A FRAMEWORK FOR
EMPOWERMENT Leveraging Urban Design to Repair and Revitalize the Informal Settlement of ‘Villa 31’ in Buenos Aires
Praveen Raj Ramanthan Mohanraj
Master of Urban Design ‘17
Signature Page This Master of Urban Design Professional Report of Praveen Raj Ramanathan Mohanraj, titled â€˜A Framework for Empowermentâ€™, is approved Committee Chair: Harrison S. Fraker Signature __________________________________ __________________________________ ______________ Date _________________ Committee Member: Peter C. Bosselmann Signature __________________________________ __________________________________ ______________ Date _________________ Committee Member: Allan B. Jacobs Signature __________________________________ __________________________________ ______________ Date _________________
A Project done by
: Praveen Raj Ramanathan Mohanraj
Span of the project : 1 year Thesis committee
: Professor Harrison Fraker(chair) Professor Peter C. Bosselmann Professor Allan B. Jacobs
Date of submission : September 2017 Aerial View30th of â€˜Villa 31â€™ slum in Buenos Aires. Source: Urban Hell/Reddit.com
“A Framework for Empowerment” Leveraging Urban Design to Repair and Revitalize the Informal Settlement of ‘Villa 31’ in Buenos Aires
A Professional Project Report by Praveen Raj Ramanathan Mohanraj Master of Urban Design 2016-2017 College of Environmental Design University of California, Berkeley September 2017
Acknowledgements First and foremost, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to my committee: Professor Harrison S. Fraker, Professor Peter C. Bosselmann and Professor Allan B. Jacobs for their continued support and mentorship in the field of Urban Design. It has been an incredible year of new experiences and learning. I also extend my gratitude to the MUD faculty: Ar. John G. Ellis, Professor Christopher Calott and Lecturer Stefan Pellegrini for their unstinting support and constructive critiques. Not to forget, the people who stood by me through this entire year by being such wonderful friends, the class of MUD 2016-2017. This journey wouldn’t have been the same without you all, there is so much I take on a personal and professional level from each of you. Also, a big thank you to my parents and my friend Manushi Jain, for being my pillars of strength and giving me so much loving support. Finally, I couldn’t have done this project without the assistance from Ar. Javier Fernández Castro of FADU; and Ar. Ignacio Perotti from ‘Secretaría de Integración Social y Urbana’ Buenos Aires, who welcomed me so warmly to their country and shared resources about this project that helped accomplish my professional thesis. I would like to dedicate this project to the people of Villa 31 whom I met during my travels, they inspired me by their cultural diversity and yet living in harmony, striving and surviving so gracefully.
Abstract Around the world, the cities in developing economies are confronting the repercussions of rapid Urbanization. The majority of the urban population impacted by the fallout are the ‘economically poor’ and the ‘working class’ dwelling in the core of a city. The eventuality is either the relocation of the ‘urban poor’ to the fringes of the city or the proliferation of informal/squatter settlements within the old city cores. The “Villa 31” in the heart of Buenos Aires, Argentina is one such informal settlement which has been battling for its existence for the past seven decades. The immigrant settlement having resisted several ‘eradication drives’ is finally going to be revitalized and repaired by the public administration’s urbanization plan through the initiative called ‘Treinta y Todos 2009’. The research project undertaken not only works in parallel with the initiative’s vision but also strives to augment the vision to create self-sustaining communities. Further, the research project critically investigates the ‘Top Down’ urban design schemes generated through the urbanization plan. The project, “A Framework for Empowerment” tangentially proposes an ‘Urban Repair’ framework that aims to poise between the city driven ‘Top Down’ and community driven ‘Bottom up’ design approaches. The proposed design framework also aims at capitalizing the ‘Urban scavenging’ and recycling practice of “The Cartoneros” as an impetus to drive the revitalization of the settlement. This would include production of building materials for construction of housing, reinforcement of public realm and re-connection of the settlement to the formal city. The proposal will formalize and upscale the waste recycling industry as an economic generator to aid in the social development of the people in the settlement. Key Words: Revitalization, Self-sustaining, Empowerment, Bottom up urbanism, Urban scavenging, Waste Recycling, The Cartoneros, Economic development, Social development
TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Preface 1.2 Observations from around the World 1.3 Preliminary Research Questions 1.4 Significance of the Research Topic
03 04 06 06
Chapter 2.0 INTRODUCTION TO THE AREA OF RESEARCH 2.1 The Villas of Buenos Aires 2.2 Project Site: “Villa 31” 2.3 The Cartoneros of Buenos Aires 2.4 The Relevance of the Selected Site
09 11 13 13
Chapter 3.0 THESIS STATEMENT AND SITE VISIT 3.1 Thesis Statement 3.2 Project Goals and Objectives 3.3 Site Visit and Data Collection
17 17 19
Chapter 4.0 SITE ANALYSIS 4.1 The History of Evolution 4.2 The Surrounding Context 4.3 The Physicality of the Neighborhood 4.4 Land Use 4.5 Demographics of the Villa 4.6 Demographics of the Cartoneros 4.7 Comparative Urban Morphology Analysis 4.8 Urban Morphology Analysis 1 – Figure Ground 4.9 Urban Morphology Analysis 2 – Street Network 4.10 Urban Morphology Analysis 3 – Open Space Network 4.11 Urban Morphology Analysis 4 – Public Transit and Accessibility 4.12 Urban Morphology Analysis 5 – Typical Block and Building Typologies 4.13 Urban Morphology Analysis 6 – Street Character 4.14 Urban Climatological Analysis 4.15 Analysis of “Barrio 31” Proposal 4.16 Analysis of Planned and Future proposals for Villa 31
23 25 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 36 37 39 42
Chapter 5.0 CASE STUDIES 5.1 Curitiba, Brazil - The Transaction by Mayor Jaime Lerner 5.2 Dharavi, Mumbai - A Recycling Miracle 5.3 Previ Experimental Housing, Lima - The Self Build Housing 5.4 Quinta Monroy Housing, Chile - The Incremental Housing 5.5 Conceptos Plásticos, Columbia - Lego, Plastic Houses
45 47 49 53 54
Chapter 6.0 THE URBAN DESIGN FRAMEWORK 6.1 Structure of the Framework 6.2 The Objectives of the Framework 6.3 Urban Scavenging as an Impetus
57 57 58
Chapter 7.0 REHABILITATE (DESIGN SECTION -1) 7.1 The Intent of ‘REHABILITATE’ 7.2 The Relocation Plan 7.3 Relocation Phases - 1 and 2 7.4 Phase-3 Augmentation of Existing Housing 7.5 Modular, Flexible and Self - Build Housing 7.6 Housing Typology 1 - Row Houses 7.7 The Incremental Strategy 7.8 The Balance between ‘Top - Down’ and ‘Bottom - Up’ Urbanisms 7.9 Housing Typologies 2,3 - Core Buildings
63 63 65 67 69 71 75 79 81
Chapter 8.0 REINFORCE (DESIGN SECTION -2) 8.1 The Intent of ‘REINFORCE’ 8.2 Phase 1,2 - Introverted Cultural Spaces 8.3 Phase 3 – Introverted Cultural Spaces 8.4 The Rationale Behind Informal Open Spaces
85 87 89 91
Chapter 9.0 RECONNECT (DESIGN SECTION -3) 9.1 The Intent of ‘RECONNECT’ 9.2 Recycling the Urban Highway 9.3 The Recycling Industry 9.4 The Spine Through the Diagonal 9.5 Father Mugica Memorial and Park
95 96 103 104 105
Drawing: MASTERPLAN Plan of Villa 31 Aerial View of Villa 31
Chapter 10 CONCLUSION 10.1 The Empowerment 10.2 The Urban Sink
1.1 Preface The world is experiencing a historically unprecedented transformation from predominantly rural to urban living. In 2050 city dwellers are expected to account for more than two-thirds of the worldâ€™s population. Although it is legitimate that urbanization stimulates the economic development of a country, it has its own adverse impacts on the metropolitan regions of the developing countries. One major concern engendered by rapid urbanization is the proliferation of slums or squatter settlements in the urban domains of these countries. One billion people or one third of the worldâ€™s population is estimated to be living in either slum or squatter settlements. Fig 1.0, shows the percentage of slum population in each country across the world. Table 1.1 shows the number of slum dwellers in the Mega-cities of the world
Fig 1.0 Percentage of world slum population. Source: UN-HABITAT, Global Urban Observatory, 2001
Fig 1.1 Number of Slum dwellers as of 2015. Source: UN-HABITAT
1.2 Observations from around the World â€œNot Necessarily poor, but rich in many aspectsâ€? In spite of the adverse consequences of the proliferation of the slums, they are beneficial in many aspects to growing economy. Development specialists and slum dwellers themselves argue that slums have assets along with their obvious shortcomings. Their humming economic activity and proximity to city centers represent big advantages over the subsistence farming that many slum dwellers have fled. Numerous observers have noted the enterprising spirit of these places, evident not only in their countless tiny businesses, but also in the constant upgrading and expansion of homes. Longstanding slum communities tend to be much more tight-knit than many prosperous parts of the developed world, where neighbors hardly know one another.
