018: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Constructor: Construcciones Sukia Eraikuntzak
  • Architect: German Velázquez
  • Promotor: VISESA

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Bilbao
Country/Region: Bilbao, Spain

Description

Bolueta, although well-connected to Bilbao, Spain, has long suffered from environmental degradation and neglect. The intervention in Bolueta represents a strategic urban regeneration effort aimed at reclaiming contaminated industrial land for the benefit of society. This operation combines the development of protected housing with soil remediation, presenting an opportunity to adapt existing residential and economic facilities while promoting citizen participation in decision-making.

The entity tasked with implementing and constructing the new public housing developments is VISESA, a public company under the Basque Government responsible for housing policy development. Established in 1992, VISESA has constructed 15,283 homes in the Basque Country, managing land and promoting sustainable social housing in line with Basque housing law. VISESA actively engages in urban renewal and housing rehabilitation to enhance accessibility and improve quality of life while promoting sustainable territorial development.

The solution proposes integrating Bolueta into Bilbao's urban, social, and environmental fabric, leveraging the river as a central element for natural landscape preservation and enhancement. The renovated space supports a social public housing program, with 608 out of 1100 homes designated as social public housing to address housing needs and contribute to social cohesion. The public housing project prioritizes energy efficiency, acoustic and thermal comfort, indoor air quality, and the use of natural and healthy building materials.

The primary positive impact on the community is the provision of 1100 new homes, including 608 social public housing units to address housing accessibility challenges. This development is the tallest passive house building in the world. The residential development has also created public spaces enriched with interconnected amenities, with 25,386.38m2 of pedestrian areas along the riverside promenade. The design improvements enhance accessibility, mobility, comfort, air quality, flood risk management, urban complexity, social cohesion, efficiency of urban services, green spaces, and biodiversity.

The social public housing units meet the Passive House quality standard, making them the highest certified buildings globally, recognized at the 22nd International Passive House Conference in 2018. The project's success has attracted national and international interest, with visits from delegations from countries such as India, Canada, and Colombia, as well as 800 professionals visiting nationally to learn from the Bolueta experience.

Bolueta exemplifies Bilbao's ongoing transformation. Once a city in decline in the 1980s, Bilbao's soil strategy has converted former industrial land into public space for top-tier services and social housing projects. Bilbao, rather than developing new costly developments is changing all the Nervion River bank to transform its city. With the surplus of transforming industrial land into new uses, they manage to invest in public housing or key infrastructure that the city need. This scheme has been worldwide recognized as a success.

Housing For The Fishermen Of Tyre, Beirut

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Housing For The Fishermen Of Tyre, Beirut

Mismatches Location Cultural suitability Diversity Vulnerable groups
Urban Design Quality Liveability Inclusion Equity
Promotion and production Cooperatives
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership

Main objectives of the project

In response to economic, social and cultural challenges of Tyre’s access to housing, the Al Baqaa Housing Cooperative was formed by fishermen, who secured land outside the city center with the help of the Greek Orthodox Church. Collaborating with architect Hashim Sarkis, they developed a housing project tailored to their needs, emphasizing equality among units and providing private outdoor spaces for all residents.

Date

  • 2008: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Architect: Hashim Sarkis
  • Promotor: Al Baqaa Housing Cooperative
  • Association for the Development of Rural Areas in Southern Lebanon (ADR)

Location

Continent: Asia
Country/Region: Lebanon, Tyre

Description

Tyre, an ancient coastal city situated south of Beirut, has grappled with maintaining its infrastructure amidst persistent chaos and conflict. Among the hardest-hit are the local fishermen, who have faced significant challenges due to the ongoing conflict with Israel, preventing them from engaging in deep-sea fishing. Despite being added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984 during the Lebanese Civil War, the city faced new regulations on coastal construction, leading to overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions for the fishermen.

In response to these challenges, the fishermen established the Al Baqaa Housing Cooperative and secured a parcel of land outside the historic city center through a donation from the Greek Orthodox Church. Collaborating with architect Hashim Sarkis, they developed a housing project tailored to their needs.

