CLAUDIA KLEFFMANN M.S. Architecture and Urban Design
" I n t h e e n d we wi l l co n se r v e o n l y wh a t w e love , we wi l l l o v e o n l y wh a t we u n de r st a n d, a n d we wi l l u n de r st a n d o n l y wh a t we a r e tau g ht. " Ba ba Di o u m , 1 9 6 8
- TRAVERSING THE GORGE
- WASTE FRONT
Spring - Addis Ababa
Fall - Hudson Valley
Summer - New York City
DEFINITION OF CATALYZE 1: t o b r i ng ab out t he c at al ys i s of ( a c he m i c al r e ac t i on) “an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of the sugars”
2: BR I N G A BO UT , I N S PI R E “his vigorous efforts to catalyze us into activity”
— Har r i s on Br ow n 3: t o al t e r s i gni fi c ant l y b y or as i f b y c at al ys i s “innovations in basic chemical theory that have catalyzed the field”
— Newsweek (M er r i am Webs ter )
TRAVERSING THE RIFT
making use of the current street life and vibrancy
to ensure an incremental improvement of the area
while introducing a new approach for Addis Ababa
to turn back to its rivers
GREAT RIFT VALLEY
The spring semester focused on the Great Rift Valley and three cities located along it: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Addis Ababa and Beira. These cities live at the edge of a conflicting rift which is also suffering from a constant international pressure to develop under foreign standards. Zooming into Piazza, a vibrant neighborhood within Addis Ababa, we find a micro-Rift, splitting the neighborhood in two. Similarly to the bigger Rift Valley scale, this neighborhood is also witnessing the constant pressure from rapid urbanization and international push to invest in generic projects along the river. As a summary of this Semesterâ€™s project, this Parti Diagram shows 3 traverses that will stitch both sides of Piazza back together.
GRADIENTS OF STREETS As we explore the site, we come across a gradient of str eets, marked by their historic backgrounds. During the brief period of Italian occupation, broad boulevard-type avenues were introduced, leaving an urban fabric with heavy traffic that hosts dense com mercial activities. Next, a worker’s neighborhood that dates back to the founding of Addis Ababa, is made of a very dense fabric of small str eets which are populated with domestic activities. Finally, across the river, a period of modern urbanization leaves a quiet neighborhood with almost no street activities.
STREETS AS UNITS OF CHANGE
Due to its important presence in the urban fabric but also in peopleâ€™s lives, the street becomes the unit that will drive change in this community. But first we recognize that streets are not isolated moments, since
stormwater management, sewage systems and public spaces. In addition to this, the local street dynamics bring value to the neighborhood, so we established them as our design principles for our interventions in Piazza. In
strengthen the vibrant street life of piazza, while improving the lives of those who live in the kebele housing along the gorge.
STEWARDSHIP THROUGH A GENERATION OF CHANGE
Local stewardship will be the foundation of the different interventions which will be organized by a cooperative that will be in charge of the three major layers towards street improvement: water
training. The Co-Op Hub branches will be established with government funding as the beginning of a symbiosis between government and community. These Hubs will become the Co-op administrative and empowerment centers where knowledge and support is shared throughout the community over a generation of change.
THREE TRAVERSES AND THREE CO-OP HUBS
The 3 branches of Co-Op hubs will be
traverses that cross the gorge. Each travers will be composed of a Hub, a crossing point and a number of interventions along it. The first traverse (1-5) will Increase commerce opportunity for locals, while
Improve the kebele housing street infrastructure filtration
and sewage management. The third traverse (11-15) will empower the local community through cooperative stewardship and construction training.
THREE CO-OP HUBS
The different interventions along the traverses will trickle down and benefit from the presence of the Co-Op Hubs. The commerce Hub will allow for the strong commercial sector of the neighborhood to work cooperatively to improve their businesses, but also to clean the river and improve the area in order to attract more local and international visitors and tourism. The Water Filtration Hub will work as a natural system to clean stormwater and sewage coming from the Worker’s neighborhood, which currently lacks this bas ic infrastructure. This low cost and locally managed system will be introduced incrementally, together with the gradual improvement and densification of the Worker’s neighborhood. This will happen in collaboration with the Construction Hub, where locals will learn a rich combination of modern and native techniques for construction, allowing them to take ownership of their neighborhood. The three Hubs will not work independently, but will rather benefit from cross collaboration, planification and exchange of knowledge, enhancing the neighborhood’s capacity to improve their own site.
WATER FILTRATION HUB
CONSTRUCTION TRAINING HUB
HAILE SELASSIE STREET DENSIFICATION Haile Selassie Streetâ€™s strong commercial character will be enhanced through the reduction of cars to a minimum, improvement of streetscape and by densifying the buildings. By improving the streetscape, the local economy will profit, allowing for the residents or the Workerâ€™s neighborhood to take care of their houses and the gorge, eventually allowing for a better connection to the gorge, finally enhancing their life quality and experience.