Indeed, slums embody many of the principles frequently invoked by urban designers: They are walkable, high-density, and mixed-use. The buildings are often made of materials that would otherwise be piling up in landfills, and slums are by some measures exceptionally ecologically friendly. Some of the very old slums may have some historical and cultural value for the unique characteristics it still has from a past era: old structures, trades, or even lifestyles of inhabitants.
Fig1.2 Collage of diverse activities in a slum
Fig 1.3 A shanty town at Barangay Tangos, Manila Bay, Philippines. Photographed by Bernhard Lang
1.3 Preliminary Research Questions Around the world, the cities in developing economies are facing the repercussions of rapid urbanization. The majority of the urban population impacted by the fallout are the ‘economically poor’ and the ‘working class’ dwelling in the core of a city. The process has resulted in either the relocation of the ‘urban poor’ to the fringes of the city from their culturally rich historic neighborhoods or has resulted in the proliferation of informal/squatter settlements within the old core of the city. Both the scenarios have only led to exacerbation of the already existing list of urban issues these cities were facing. On the other hand, the slums and the economically weaker sections living in the urban core of a city are also a significant economic force. In many cities, as much as 60 percent of employment is in the informal sector of the urban population. On the contrary, it is observed that there is always a constant thrust by various agencies including the state authorities to eradicate these squatter settlements as they are considered unpropitious to a developing urban scenario. The argument poses critical questions for urban designers and planners to address in tackling the issue at stake.
settlement affordable and accessible to the poor in the urban core of cities, where competition for land and profits is intense. The people living in these shanty towns also embrace a significant cultural and a socio-economic attachment to their neighborhoods. Earlier attempts of re-location and eradication around the world, have informed us the illegitimacy of those two approaches. To add to that, they have eventually lead to other concerns relating to urban sprawl, long vehicular commutes, gentrification, contraction of blue collar work forces, loss of cultural identity etc. It becomes imperative for the city authorities to comprehend the fact that these ad-hoc approaches could have a very deleterious effect on the Urban economy. The fundamentality to rehabilitate and develop the squatter settlements in their historic locations is crucial and many cities have taken the formidable task in the past decade. This indeed is a collaborative task demanding the scrupulous commitment of professionals from various domains. The role of an Urban Designer/ Planner is pivotal. The need for inventive, yet pragmatic design/planning solutions to enhance the slums is inevitable. The thesis project undertaken is a pursuit to empower one such underprivileged community using urban design/planning as the driver.
1.4 Significance of the Research Topic Slums are not a new phenomenon. They have been part of the history of most cities, particularly in the early years of urbanization and industrialization as populations boomed. Slums are generally the only type of
INTRODUCTION TO THE AREA OF RESEARCH
2.1 The Villas of Buenos Aires The city of Buenos Aires in Argentina is a major metropolitan center of the western hemisphere. The city has been a major recipient of millions of immigrants from all over the world and considered as one of the most diverse cities in Latin America. The mass immigration over the years has also given rise to many informal settlements called “Villa Miseria” (village of miseries), “Villas de Emergencia” (emergency villages), “Villa Flammable” etc. The villas are widely spread in the older and the newer parts of the city. These settlements consist of small houses or shacks made of tin, wood and other scrap material and they lack basic service infrastructure. Although the squatter towns contribute largely to the economic output of the city, the political reception to the existence of these settlements have been mixed as the country had been through tremendous political turbulences.
Villa 21-24 La Villa 21 - 24 - NHT Zavaleta is a slum located in the neighborhoods of Barracas and New Pompei. It is the largest and most populated villa. It is the location of the headquarters of the Central House of Popular Culture, under the former Ministry of Culture of the Nation. It is a neighborhood of 45,000 inhabitants, cornered by the Riachuelo. The neighborhood is always involved in police chronicles. A deeper insight into the settlement shows that other things are also happening: more than 20 community dining spaces, artistic and cultural groups working with local kids, rehab centers, etc.
Villa Inflammable Three thousand people live below the smoke stacks of petroleum refineries and alongside chemical storage sites, among rubbish and debris, and foul bodies of water, in “Villa Inflamable”, a slum along the banks of the Matanza-Riachuelo river, which runs across the Argentine capital. The Matanza-Riachuelo, or “slaughter stream” in English, is a river in Buenos Aires so contaminated it is flammable. It’s one of the most pestilent and rotten places in the world, where close to 11,000 people exposed to all kinds of infectious diseases, strange blood pathologies, heavy carcinogenic metals, and large refuse piles.
Villa 1-11-14 The 1-11-14 Villa is located in the southern neighborhood of Flores , in an area known as Bajo Flores. Its origin was due to the merger of the villas 1, 11 and 14, which began to populate progressively in the 1940s, 1 giving the current name to the settlement. Its first inhabitants came from the interior of Argentina and from bordering countries, after the economic crisis of 1930. Throughout the history was known with diverse names: Villa Bajo Flores, Bonorino, 9 of Julio, Perito Moreno, Medio Caño, Evita etc. It is the largest emergency village in terms of territory of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and one of the largest in terms of population. The urbanization of the town was approved by law 403, approved on June 8, 2000 by the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires.