Given the unpredictable context and the distance from Tyre's residential neighborhoods, the housing complex's design incorporates a prominent building along the site perimeter. This building not only serves as a boundary but also organizes the surrounding streets and lots, creating internal roads and open spaces. Pedestrian circulation is facilitated through openings in the linear mass, creating variations in building volumes that blend with the surroundings.

The fishermen's primary concern was equality among units, particularly in terms of views and outdoor spaces. Consequently, the units were designed differently based on their location. The project comprises 80 two-bedroom units, each with approximately 925 sq. ft. of interior space and half that in private outdoor areas, organized into three types of housing blocks or clusters.

A defining feature of the project is the central open space, characterized by a rectilinear spiral arrangement of buildings surrounding it. This space includes paved areas, a shared water tank, and planted gardens, with trees marking entrance paths between buildings, enhancing the connection between the central space and external streets.

In a decade-long collaboration with the cooperative, Sarkis developed a modern housing system that accommodates the fishermen's needs and budget while fostering a sense of community. Through thoughtful architecture, landscaping, and urban planning, the project exemplifies the transformative potential of design in mitigating conflict while honoring community values.

Kampung Susun Produktif Tumbuh Cakung, Jakarta

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Kampung Susun Produktif Tumbuh Cakung, Jakarta

Mismatches Location Security Functional adequacy Services Vulnerable groups Climate change
Policies and regulations Regulation Participatory processes
Urban Design Services and infrastructure Environments Quality Liveability Inclusion Equity Participatory processes
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership

Main objectives of the project

In response to Jakarta's sinking crisis, Bukit Duri residents faced eviction in 2016. Deemed illegal, this sparked a movement led by Ciliwung Merdeka, empowering residents to demand their rights. The result? Kampung Susun—a cooperative where former residents manage their space, integrating living and economic activities, defying traditional public housing norms, and fostering community resilience and cohesion.

Date

  • 2020: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Constructor: PT. Jaya Konstruksi Manggala Pratama Tbk.
  • Architect: STUDIO AKANOMA
  • Promotor: Jakarta City Hall
  • Promotor: Ciliwung Merdeka

Location

Continent: Asia
Country/Region: Indonesia, Jakarta

Description

Jakarta is confronted with a significant threat: the city is sinking, resulting in more frequent floods and substantial portions of the city being submerged. The most vulnerable communities are bearing the brunt of this issue. In 2016, seventy families in Bukit Duri, Jakarta, were forcibly removed from their homes as part of efforts to address the city’s chronic flooding problems. However, the eviction was subsequently deemed illegal. In 2017, the State Administrative Court ruled that the eviction lacked legal justification and that the residents were entitled to compensation. Volunteers from the organization Ciliwung Merdeka collaborated with the residents, spanning from children to adults, to empower the community through various programs aimed at fostering solidarity and self-reliance. These initiatives encompassed educational programs for children, public health education, waste management, economic empowerment, art and culture education, disaster response and mitigation, as well as spatial planning and architecture. Additionally, they collectively advocated for government recognition that impoverished citizens deserved adequate living conditions and demonstrated that viable alternatives to eviction existed.

One such alternative materialized in the form of the Kampung Susun new residence and cooperative, where residents themselves assume responsibility for the neighborhood's upkeep. Tenants are not required to pay rent but are obligated to contribute a maintenance fee to the cooperative, which also has the capacity to provide residents with business capital. The design process began with identifying spaces tailored to the economic development needs of former Kampung Bukit Duri residents, the majority of whom are engaged in the informal business sector and own small enterprises. The design concept emulates the urban settlement model, featuring small houses with dedicated economic spaces, giving rise to the term "kampung susun." Notably, Kampung Susun stands out from Jakarta's conventional public housing projects, known as rusunawa, which typically lack provisions for business activities. Each residential unit in Kampung Susun encompasses both living and economic spaces, with communal areas on the ground floor enabling residents to engage in commerce. Additionally, residents have the opportunity to expand their living quarters vertically, facilitated by a mezzanine level within each unit.