As commerce in the area improves and locals are more capable of improving their homes, the Workerâ€™s neighborhood will gradually densify areas as well as rebuild small family homes to provide basic infrastructure for a better quality of life and security. These improvements will be guided by the construction Hub, working in collaboration with local labor and exchange materials with surrounding agricultural fields of Addis Ababa, introducing vernacular materials with new building techniques. This gradual improvement will include the betterment of the streets, making them permeable for flash floods, creating shared spaces for laundry, toilets and public spaces for neighbourly exchanges.
INTERVENTION DIVERSITY Throughout interventions
address small but important issues. From up-cycling discarded plastic found in the river to produce locally handcrafted shading structures, to temporary infill structures to occupy the empty streets of the condo side. The
together and improving their livelihoods.
EMBRACING ADDIS ABABA’S RIVERS
While some areas can tap into existing sewage infrastructure, some are out of reach or lack accessibility due to the street density. However, filtration terraces and ponds will treat
coming from these areas, like the Worker’s
an even better solution which uses local
spaces and can be mantained by the local community. Finally empowering Piazza’s residents to forge their future.
HUDSON VALLEY FARMS
making use of the great amount of small farms in
the Hudson Valley, their diversity and livestock
availability to sequester carbon and empower agri-
culture to lead the fight against climate change
FARMERS LEAD THE FIGHT
Farming is the DNA of the Hudson Valley and as such, there is a very large
businesses. These hold the power to absorb huge quantities of carbon dioxide into the ground, making the m key
cli mate change. Building upon and enhancing
farms, farmers can collaborate in the ex change of knowledge, tools and rotation of livestock to maintain the soil healthy and absorbing Co2. By doing so, we can create a growing network of trails that will allow farmers to benefit from collaboration and a better and more connected rural ex perience.
HEALTHY FARMING TO SEQUESTER CARBON Worldwide, Agriculture gets blamed for contributing high amounts of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) to the environment. Yet, what is important to highlight is that agriculture is not really to be blamed, but instead the farming practices that we humans have adopted. With the use of pesticides, industrial feedlots, bad manure management and land tillage, we are damaging the environment and the health of our population. However, agriculture holds a powerful tool: with better farming practices that allow for the soil to regenerate, we are capable to sequester huge amounts of GHG from the environment, creating a Carbon Sink.
NETWORK OF TRAILS AND LIVESTOCK ROTATION After understanding what Regenerative Agriculture means we proposed to use livestock as a tool that can be shared for improving farming practices. We propose a space in the form of a farm corridor that taps into a diversity of farms allowing for farmers to connect with each other, either moving livestock or sharing resources. Through the use of livestock, stomping, feeding, defecating and spreading manure we can reduce tillage and the use of fertilizers. More importantly this path will allow livestock movement, but also the creation of a network of trails as public space connecting the farmers to towns and the towns to the farmers.
EDUCATION: HEALTHY FARMING PRACTICES
COMMERCE: LOCAL PRODUCE
SOCIAL: LOCAL NETWORKING
PEOPLE AND LIVESTOCK
Opportunity to sell, exchange or share produce or resources Shared livestock path when requires
Low maintenance materials
Multipurpose shelters for farmers and shepers
Seating areas and bike stations located along the path
Closer to urban areas the path can change its character to a more formal path
PICNIC MARKET: SHOP AND EAT
BIKE STATION: REST AND PUMP
FARMER SHELTER: HOLDING AREA
A JUST TRANSITION FOR ALL FARMERS A transition towards healthy farming practices can sometimes be more complex than expected, which is why a new Co-operative will ensure a just transition for farmers and guide them towards Regenerative agricultural practices. The system proposed will not only create a great variety of new jobs in the area, but it will also reduce farm operation overheads, lower mortality rates of livestock and due to a newly acquired quality, even
CARBON CAPTURE INCENTIVES
increase margins at markets. It will guide new and transitioning farmers and over the course of two years they will have improved their profits by 30%. MAINTENANCE JOBS AND NEW CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS
TOP DOWN FUNDING A new Co-operative is established to manage Regenerative Netwrok
SELL FARM MACHINERY
SILVOPASTURE AND ALLEY CROPS
CONSTRUCTION AND TRAINING
NITROGEN TAX PENALTIES
INDUSTRIAL FARMER NEW FARMER
A JUST TRANSITION ECONOMIC MODEL
PROFITS UP +30%
PLANNING AND INVESTMENT EARLY AGROBUSINESS RETURNS
PLAN AND COMMENCE CHANGES
GROWTH AND RETURNS
PATH IMPLEMENTATION AND TOP DOWN FUNDING
WORKSHOPPING THROUGH THE HUDSON VALLEY
As any co-operative driven group, workshopping will be key to the success of a project like this. Due to its complexity, education and campaigning is necessary to convince farmers that the changes are for good. It will also be key to include all populations aside from farmers, since the trail will also benefit them through new public spaces. As part of the workshop, a simplified board game will raise important qu estions for debate and also emphasize the huge importance of collaborative work, i nstead of individualism.
making use of an existing sorting facility located on
one of the last industrial waterfronts of NYC to
embrace its industrial history and bring back a strong identity
FINDING VALUE IN WASTE
By tapping into an existing sorting facility located in Sunset Park, this project proposes a Green Waste System that will manage and recycle waste at NYC scale, creating an asset and new Industrial Waterfront typologie that will give back to the community, not only in terms of infrastructure, public spaces, education and clean energy, but also with a new waterfront identity.