Fig 2.0 Map showing the Villas of Buenos Aires. Courtesy: Rezanic-pre-thesis -2012
Evolution of Villa ‘Miserias’. Source: Research by Charles Vitez/Hasta the management of a habitat sostenible”, FADU.
Fig 2.1 Google Earth view of Villa 21-24
2.2 Project Site: “Villa 31” La Villa 31 is a shantytown located in the City of Buenos Aires, more precisely in the neighborhood of Retiro. The settlement emerged in 1932 with the name “Villa Idleness” and generally grew to a significant size of 40,000 inhabitants. While it is not the largest informal settlement of the City, if it is the most emblematic, because of its strategic location in the city. These settlements consist of small houses or shacks made of tin, wood and other scrap material and they lack basic service infrastructure.
Location La Villa 31 is located in the historic urban core of the city of Buenos Aires. The settlement evolved on a tract of public land which was reserved for future development of public buildings. The Villa 31 is located next to the main transshipment passenger terminal in the capital and a few meters of the most sought- after neighborhoods.
The History The history dates back to as early as the 1930s, when Italian immigrants began to settle in the area now known as Villa 31. They were escaping the worsening political and economic situation at home and most
worked in the nearby port of Buenos Aires. As the Italian and other European immigrants began to achieve more permanent homes in the other barrios of Buenos Aires, rural Argentinians began to flock to the city in the hopes of getting jobs in manufacturing. Settling in Villa 31 allowed these rural migrants to gain a foothold in the city. Most recently migrants from other South American countries such as Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay have made Villa 31 as their home.
The Site Context Owing to its compelling location, there has been a constant thrust by various public and private authorities to eradicate the settlement for over seven decades. The slum is physically barricaded by the metro railway line and the Retiro railway terminus in the west and south; by the port on the north and east. “The pres. arturo illia”, a stretch of elevated freeway, which is a continuation of the iconic “avenue 9 de julho” of Buenos Aires cuts through the Villa 31 settlement. The eastern part of the settlement is predominantly surrounded by industries that serve the port operations.
Fig 2.3 Location of Villa 31 in Buenos Aires
The Urbanization plan In December 2009, the Buenos Aires City Legislature passed a law imposing the urbanization of the Villa, according to a draft prepared by the Faculty of Architecture of the UBA. The initiative is called ‘Treinta y
Todos’ (Thirty and Everyone) and makes reference to the administration’s intention to provide the villa’s residents with access to the same public services as the rest of the City’s population. The project has three main goals: improve education, health and labor. The initiative is carried out by Secretary of Urban Integration.
Fig 2.4 Google earth image of Villa 31
Fig 2.5 Bird’s eye view of Villa 31. Photographed by Dagorret Carlos
2.3 The Cartoneros of Buenos Aires
2.4 The Relevance of the Selected Site
When businesses start to close down in Buenos Aires, a whole section of society comes to life. As regular office workers go home, the work of some 20,000 people is just beginning. Workers known as cartoneros descend into streets and back alleys to begin the task of sorting through the trash. They put aside plastic, glass, cardboard, paper, metal and wood anything that can be sold to recycling companies, before waste contractors haul what’s left off to landfills in the morning. Between 25,000 and 30,000 people comb through the city’s 4,500 daily tons of garbage every night. The city of Buenos Aires is home to around 3 million people. That number doubles on weekdays, as many people commute into the city from the surrounding province of Buenos Aires. So, the city’s trash responsibilities are a good bit larger than its population would suggest. The city buries its trash in landfills located in the province. What’s more, the two jurisdictions are controlled by politicians of rival political parties. Fights over trash have grown louder as the amount of trash sent to landfills keeps growing.
The city of Buenos Aires is a perfect specimen for demonstrating, interpreting and comprehending, the issue at stake, that most cities of the developing world face today. As mentioned earlier The Mayor of city of Buenos Aires has proposed schemes to urbanize Villa 31 as a formal way to integrate the Villas into the urban fabric by 2019 and the initial execution of works have commenced earlier this year. Having said that, the city is moving towards a Zero Energy future by taking initiatives to identify and formalize the economy of the Cartoneros. The scenario provides for an interesting case to tie in the two goals of the city to envision a sustainable future for the Villa 31 and the city of Buenos Aires as a whole.
In 2006, the city adopted a so-called “Zero Waste” law. According to a time-line established under the law, the city was to decrease the proportion of solid waste sent to landfills by 30 percent as of 2010; by 50 percent as of 2012; and by 75 percent as of 2017. The ultimate goal was to ensure that 100 % of recyclable waste was in fact recycled, and kept out of the landfills, by the year 2020. More importantly, the city inaugurated a new treatment plant for “arid” waste materials such as construction debris, which allows the city to sell or reuse the rubble from building projects. This alone has reduced waste sent to landfill by around 2,000 tons a day.
Earlier research projects carried out through the Faculty of Architecture, University of Buenos Aires, outline the fact that some of the squatter settlements in Buenos Aires are self-sustained in numerous aspects and the research might prove beneficial to learn and unlearn certain conventional urban design approaches towards the slums. Along those lines, the research will also yield a vital opportunity to understand the significance of Bottom up approaches in the field of Urban planning and design. Consequently, the research would prove rewarding in answering the questions raised in the research statement and would aid technically, theoretically in carrying out the thesis project.
Fig 2.6 Urban Scavenging and recycling of Cartoneros
Fig 2.7 Waste collection by Cartoneros. Photographed by Antonio Frias
Fig 2.8 Cartoneros scavenging through Buenos Aires. Photographed by Victor R Caivano/AP
THESIS STATEMENT AND SITE VISIT
3.1 Thesis Statement The shanty town of Villa 31 in Buenos Aires is emblematic because of its strategic location in the heart of the city. The Villa 31 is the only type of settlement affordable and accessible to the poor in the urban core of Buenos Aires, where competition for land and profits is intense. The immigrant settlement has resisted several ‘eradication drives’ for over seven decades and the public administrations have negotiated to augment and urbanize the settlement from 2009. The initiative is called “Treinta y Todos” and makes reference to the administration’s intention to provide the villa’s residents with access to the same public services as the rest of the city’s population. On the other hand, the villas of Buenos Aires are particularly known for their considerable population of the “Cartoneros” (urban scavengers), who comb through city’s 4500 tons of garbage every night. The Cartoneros living in the villas recycle plastic, glass, wood, cardboard, metal, debris etc. and help in reducing the city’s energy expenditure on waste management by 25%.
3.2 Project Goals and Objectives The proposed urban design framework is categorized into three major objectives. Rehabilitate: 1. Removal of sub-standard housing and relocating those inhabitants to new standard low-cost housing proposed in the adjacent site. 2. Design solutions to augment the quality of existing housing. 3. Develop an Incremental housing strategy through self build approaches. 4. Harvest construction techniques from recycled materials that are economically viable and user friendly 5. Enhance the micro-climate by designing environmental friendly solutions using waste. Reinforce: 1. Enhance the social and community life. 2. Designing and re-imaging the public infrastructures. 3. Refurbishing the community spaces for integration, awareness, education and celebrations. 4. Explore on ideas for creating interventions of tactical urbanism to deal with transiency of spaces Reconnect: 1. Removal of infrastructural barriers. 2. Proposal for spatial connections to integrate to the formal city. 3. Social connection to the formal economy of the city through the proposed recycling industry. 4. Economic connections through markets for recycled products
Fig 3.0 Commercial activity in the Villa
3.3 Site Visit and Data Collection The research travel for the project materialized in early January 2017. The site to Villa 31 in Buenos Aires comprised of the following methodologies for data collection and observations.