Measuring 36 m2 in total, with 21 m2 designated for private use and 15 m2 allocated for business or workspace, each residential unit is designed to accommodate growth. This innovative approach to urban settlement, known as Kampung Susun Produktif Tumbuh, or growing, productive stacked kampong, addresses the challenges of densely populated urban environments and the limitations of traditional housing construction. Beyond serving as mere dwellings, Kampung Susun fosters a sense of community where residents can engage in economic activities and foster friendly interactions, recognizing the distinct characteristics of urban settlement inhabitants compared to those residing in the outskirts of the city.

The case is undoubtedly a resilient solution to an unprecedented climate problem. Bottom-up and from the community, it solves a huge challenge of obtaining public housing in an adverse context, promoting the productive economy of its residents.

Las Carolinas-Entrepatios, Madrid

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Las Carolinas-Entrepatios, Madrid

Mismatches Location Price Functional adequacy Services Diversity New family structures
Urban Design Modelos De Ciudad Environments Quality Liveability Inclusion Participatory processes
Promotion and production Private promotion Materials Self-management Self-promotion Cooperatives
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership

Main objectives of the project

Las Carolinas-Entrepatios is the first ecological building with right of use in Spain that has been built between the centre of Madrid and the suburbs. It is a cohousing project, which means that it is the neighbours, members of the cooperative, who, through a participatory decision-making process, have decided on everything from the ecological materials to be used in the construction of the building to what part of the budget will be allocated to the insulation of the building and the type of air conditioning, among other things. Communal spaces make up 15% of the building: a communal courtyard; a room that serves as a children’s play area and as a space for weekly food distribution; a garage with mainly bicycles; a room dedicated to housing a large cistern where rainwater is collected, treated and used for toilets and gardening, by drip; a workshop room where neighbours work with their hands; a communal laundry; and a rooftop dedicated to adult leisure. The child population accounts for almost half of the total, some twenty children between the ages of two and twelve. Las Carolinas cooperative is made up of the fifty-three people who live in its seventeen dwellings. Depending on the size of their dwelling, they have paid between 40,000 and 50,000 euros as a down payment, an amount that will be returned if they leave the cooperative and replaced by those who move in. The ownership of the building remains in the hands of the cooperative and its members use the homes, but never own them.

Date

  • 2020: Construction
  • 2016: En proceso

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Entrepatios
  • Architect: Lógica’Eco
  • Architect: TécnicaEco
  • Architect: sAtt

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Madrid
Country/Region: Madrid, Spain

Description

A few meters from the Manzanares River, in the neighborhood of Carolinas, in Orcasur (Usera), stands the first right-to-use collaborative housing building in the city of Madrid. This project, focused on environmental and community sustainability, has been conceived as a building with its own energy production and a very low energy demand, housing a community based on mutual support. The Las Carolinas development consists of 17 homes, inhabited by 32 adults and 20 children.

Usera, where this innovative building is located, is a peripheral municipality of Madrid that has faced social challenges, including difficulties of access to housing. Emerging from an active neighborhood movement, this project represents a radical, anti-speculative and accessible solution that integrates with the local community. In contrast to the dynamics of marginalization and privatization that have affected the neighborhood, the Entrepatios initiative aims to create inclusive spaces that strengthen the community fabric.
The system used involves a group of people forming a cooperative, which acquires the land and constructs the building. However, the residents do not own the land; instead, they only have the right to use the building as part of the cooperative. This approach prioritizes the use value of the building over land value speculation, offering a solution against gentrification and dispossession.

Since the acquisition of the site in 2016, the cooperative has navigated various forms of participation in the management of the process, with the collaboration of Lógica'Eco for technical aspects and the architectural design by the sAtt studio and TécnicaEco. Funding came from ethical banking and donations. The building, located on an elongated south-facing site, consists of 17 apartments with access through an outdoor corrala, which serves as a circulation and meeting space. Common spaces include first floor and attic space for various community activities, as well as a small workshop in the basement and a common laundry room.