SUNSET PARK’S ASSETS
Sunset Park has an underutilized waterfront with great potential. It is one of the last industrial waterfronts and falls under the category of an IBZ (industrial Business Zone). It hosts a number of NYC properties that are being underutilized and has great connectivity via Highway, Rail and Water to the rest of New York.
1 2 3
SOUTH BROOKLYN MARINE TERMINAL $ 115 million investment in infrastructure
$ 136 million investment for Made in NYC
BROOKLYN ARMY TERMINAL
90 acres of space available for anchor tenant
One of the main opportunities is the SIMS recycling facilities which is cur-
rently not working at full capacity. This facility is one of the biggest waste
sorting facilities in the US: it receives waste and sorts it for later recycling.
educational programs and 20% of its energy is renewable. It receives 100% of
NYC’s residential recyclable waste, but this only represents 25% of NYC’s Waste Stream, and the remaining 75% is Commercial Waste. The DSNY only gathers Residential Waste, while the remaining is left to Private Companies, generating a huge amount of tr uck traffic. Only 22% of Commercial Waste gets recycled and this happens scattered all over the city in small facilities, costing a lot of money and polluting do to its distribution.
HOW CAN RECYCLING BE MAXIMIZED? HOW CAN THE SYSTEM BE MORE EFFICIENT?
The waterfront will locate a number of processes in one specific area, reducing transportation, money and time invested in recycling. For this we propose to use the existing NYC Infrastructure, creating 5 main areas that will take care of: Sorting, Recycling, Warehousing, Manufacturing and Energy production. Finally, the exchanges and flows within the areas will be carried out with the existing rail infrastructure, which then connects to city-wide transport systems.
WAREHOUSING + DISTRIBUTION
The collected waste will arrive at Sunset Parkâ€™s Waterfront into the SIMS facility for sorting. The system will handle 100% Residential Recyclable Waste and 50% Commercial Recyclable Waste. Then it will flow into the different recyclin g facilities to be processed. Then it can be stored in the existing Warehouse (SBMT) until it gets purchased and sent through Highway, Rail or Water to another location. But this material can also be reintroduced into the Manufacturing areas of Sunset Park at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. In fact, in can serve the growing industry of textile production and food packaging, giving them a green character. Finally, 13% of all the waste that goes into the SIMS facility never gets recycled because of its composition (non-recyclable) and gets sent to landfill . Therefore, we propose to close the loop by introducing a sustainable Incineration plant that burns waste without polluting the air instead of using landfills, that will in fact produce cleaner air and enough energy to provide for 37% of Sunset Parks Households.
A CITY WIDE NETWORK
In order for the whole system to work, all the waste has to arrive at Sunset Park’s Waterfront in an efficient and non-pollutant way. Therefore, we ident ify different types of existing infrastructure that connect the city and use these to propose a pneumatic tube waste system that can transport waste without affecting the ci ty in a negative way, creating a Network that covers New York’s 5 Boroughs. We then propose different Collection I-495
Points along the way that will serve specific neighborhoods. This system will work together with the DSNY and the policy introduced by them to regulate Private Carters, to gather waste with Truck services in specific areas, reducing truck traffic
NY STATE ROUTE 440 MTA STATEN ISLAND RAILWAY
CHANGING THE NEGATIVE CONNOTATION OF WASTE
In order to avoid a negative connotation of waste in this Waterfront we need to engage with the community, spreading knowledge about good waste management, new public spaces and local opportunities to incorporate these areas into the neighborhood. Using the existi ng rail infrastructure for the transportation of people in order to connect the different activities located in this axis, as well as alo ng the waterfront (1st Ave), serves the waste system through mobility of waste and products, but also people. Some older train carriages can also be used as flexible market spaces, located on the tracks. In the surrounding areas of the Incineration Plant, we can find Murals, Boulder areas, Skate Park and we use canopies that provide shade and light at different times of the day.
EDUCATION ON WASTE
R EC Y C L I N G A R EA
T R A N S P O RTA TION + S T O R A GE
A DM IN ISTRA TION + EDUCA TION
PN EUM A TIC TUB ES IN TERA CTIV E PA THW A Y
In the Recycling Area within the SBMT (South Brooklyn Marine Terminal), we will include educational programs, following the SIMS model, to create awareness regarding the collection
processes. In order to do this, we are proposing to equip these industrial
spaces which at the same time act as a transition from the rigid industrial area to the street. With an elevated pat h for the pneumatic tube we create different interactive moments, making the process fun and educational.
BRING WASTE. BRING VALUE This whole System of waste treatment and public spaces will give a green character to the neighborhood through recycling and clean energy and it will provide jobs, education, public spaces and free energy, creating more value for the local community.
CLAUDIA KLEFFMANN M.S. Architecture and Urban Design