Visit and Collaboration with the firm – “Secretary of social and urban integration– Buenos Aires” The autonomous city legislature of Buenos Aires (Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires) in hand with federal government’s Urban development wing have established the “The Secretary of social and urban integration – Buenos Aires Ciudad”, a council/office responsible for the execution of the urbanization plan in the settlement of Villa 31. The body/firm houses a group of architects, urban planners, students and scholars of FADU (Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism, Buenos Aires), social workers and non-profit workers. The firm is currently headed by architect Ignacio Perotti, with former affiliations to FADU. The office, located on the periphery of the settlement in shipping containers, is a very familiar place to the people of Villa 31. The firm has taken great leaps in taking the urbanization plan to each and every household in the settlement and have been successful in establishing a dialogue with the inhabitants. The thesis project undertaken will work in parallel with the firm by establishing a strong collaboration. The firm is the primary source of data with regards to recent on-site developments, demographics, political policies, site drawings and documentations. The firm is socially well connected to the communities living in the villa and hence will help in establishing the element of public participation in the proposed project.
Field observation, Photographic Documentation and Mapping The initial investigation into the Villa 31 involved field visits and observations. A guided site tour into the settlement with Ignacio was executed on January 4th, 2017. A closer and a more detailed observation of the villa made it easier to decipher the extent, magnitude of the issue and the physical form of the settlement. The guided tour enabled for a meticulous photographic documentation and schematic mapping of the physicality of the neighborhood under study.
Interviews at site The second part of the investigation comprised of interviews with the people representing these communities who reflect the needs and aspirations of the neighborhood. The field interviews revealed that people of the Villa 31 are well informed of the Urbanization plan and it explicitly reflected the receptiveness of the community for the move. The negotiations to relocate 30% of sub-standard housing to an adjacent land parcel were also successfully executed earlier.
Interview and collaboration with Urban designer/Architect/Professor of Buenos Aires Javier Fernandez Castro is an architect from Argentina and has been running his own architecture practice, teaching and researching the relationship between the architecture discipline, public work and the public Interest. Javier is an established professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism (FADU) which is a part of the University of Buenos Aires. He has curated many studios and thesis projects concentrating on Villa 31. In 2009 architect Javier developed a draft “Barrio 31” for the urbanization of the Villa and was instrumental in taking it to the Mayor and city authorities of Buenos Aires. Following his efforts, the Buenos Aires city Legislature passed a law imposing the urbanization of the Villa in December 2009. Today in 2016, the relocation for the 30% sub-standard housing in underway acknowledging Javier’s proposal. Javier has offered to collaborate and support the thesis project with data, drawings and feasible insights.
Fig 3.0 Photographs from site visit
4.1 The History of Evolution
Earlier in 1940, after the creation of “Barrio Inmigrantes” the occupation of the land by the marginalized populations, began moving towards abandoned lands by the railway undertakings of Retiro. Between 1956 and 1958, the villa extended by creating two new zones: ‘Gueme’ (now the densest district), and “Comunicaciones”. In 1964, a hundred houses were built in a neighborhood. During the period 1962-1966, it was the villas which held the highest population growth rate in the Buenos Aires urban region increasing by 192%. The Villa 31 reached in 1976, 24,324 inhabitants extending over 32 hectares. The eradication led by the military dictatorship of 1976 left only about 200 people living and the villa was almost completely destroyed. This eradication move en kindled various protests from the communities linked to the villas. Following the return of democracy in Argentina, Villa 31 quickly repopulated between 1983 and 1984. The last event of eradication was produced during the construc-
tion of an arm of the Illia motorway between 1994 and 1996. The result of this project was the expulsion of nearly a thousand people for the passage of the motorway viaduct. The construction of this portion of the motorway engendered a regrettable change to the land. The villa often flooded due to the lack of a drainage system on both sides of the highway. When the Illia highway was completed, the villa was repopulated very quickly. In 1998, there were almost the same number of inhabitants as four years before. This period corresponds to the creation of a new occupied zone: ‘Villa Autopista’ or ‘31 Bis’ located on the other side of the motorway and connected to the rest of the villa by underpasses below the motorway viaduct. The economic crisis of 2001 aggravated the situation, as it densified the villa with a 50% increase in population. Despite the political and demographic upheavals for decades since its origin, the socio-economic problems in the villa have remained the same.
2: Y.P.F (terrains industriels enclavés)
1: INMIGRANTES (1946, logements ouvriers modestes)
construit "Villa 31" bâtiments liès
4: Villa 31 BIS (1998)
3a: GÜEMES (1956)
Fig 4.0 Evolution of zones in Villa 31. Source: Charles Vitez, ‘Mémoire’
Villa 31 in 1965
Villa 31 in 1995
Villa 31 in 2005 Fig 4.1 Growth of Villa 31 over the years. Source: Charles Vitez, ‘Mémoire’
4.2 The Surrounding Context
4.3 The Physicality of the Neighborhood
The Villa 31 is located next to the main transshipment passenger terminal in the capital and a few meters of the most sought after neighborhoods. Owing to its compelling location, there has been a constant thrust by various public and private authorities to eradicate the settlement for over seven decades. The slum is physically barricaded by the metro railway line and the Retiro Railway Terminus in the south and the south east; by the Retiro Bus Terminus in the east; by the Port on the north and north east. “The arturo illia”, a stretch of elevated freeway, which is a continuation of the iconic “avenue 9 de julho” of Buenos Aires cuts through the Villa 31 settlement. The western and north-western part of the settlement is predominantly surrounded by industries that serve the port operations. Towards the south, beyond the railway lines is the neighborhood of Recoleta which is one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.
The Villa 31 has no definite urban pattern, yet has an organic rationale to its structure. The grid originated parallel to the railway lines leading to the Retiro terminus. The streets often less than 30 feet wide, yet they have a high threshold of urbanity serving as the major spatial realm for social and cultural activities. The pedestrian and vehicular streets co-exist with no distinctions or sidewalk demarcations. The streetscapes are not characterized by formal architecture, but are a direct reflection of the day-to-day activities of the community. Hawking, Recycling and Retail are the activities that are predominant along the ground floors of the buildings fronting the major streets. The settlements consist of small houses or shacks made of tin, wood and other scrap material and they lack basic service infrastructure. The structures are built haphazardly and precariously over concrete frameworks following no building codes. Residents fend for themselves and that includes illegally diverting power from the grid to provide service to the Villa.
Fig 4.2 Map showing the surrounding context
4.4 Land use The land use pattern in the Villa 31 is entirely heterogeneous with a mix of diverse activities to sustain the neighborhood. The land use is predominantly housing with a tally of more than 8000 dwelling units. There is a meager number small scale recycling, building material, metal workshop, automobile repair and packaging
industries located inside the villa. Retail is generally concentrated on the ground level of the dwelling units that front the major streets. It is evident from the behavior and activity mapping that most of the commercial activities and concentrated on the eastern side of the site of the leading to the Retiro Bus Terminus.