In keeping with its commitment to climate change mitigation and resident comfort, the building prioritizes energy efficiency and comfort, especially in summer, through quality insulation and renewable energy generation. The garden is drip-fed, a rainwater cistern is provided for water savings, and the materials used prevent the release of volatile organic materials. A wooden structure is used. In order to have clean air, we will have a double-flow controlled mechanical ventilation system, which will prevent pollutants from entering from the outside thanks to a filter. This initiative seeks to reduce energy demand and promote a more sustainable lifestyle in a city increasingly affected by heat. The project has been certified with ECOMETRO and has been designed with high energy efficiency standards, incorporating renewable technologies such as solar panels on the roof.

The Entrepatios building is proof of the possibility of housing that is free from speculation, resilient to climate change, and fosters cooperative and communal living in a vulnerable neighborhood of a large metropolis.

Sitio Libis, Metro Manila

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Sitio Libis, Metro Manila

Mismatches Location Vulnerable groups Climate change
Policies and regulations Local policies Governance
Urban Design Liveability Inclusion Participatory processes
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Self-promotion Progressive housing Favelas/Slums
Ownership and tenure Property registry Land ownership

Main objectives of the project

Sitio Libis residents, threatened with eviction, engaged in a saving strategy with HPFPI's assistance to secure land tenure. They navigated government programs and partnered with TAMPEI for a negotiated re-blocking project, alleviating challenges like flooding and narrow streets. This case underscores the transformative potential of community-led initiatives bolstered by NGO and government collaboration in addressing social and environmental issues.

Date

  • 2019: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Architect: TAMPEI
  • HPFPI

Location

Continent: Asia
Country/Region: Philippines, Quezon City [Manila]

Description

For decades, the inhabitants of Sitio Libis dwelled informally on privately-owned land, lacking legal entitlement and facing constant eviction threats. In 2010, the landowner, a bank, issued a one-year ultimatum: purchase the land for 30 million Philippine pesos or face eviction. Fearing displacement, residents sought assistance from local authorities and contacted various organizations for help. The Homeless People's Federation of the Philippines (HPFPI) was the sole responder, offering a savings strategy to secure tenure.

Initially hesitant, the community eventually embraced collective saving as the optimal path to secure their tenure. With 1.5 million pesos saved, they approached "Homeless" (the federation) for an additional 1.5 million loan, enabling them to make the full 10% down payment on the land. This paved the way for the government's Community Mortgage Program (CMP), facilitating the land transfer to the community association, with the government covering the remaining balance under the CMP.

With secure tenure achieved, the community engaged in negotiations with the government to address settlement conditions. They faced acute shocks like perennial flooding, partly attributed to man-made factors such as factory interventions obstructing drainage channels. Additionally, tangled electrical wiring posed fire risks, compounded by narrow streets hindering emergency services' access. With newfound tenure rights, the community compelled government action.

To address these challenges, they initiated a reblocking project with TAMPEI's assistance, involving a comprehensive management plan. This included drainage improvement, solid waste management, road widening, and home upgrades. Negotiating the reblocking process, the community managed to minimize relocations and disruptions. It was a slow start, given regulatory road width requirements, but eventual amendments allowed for progress, supported by a 15 million peso grant from the National Government.

The re-blocking initiative necessitated the modification of houses to accommodate road widening, a process negotiated and overseen by the community to minimize displacement and disturbance. Initial progress was sluggish due to regulations mandating six-meter-wide access roads, significantly impacting housing space. Eventually, the city government relented, reducing the road width requirement to four meters, contingent on the installation of fire hydrants at strategic points, a process requiring four years for legal amendment.

