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CONTEXT The central sand ridge that acts as the spine of the expanding city also forms the division line for runoff water. In the west the sand ridge slopes down gradually, draining rainwater towards the Infulene valley. A number of topographic intradune depressions aligned with the ridge however act as natural stormwater retention basins along the way, trapping the runoff water for a certain amount of time after which it infiltrates into the ground, hereby recharging the water aquifers. Although the soil in the depressions consists of very fine white sand [Vicente et al., 2006] which usually allows a steady water infiltration, floodproblems still regularly occur in the lowest areas due to a high groundwater table during the wet season, depending on the frequency and intensity of the rain showers. Although the abundance of water in the depressions often causes all kinds of discomforts to its residents, it could at the same time offer a great potential for smallscale agriculture provided that this is triggered by a minimal infrastructural operation. The reason these unfavorable areas remain popular to the poorest social class is simple: they are the closest available areas to the city centre, on which a large percentage of the population still depends to generate an income. Proximity of a residence to the centre thus prevails over the landscape logic. Even during the colonial era available land around the perimeter of

the cimento consolidated quickly. Mafalala, one of the oldest suburbs of Maputo, is located in the intradune depression closest to the centre [1]. As one of the denser neighbourhoods in the city the urbanization made agriculture here impossible except for some banana and papaya plants that are cultivated on individual plots for own consumption. Recurring floods led to the implementation of the extensive hierarchical drainage system in the 1960s. Now, 50 years and a exponential urban growth later, the same problem reoccurs in the peri-urban areas, where the tissue gets more and more consolidated eventually leading to the occupation of the second big depression around bairro Magoanine A [2]. This chapter aims to learn from the Mafalala case and reinvent its physical implementation in a way that makes the problematic water cycle sustainable and incorporates the safeguarding of available land for urban agriculture before all the available space is consumed by the encroaching tissue. The rapid expansion of the city and the peri-urban areas in particular is projected to continue for many years to come. The following design intervention might therefore be an interesting precedent for development by the time the third depression around the town of Marracuene [3] gets absorbed by the urbanization due to the insatiable desire for land.

Project Area

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II Water Strategies

Vision on an infrastructural intervention in the depression, see book II

Dealing with Unresolved Water Cycles in the Expanding City: An Urban Design Investigation on Maputo  

Master Thesis Project in Architecture and Urbanism, KULeuven 2013-2014

Dealing with Unresolved Water Cycles in the Expanding City: An Urban Design Investigation on Maputo  

Master Thesis Project in Architecture and Urbanism, KULeuven 2013-2014

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