Fig 4.3 Streets with concentration of commercial activity
Fig 4.4 Photographs of the major commercial street in Villa 31
4.5 Demographics of the Villa The Villa 31 and 31 Bis has 100 â€œManzanas (blocks) spread over 15 hectares of land. There were 7,950 households, according to the census carried out in 2010. In 2010 INDEC census indicated that this informal settlement had 27,000 inhabitants, four years later according to an opinion piece from the daily La NaciĂłn the number exceeded 40,000 inhabitants in the Villa 31; Almost 51% of the population comes from other countries: 23.9% from Paraguay; 16.6% Bolivi-
ans; 9.8% Peruvians. Of the population of school age, 70% left the school. 2.7% completed higher education. 23% of the houses have more than two floors, 35 only ground floor and 42% ground and first floor. In the case of the town, its demographic growth would be explained, according to a report from the daily La Gaceta due to the strong immigration wave coming from neighboring countries. Latest demographic studies indicate that the population has grown by 60,000 people.
Fig 4.5 Basic Demographics and Nationality
Fig 4.6 Average age group graph. Source: Matteo Zerbi, The Forms of Imbalance/Provincial Directorate of Statistics of the province of Buenos Aires, 2009
4.6 Demographics of the Cartoneros From the first decades of the twentieth century in Argentina there existed the so-called “cirujas”, people who wandered the street collecting garbage to eat, dress and guarantee their minimum conditions of life. With the economic crisis that the country suffered in 2001, which raised unemployment above 20% and poverty to 50%, these sections of society multiplied but adopted a new name: cartoneros. Inhabitants living in the shanty towns of the city went to collect every day cartons, plastics and other recyclable materials that later they could be resold. A study by the National General Sarmiento University reported that in 2001 there were 100,000 cartoneros in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires. Between 25,000 and 30,000 people comb through the city’s 4,500 daily tons of garbage every night. Waste
collection by Cartoneros save up-to 25% of energy expenditure of the city in waste management In 2006, the city adopted a so-called “Zero Waste” law. According to a time line established under the law, the city was to decrease the proportion of solid waste sent to landfills by 30 percent as of 2010; by 50 percent as of 2012; and by 75 percent as of 2017. As a part of promoting the recycling industry, the city has taken initiatives in negotiating better prices for recyclables. The organized cartoneros who belong to cooperatives are now part of the formal city system, and receive an average monthly salary of $4,500 pesos. 11% of the people in Villa 31 are Cartoneros and the numbers might be higher. It is important to note that there is 43% unemployment in the Villa 31.
Fig 4.7 Image of a Cartonero in Buenos Aires. Photographed by Pierre Duffour
Fig 4.8 Employment Patterns in Villa 31. Source: M. C. Cravino, The Villas of the City, 2006
4.7 Comparative Urban Morphology The Duality of the city of Buenos Aires ‘Formality vs Informality’ Buenos Aires is often called the “Paris of South America,” for its soaring architecture and rich European heritage. The city is specifically known for its preserved Spanish/European-style architecture and Urban character. But the city and its people, known as porteños, are a study in contrasts: European sensibilities and Latin American passion; wide boulevards and cobblestone alleys; steamy tango and romping rock and roll; sidewalk cafés and soccer fanatics. On the other side, the city has been a major recipient of millions of immigrants
from all over the world, making it a melting pot where several ethnic groups live together. The mass immigration coupled with economic crisis over the years, has given rise to many informal settlements called “Villa Miseria”. These settlements consist of small houses or shacks made of tin, wood and other scrap material and they lack basic service infrastructure. The Urban core of Buenos Aires is characterized by the juxtaposition of formal and informal neighborhoods that are hardly far apart. The morphological exercise tries to comparatively analyze the formal neighborhood of “Microcentro” with the informal neighborhood of “Villa 31”, that are located in the Urban core 1.3 miles apart.
Fig 4.9 Areas under study for Urban Morphology Analysis
4.8 Urban Morphology Analysis 1 â€“ Figure Ground It is legitimate from the illustrations that both the neighborhoods are densely built. It is essential to discern that courtyards/open spaces are used in the built of Microcentro to enhance the micro-climate, whereas such features are absent in Villa 31. The diagram also explicitly reveals the disconnect of fabric engendered by the Urban highway cutting through Villa 31.
Fig 4.10 Figure ground
4.9 Urban Morphology Analysis 2 – Street Network The street network of the Microcentro neighborhood follows a ‘Formal urban grid’ that originated during the early 19th century in Europe. The resultant square block of 360 feet in dimension covers an area of 3 acres. The monotony is broken by the diagonal streets. The streets in Villa 31 have no definite pattern, yet have an organic rationale with an orientation parallel to the railway lines. The streets in Villa 31 are often less than 30 ft wide, bustling with activity.
Fig 4.11 Street Network
4.10 Urban Morphology Analysis 3 â€“ Open Space Network The densely- packed neighborhood of Microcentro is comforted by public open spaces and plazas which are a characteristic of the French neoclassicism resembling Paris and Madrid. These open spaces are articulated with a formal design language with manicured landscaping and paving. The Villa 31 has multiple orders of open spaces ranging from soccer fields, children play areas to market places. Often, the streets bulge out to form wider open spaces that are under-utilized as parking spaces by the inhabitants.
Fig 4.12 Open Space Network
4.11 Urban Morphology Analysis 4 â€“ Public Transit and Accessibility Microcentro is the historic and the central business core of the city of Buenos Aires. It is fed with an abundant supply of public transit, inclusive of subway lines and bus routes. The neighborhood has a profound network of pedestrian only streets and bicycle lanes. Contrastingly, the neighborhood of Villa 31 is poorly served by public transit. Bus stops are at the peripheries, with a walk-over across the railway lines to reach the villa. The neighborhood is anticipating a proposed subway line with a stop at the villa to solve the deficient transit issue.
Fig 4.13 Public Transit and Accessibility
4.12 Urban Morphology Analysis 5 – Typical Block and Building Typologies Microcentro: The ‘Formal’ grid pattern dictates the building forms in Microcentro. The example below depicts the case of a triangular block with dimensions 440 ft X 360 ft. The triangular blocks are characterized by a corner tower building. The facades along the length of the block follow a coherent style of neoclassical architecture.
Fig 4.14 Microcentro - Typical Block and Building Type
Villa 31: The Villa 31 neighborhood has no formal block pattern. There are over 100 ‘Manzanas’ in the neighbor-
hood that evolved over 7 decades. On a meticulous observation, one can deduce that a typical block is approximately 170 ft X 115 ft covering an area of 0.5 acres.