It was another three years before the re-blocking endeavor commenced, aided by 15 million pesos secured from the National Government through HPFPI and TAMPEI support. This funding facilitated the relocation of displaced residents. Community members collaborated to ensure housing for all, exemplified by instances where homeowners sacrificed parts of their own homes to accommodate those in need or those whose houses were teared down because of the redesign of roads. The re-blocking efforts also encompassed improvements in drainage and electrical wiring to mitigate flooding and fire hazards.

The reblocking project exemplifies how community-led initiatives can drive positive transformation. However, it underscores the necessity of external support for significant change in low-income communities. In Sitio Libis, the collaborative efforts of NGOs, government entities, and the private sector were instrumental in facilitating positive community outcomes. While the community demonstrated self-mobilization in addressing natural and social challenges, their success was augmented by leveraging available support systems and programs provided by governmental and civil society organizations.

Family Housing Expansion Project (Minneapolis)

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Family Housing Expansion Project (Minneapolis)

Mismatches Price Diversity Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations Local policies Planning
Urban Design Environments Quality Liveability Inclusion
Promotion and production Public promotion

Main objectives of the project

In 2021, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) faced a substantial waitlist of more than 8,000 families seeking affordable housing. To meet the demand for two and three-bedroom units, MPHA launched the Family Housing Expansion Project. This initiative involves constructing 84 new deeply affordable housing units spread across residential neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The project capitalizes on the Minneapolis City Council's decision to eliminate single-family zoning, as outlined in the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. By replacing single-family or duplex homes, MPHA aims to bolster the supply of missing middle housing and affordable units, aligning with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. The Family Housing Expansion Project utilizes modular construction techniques to build 16 small multifamily buildings. Each building comprises four to six two or three-bedroom units. Of these units, 64 are designated for households earning at or below 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), while the remaining 20 units cater to residents with incomes up to 60 percent of AMI, helping to mitigate displacement. Completion of the buildings is anticipated by late summer 2023.

Date

  • 2023: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA)
  • Architect: DJR
  • Constructor: Frerichs Construction
  • Constructor: RISE Modular

Location

Continent: North America
Country/Region: Minneapolis [Saint Paul], United States of America

Description

Minneapolis has adopted a bold approach to realize its housing objectives under the Minneapolis 2040 plan, envisioning a city with increased affordability and density. An innovative measure taken involves the elimination of single-family zoning, creating opportunities for constructing new affordable housing in areas previously designated for single-family residences. However, the pressing need to address the lengthy waitlist for public or affordable housing prompted swift action. In response, the Family Housing Expansion Project was initiated.

The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) focused its strategy for this project on achieving efficiency and speed while adhering to stringent housing quality standards. To execute this strategy, MPHA collaborated with its procurement office to issue a two-part Request for Proposals (RFP) for both a project design team and a construction team.

Following the submission and evaluation of initial proposals, MPHA selected the three highest-ranking teams, encompassing both traditional and modular construction methods, to develop schematic designs and cost estimates. This process enabled a comparative analysis between modular and traditional construction methods, revealing that modular construction best aligned with the project's scattered-site approach and objectives.

Modular construction was projected to be 33 percent faster than traditional methods, minimizing disruptions for tenants. Additionally, it proved to be 13 to 22 percent less expensive and generated less waste. Given these advantages, MPHA chose a team comprising modular manufacturer RISE Modular, general contractor Frerichs Construction, and architecture and interior design firm DJR. Together, MPHA and its chosen team evaluated 22 potential sites throughout the city for new housing. Factors such as zoning constraints, parking availability, and suitability for modular construction were considered in selecting the most viable sites. Ultimately, 16 sites were chosen for the development of small apartment buildings featuring two or three-bedroom units.

Community engagement was a key aspect of the project, with MPHA actively involving neighborhood groups and residents in the design and construction processes. Meetings were held with residents impacted by the project, allowing them to provide feedback and select interior finishes for the units. Concerns raised by stakeholders, such as parking availability and the impact of construction on existing residents, were addressed by the project team. Measures were taken to maximize off-street parking and provide relocation benefits to temporarily displaced residents. Furthermore, existing tenants were assured the right to return to a new unit once completed.