Fig 4.15 Villa 31 - Typical Block/Manzana
Villa 31-Typical Building Typology: The frontages of the streets in villa 31 are not characterized by formal architecture, but are a direct reflection of the day-to-day activities of the community. The structures are built haphazardly and precariously over concrete frameworks following no building codes. The Material palette comprises of clay block masonry, roofs made of tin and other scarp metals, window openings made of aluminum, doors made of ply, MS grills for the balconies and safety and MS iron spiral staircases that are accessed from the street. The Houses are modules of 10ft/3m wide and 20ft/6m deep. The housing modules multiply vertically or even laterally depending on ownership and use. Majority residents precariously build more floors vertically over the exiting structural framework and rent them to users with a separate staircase. The ground level modules along the main streets are used for retail spaces and private businesses. Although the buildings allow for a high density knit neighborhood, most of the houses lack basic infrastructure and services like drainage, water and power supply. The lighting and ventilation quality of most houses are inadequate for healthy living standards. The urbanization plan has identified 30% of housing which are below substandard levels to be rehabilitated.
Fig 4.16 Villa 31 - Typical Building Typology
Fig 4.17 The Construction Process and Material Palette
4.13 Urban Morphology Analysis 6 – Street Character Microcentro: The neighborhood’s principal avenues include the 459 feet wide “9 de Julio Avenue” (widest in the
world), to the very narrow pedestrian streets (Florida) of 20 feet width. The street diversity is opulent in the Microcentro, supporting high volumes of pedestrian traffic and a variety of activities. The “9 de Julio Avenue” is the most iconic image of the city of Buenos Aires which houses the Obelisco de Buenos Aires. The Avenue continues as “Pres. Arturo Illia”, the urban highway bridge which cuts through the settlement of Villa 31.
Villa 31: The streets of Villa 31 are vital urban entities that support the public realm in the settlement. These are shared lanes and are often less than 30ft wide. The informal streets have constant fluctuations in character , changing from being public in nature to private depending on the time and usage. It is very common to discover residents sitting and conversing in the streets during evenings and children playing in foldable water tubs on the streets. The re-designing of the public realm and streets will be crucial in reinforcing the public realm.
Fig 4.18 Street Sections
4.14 Urban Climatological Analysis Buenos Aires, has a temperate climate, which is classified as a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Koppen climate classification with four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid with frequent thunderstorms while winters are cool and drier with frosts that occurs on average twice per year. Spring and fall are transition seasons characterized by changeable weather. At the central observatory, the highest recorded temperature is 43.3 °C (109.9 °F) while the lowest recorded temperature is −5.4 °C (22.3 °F). Different climatic factors influence the climate of Buenos Aires. The semi–permanent South Atlantic High influences its climate throughout the year by bringing in moist winds from the northeast, which bring most of the precipitation to the city in the form of frontal
systems during winter or storms produced by cyclogenesis in autumn and winter. The hot temperatures and high insolation in the summer months form a low pressure system called the Chaco Low over northern Argentina, generating a pressure gradient that brings moist easterly winds to the city – because of this, summer is the rainiest season. In contrast, this low pressure system weakens in the winter, which combined with strong southerly winds results in a drier season due to weaker easterly winds. Being located in the Pampas, Buenos Aires has variable weather due to the passage of contrasting air mass – the cold, dry Pampero from the south and warm, humid tropical air from the north. The coastal location results in a strong maritime influence, causing extreme temperatures to be rare.
Fig 4.19 Climate Chart for Buenos Aires. Source: Climatetemp.info
Micro-climates and Responsive Design A micro-climate is the distinctive climate of a smallscale area, such as a garden, park, valley or part of a city. The weather variables in a micro-climate, such as temperature, rainfall, wind or humidity, may subtly differ from the conditions prevailing over the area. It is crucial to understand the effect of micro-climates in the case of Villa 31. Micro-climates exist in Villa 31 the due to the high built density where brick, concrete, and asphalt absorb the sunâ€™s energy, heat up, and re-radiate that heat to the ambient air. The resulting â€˜Urban Heat Islandâ€™ is a kind of micro-climate. Shading plays a vital role in the settlement in alleviating the urban
heat island effect. It is a common sight to notice the use of temporary shading devices like fabric and tarpaulins in the villa. The shaded residue space under the urban highway bridge provides opportunities for multiple urbanisms and civic programs to flourish. Humidity is another key modifier of climate. Often, the humid summers can be intolerable and the use operable ventilation strategies is principal to achieve thermal comfort. Lastly, precipitation levels are considerably high throughout the year in Buenos Aires. So, it becomes mandatory that the infrastructure and housing are designed to be rain-proof with profound storm water drainage systems.
Fig 4.20 Primary Climate Responsive Strategies for Villa 31
Fig 4.21 Shaded Residue Space under the Structure
4.15 Analysis of “Barrio 31” Draft Architect Javier Fernandez Castro is an established professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism (FADU) which is a part of the University of Buenos Aires. His research works deduce the relationship between the architecture discipline, public work and the public Interest. In 2009 architect Javier was instrumental in drafting the proposal “Barrio 31 Carlos Mugica” under the ‘Instituto de la Espacialidad Humana’ of FADU, UBA for the urbanization of the Villa. The draft led to the projection of a new scenario, presenting the urban project as a tool for negotiation between different actors, where it was possible to combine positions previously considered as antagonistic. The project served first to move away from an exclusively imaginary (the neighborhood versus the development of the central - north area) to another integrator (the (re)urbanized neighborhood as a possibility of inclusive development of the central - north area).
The proposal resulted from a collective construction where the researchers acted in listening to the demands of the habitants of the neighborhood, projecting in them the specific knowledge of the urban discipline and the necessary integral vision to tackle the problems at stake. The project goals are as follows. Macro scale: Strategies for resolution of the articulated relationship of the neighborhood with its environment (continuity of roadblocks, dissolution of boundaries, generation of shared public spaces, etc.) Micro scale strategies for resolution of the different components of the inner structure of the neighborhood, in particular specification of each and every one of its elements. Open spaces: The proposal of a central park, flanked by a hybrid building that houses the housing administration, cultural spaces and retail help promoting local employment. A system of smaller squares distributed
Fig 4.20 Primary Climate Responsive Strategies for Villa 31
Fig 4.22 Proposed Master plan. Source: Javier Fernández Castro, ‘Barrio Carlos Mugica’
in the continuity of the fabric potentiates secondary infrastructures including educational centers, primary health care, libraries, neighborhood halls, religious centers etc.
the redesign of the fair square enhances the popular market spaces.
Housing: 70% of dwellings to be rehabilitated with incorporation of new wet cores and basic sanitation. The remaining 30% requires relocation actions on tax lands bordering the Villa.
Connections: A new border fabric to the north is offered to the city, serving in addition to mitigating articulation of the port infrastructure and new flows. To the south a new avenue circumscribes the edge of the district. A pedestrian walkway and bicycle path connects the neighborhood to the south.
Landmarks: The west end of the project provides with a topographic park that serves as a community space. The park houses the church and memorial of Father Mugica next to the building Movement, thus promoting a center for pilgrimage and homage. In the east,
The “Barrio 31” draft is a meticulous break down of the essential parameters required to redevelop the villa. Having said that, the proposal was drafted long before the anticipated idea of ‘Re-routing’ the urban highway that was cutting the neighborhood was put forward.
Fig 4.22 Renderings of the Proposed Development. Source: Javier Fernández Castro, ‘Barrio Carlos Mugica’
Fig 4.23 Aerial Rendering of the Proposed Development. Source: Javier Fernández Castro, ‘Barrio Carlos Mugica’
41 CORTE TRANSVERSAL CONJUNTO 1.1000
Fig 4.24 Sections through the Proposed Development. Source: Javier Fernández Castro, ‘Barrio Carlos Mugica’ CJ_08 14.05.2015
Fig 4.25 Drawing of the Proposed Housing. Source: Javier Fernández Castro, ‘Barrio Carlos Mugica’ TEJIDO MEJORADO
V.A. + T.M.
V.A. + T.M.
V.A. + T.M.
V.A. + T.M.
4.16 Analysis of Future Proposals The analysis of planned future proposals by the government that would affect Villa 31 is crucial for a integrated redevelopment approach. One such key anticipated project is the ‘Re-routing of a stretch of Illia highway that cuts through the settlement of Villa 31. The Government will deviate two kilometers of the highway and feasibility studies to convert the stretch that passes through the villa into a green corridor are underway. Another recent development is the approv-
al for the construction of the subway stations ‘Father Mugica’ and ‘Bus Terminal’ (Retiro) for Line H. This became a possibility after the government approved for the modified ‘H’ subway line through Retiro. Both the proposals will have a huge bearing on the urban form of the villa in a propitious way. Any Urban Design/Redevelopment proposal for Villa 31 should acknowledge the future plans by the government for a holistic and inclusive development.
Fig 4.26 Planned Proposal of Re-Routing the Autopista Dr. Arturo Umberto Illia. Source: Nexofin Writing
Fig 4.27 Planned Proposal for Subway Line H and Carlos Mugica Stop
5.0 CASE STUDIES
5.1 Curitiba, Brazil The Transaction by Mayor Jaime Lerner Curitiba is an important cultural, political, and economic center in Latin America. For centuries, the city was little more than an outpost for travelers moving between Sao Paulo and the surrounding agricultural regions. The biggest expansion occurred after the 1960s, with innovative urban planning that changed the population size from some hundreds of thousands to more than a million people. Curitiba’s economy is based on industry and services and is the fourth largest in Brazil. According to US magazine Reader’s digest, Curitiba is the best “Brazilian Big City” in which to live. Curitiba crime rate is considered low by Brazilian standards and the city is considered one of the safest cities in Brazil for youth. Much of Curitiba’s success story is the brain child of the city’s former Mayor Jaime Lerner. He has been mayor three times, the first time in the early 1970s. Curitiba has built parks instead of canals to reduce flooding; used parks to make the city more live-able; pedestrianized the downtown area; invented and built Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a bus system that works like a light rail system but is 10 times cheaper; and started a massive recycling.
Connection of Land Use and Transport In the late 1960s, a group of young architects from the Federal University of Paraná, which were against the official development plan created by Alfred Crouch in 1940, proposed a different view. Their vision entailed the creation of dense developments along the corridors of mass transit, reducing sprawl, extending green areas, and preserving historic neighborhoods. To implement
this ambitious strategy, Lerner became the first director of IPUCC (Institute of Urban Planning of Curitiba). The core of the new strategy for urban design laid in the ternary system, which sought to integrate mass transit, access roads and land use together. This vision required a transportation option capable of creating affordable and convenient mobility to connect the various parts of the city.
The BRT: Building a Connected City To support the vision of a sustainable and connected city, Lerner understood the need for a high capacity transportation system, but also recognized the need to move away from the trends in transportation planning that were dominant in the cities of the developed world. Unable to create a system below ground, like a subway, Lerner decided to “metronize” the bus. The city plan prioritized the bus, allowing them to move quickly and more efficiently – and introduced exclusive bus corridors, designed a network of feeder buses, and in 1982 introduced the “tube stations” with larger buses and a pre-payment system.
Expanding Parks and Public Space Aiming to expand green areas and avoid urban sprawl, the Pilot Plan of Curitiba created a green belt around the city in the sixty areas reserved for parks, specifically in areas subject to flooding. Half a century later, the whole city enjoys sixteen parks, fourteen forests and over a thousand public green spaces, many of which are dedicated to celebrating the multicultural history of the country.
Fig 5.0 Features of Sustainable Urbanism adopted in Curitiba. Photographed by Joel Rocha / SMCS
Turning Trash into Opportunity During his first term as mayor of Curitiba, Lerner created a recycling program aimed at making junk valuable. The “green exchange” employment program focuses on social inclusion, benefiting both those in need and the environment. Low-income families living in shantytowns unreachable by truck bring their trash bags to neighborhood centers, where they exchange them for bus tickets and food. This means less city litter and less disease, less garbage dumped in sensitive areas such as rivers and a better life for the undernourished poor. There’s also a program for children where they can exchange recyclable garbage for school supplies, chocolate, toys and tickets for shows. Under the “garbage that’s not garbage” program, 70% of the city’s trash is recycled by its residents. Once a week, a truck collects paper, cardboard, metal, plastic and glass that has been
sorted in the city’s homes. The city’s paper recycling alone saves the equivalent of 1,200 trees a day. As well as the environmental benefits, money raised from selling materials goes into social programs, and the city employs the homeless and recovering alcoholics in its garbage separation plant.
Inferences from the Case Study Jaime Lerner’s “Green Exchange” program has explicitly demonstrated the importance of waste management and recycling to foster the economic productivity. The transaction sets an example for many cities in the world, where a small subsidy to the community for waste disposal/recycling could prove economically, environmentally and socially rewarding in the long run. Such a transaction for the service of Cartoneros in Villa 31 could pave for a lucrative future of the settlement.
Fig 5.1 “The Green Exchange” Program. Source: WWF Global
Fig 5.2 From Trash to Cash. Source: WWF Global
5.2 Dharavi, Mumbai A Recycling Miracle Dharavi is a locality in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Its slum is one of the largest in the world home to roughly 700,000 to about 1 million people, Dharavi is the second-largest slum in the continent of Asia and the third-largest slum in the world. With an area of just over 2.1 square kilometers (0.81 sq mi) and a population density of over 277,136/km2 (717,780/sq mi), Dharavi is also one of the most densely populated areas on Earth. Dharavi has an active informal economy in which numerous household enterprises employ many of the slum residents–leather, textiles and pottery products are among the goods made inside Dharavi. The total annual turnover has been estimated at over US$1 billion.
Conditions inside the Slum In the slum people have to live with many problems. Children play amongst sewage waste and doctors deal with 4,000 cases a day of diphtheria and typhoid. Next to the open sewers are water pipes, which can crack and take in sewage. Dharavi slum is based around this water pipe built on an old rubbish tip. The people have not planned this settlement and have no legal rights to the land. There are also toxic wastes in the slum including hugely dangerous heavy metals. Dharavi is made up of 12 different neighborhoods and there are no maps or road signs. The further you walk into Dharavi from the edge the more permanent and solid the structures become.