Of the 84 units in the Family Housing Expansion Project, 16 will be accessible units, and 17 will cater to high-priority homelessness cases with services funded by Hennepin County. Long-term affordability will be ensured through project-based vouchers, with residents paying 30 percent of their incomes for the units.

The Arroyo, Santa Monica

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The Arroyo, Santa Monica

Mismatches Location Functional adequacy Diversity Climate change
Policies and regulations Local policies Planning
Financing Financial actors
Urban Design Environments Quality Liveability
Promotion and production Private promotion

Main objectives of the project

Santa Monica's efforts to tackle its housing crisis and mitigate climate change converge in projects like the Arroyo. The city's commitment to affordable housing is evident in its mandate to create over a thousand new units annually, with a focus on affordability. The Arroyo exemplifies this mission, providing 64 units tailored to different income levels and incorporating sustainable design elements like photovoltaic cells and natural ventilation. Its recognition with prestigious awards like the 2020 LEED Homes award demonstrates its success in marrying affordability with environmental responsibility, serving as a model for future developments amidst California's dual challenges of housing and climate.

Date

  • 2019: Construction
  • 2020: Ganador

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Community Corp.
  • Constructor: Benchmark Contractors
  • Architect: Koning Eizenberg Architecture
  • John Labib + Associates

Location

Continent: North America
Country/Region: Los Angeles, United States of America

Description

The affordable housing crisis in Santa Monica mirrors that of California as a whole, with over half of households spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent. The city also faces the daunting task of meeting the goals set in the 2021 regional housing needs allocation (RHNA): planning for an average of 1,109 new housing units annually for the next 8 years, with over two-thirds of them designated as affordable. This year's allocation represents a substantial increase compared to the previous RHNA cycle. To tackle this challenge, Santa Monica has implemented aggressive measures, including inclusionary housing (IH) regulations, to encourage the development of affordable housing units. Simultaneously, the city grapples with the climate crisis, experiencing higher average temperatures and prolonged droughts. In response, Santa Monica devised its 2019 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, incorporating strategies to achieve carbon neutrality in buildings. Recent housing projects in the city, such as the 64-unit Arroyo developed by the Community Corporation of Santa Monica, epitomize this dual focus on sustainability and affordability.

The Arroyo, a five-story building featuring two parallel wings connected by bridges on each floor, boasts a central courtyard that follows the path of the former arroyo, now replaced by a stormwater drain. This courtyard extends into a basketball half-court and picnic area with covered activity space. Additionally, indoor spaces cater to residents' needs, providing a vibrant community atmosphere. Two community rooms host various free programs, including fitness classes, financial management courses, and computer training sessions. Tailored programs for younger residents, such as afterschool homework assistance and college readiness courses, further enrich the community experience.

The genesis of the Arroyo lies in the city's housing and planning regulations applied to 500 Broadway, a downtown development proposed by DK Broadway in 2013. Subject to city requirements mandating affordable units or contributions towards affordable housing elsewhere, DK Broadway opted to provide a site for affordable housing a few blocks away, subsequently transferred to the Community Corporation. The financial backing, including low-income housing tax credits and loans from Bank of America, facilitated the Arroyo's development without city or state funding.

Sustainable design features are integral to the Arroyo's ethos. Natural airflow facilitated by the courtyard, bridges, and open-air corridors promotes ventilation and cooling without increasing energy demand. Photovoltaic cells and solar water heating panels harness Southern California's abundant sunshine, while high-albedo roofs and window shades mitigate excessive sun exposure. Proximity to amenities and a Metro light rail station encourages car-free living, supported by onsite bicycle parking and electric vehicle chargers. These sustainable elements, coupled with affordability, earned the Arroyo recognition, including a 2020 LEED Homes award from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Arroyo's accolades extend beyond sustainability, with awards such as the AIA National Housing Award (2021) and the Jorn Utzon Award (2020) underscoring its architectural and societal significance.