The Rag pickers of Dharavi (‘Kabadiwala’) Dharavi is a recycling marvel. Labelled as the recycling center of India, Dharavi is situated at the heart of India’s financial capital. The country has witnessed a substantial growth in the consumption of plastics and an increased production of plastic waste which has become an overwhelming environmental, health and aesthetic hazard for many urban areas. Mumbai alone generates almost 7,025 tons of waste on a daily basis. In India, the people who make their living by recycling waste are known as “rag pickers” and Mumbai houses almost 300,000 of them. The rag pickers primarily wade through piles of unwanted goods to salvage easily recyclable materials such as glass, metal and plastic, which are then sold to scrap dealers, who then process the waste and sell it on either to be recycled or to be used directly by the industry. Most of these processes take place in what is known as ‘Dharavi’s 13th Compound’; a place where over 80% of Mumbai’s waste is given a new lease of life – bottles, drums, paper, cardboard, soap, tin, iron. The seller and the buyer both make money thus making it a true revenue-generating idea. In fact, wages in Dharavi are well above the monthly average at 3,000 to 15,000 Indian rupees per month. This fascinating world of generating revenue out of trash has earned the industry the label ‘Dharavi’s Recycling Miracle’. Extraordinarily, Mumbai has rudimentary waste management program which makes the work of the rag pickers indispensable to the city.
Fig 5.3 Rag-Pickers (Kabadiwala). Source: ‘Weekly Voice’, Mumbai
The Savings for the City of Mumbai The recycling industry is Dharavi approximately produces a revenue of 5 million USD a year. Given the above numbers, if we were to calculate savings for the city corporation – we assume that Mumbai spends 1500 Indian rupees per ton on SWM collection, transportation, treatment and disposal, though Bangalore spends higher. 80% of waste recycled will be saving the Municipality 16 million USD and if we take 80% of total plastic recycled, the savings are about 10 million USD a year. So, all in all we are looking at the same recyclable material having a potential of a revenue generation of 5 million USD versus a sink of 10 million USD to collect, transport and dump waste.
Recent Slum up-gradation programs Residents of Dharavi have received new hope for a bet-
ter livelihood as the state government finally plans to float global bids for the redevelopment project in 2016. Under the government-led Dharavi Redevelopment Project, developers will provide the people living there – who can prove residency since 2000 – a new, 300 sq ft house for free. In return, authorities have allowed the builders to go higher increasing the floor space index in Dharavi from 1.33 to 4, thereby concentrating residents into tower blocks and freeing up space for luxury high rises that will reap huge returns.
Inferences from the Case Study The case of Dharavi in Mumbai is very much similar to what is deciphered in Villa 31 in Buenos Aires. Dharavi is sustained by the rag pickers who are very much similar to the Cartoneros of Buenos Aires. It is critical to comprehend the unfavorable response of the residents to be rehabilitated in dense urban towers.
Fig 5.4 Dharavi, Mumbai. Photographed by Jonas Bendiksen
Fig 5.5 Recycling Industries of Dharavi. Source: Meena Kadri/Flikr
5.3 Previ Experimental Housing, Lima The Self Build Housing “PREVI, Spanish initials for “Experimental housing project”, was conceived in Lima in mid 60s. In PREVI, 13 internationally renowned architects were commissioned to develop prototypes of urban housing that would internalize programmes for any future transformation. The process of building in PREVI was originally intended for large scale provision of housing, which was to create a transformable core model with one room and provide basic utilities for the unit. The idea was that the new owners were free and encouraged to expand in accordance with the needs of their growing families and their own financial situation. This process allowed the owners to control their own social, family and cultural needs making them more involved and motivated towards the project. It was also hoped that the ideas generated by the competition would introduce new methods of creating energy efficient, seismic resistant and cost effective building techniques.
The 13 invited International architects were: Toivo Korhonan; Charles Correa; Christopher Alexander; Iniguez de Ozono & Vazquez de Castro; Georges Candilis; Alexis Josic; Shandrach Woods; James Stirling; Esquerra & Samper; Aldo van Eyck; Kikutake, Kurokawa & Maki; Svenssons; Hanson & Hatloy; Herbert Ohl and Atelier 5.
The Design Brief The mandatory requirements were that each dwelling plot was to be between 80-150 sq m, of which dwelling was to occupy between 60-120 including all floors. The ideas were to explore and develop techniques in architecture and construction within general area of low rise, fairly high density and compact housing in terraced, row and other formation. All dwellings were to be flexibly planned for eventual accommodation of
Fig 5.6 James Stirling’s proposal (leftside), - Transformations in Atelier 5’s proposal (rightside). Source: Iqbal Aalam_Wordpress.com
eight children of different ages, and one elderly couple, in addition to the owners. The dwellings were to be conceived not as a fixed unit but as a structure with a cycle of evolution with appropriate construction technology to achieve this aim. The initial basic unit was to be built by the main contractors and technical advice and assistance in building will be made to families completing their houses. The following are some of the interesting proposals for the experimental housing
James Stirling After the ‘first build’ by the contractors it was intended that the house should be completed at ground level and above by house owners in self-building styles. The growth plan drawing shows in stages of self-building
a 4P house becoming a completed ‘one storey house’ (8P+) considered the most typical method of growth. Thereafter expansion takes place on the floor above, either as a separate dwelling or, in the case of a large family, as additional bedrooms and living spaces, in which instance part of the ground level accommodation could be used for other purposes (i.e. shop or garage etc.).
Atelier 5 Atelier 5 scheme used an interesting method of construction using pre-cast concrete panels small enough to be built on site and manhandled for wall and roof construction. Having said that, the two storey house plan appeared complex with patios and internal spaces. The external communal spaces and separation of traffic were also well-thought-out.
Fig 5.7 Transformations realized in the Proposal of Maki and Associates Source: Iqbal Aalam_Wordpress.com
Maki and Associates Kikutake, Maki and Kurokawa and Associates also used pre-cast concrete system with different loadings which also included foundations, that was well worked out and likely to save costs. The house plan grouped service areas with potential of local industry producing equipment/units for Kitchen, Toilets and storage in future. The external spaces in this scheme also separated cars from pedestrians but some jury members considered the spaces were possibly too extensive for effective use.
plumbing and conduits. The planks and beams were made of urethane foam-plastic and bamboo, reinforced with sulphur-sand topping; all are earthquake resistant methods of construction.
Charles Correa Correa said that the project grew from the following four objectives: (1) Highest possible density commensurate with (2) Individual landownership; (3) Minimum road and servicing cost; (4) Pedestrian /vehicle separation.
This split jury thought that Christopher Alexander’s proposal was a ‘milestone’ which addressed the brief and Peruvian conditions and produced an imaginative solution for low income housing and offering maximum freedom of individual choice. The understanding of the complex linkages between the individual, his family, his belongings, his neighbors and the entire community were implicit in each part of this proposal.” The house construction was aimed at using local materials and traditions where possible. The foundations were floating slabs supporting load-bearing walls and a lightweight plank and beam floor/roof. An ingenious interlocking mortar-less concrete-block for wall construction, reinforced with sulphur, with cavity for
Fig 5.8 Charles Correa’s Proposal and its Transformations
Correa’s scheme concentrates on two major design ideas; that of the minimization of service infrastructure and the use of climate as a temperature regulator. This, in layout terms, resulted in buildings which are staggered along a community spine. The staggered party wall also provided greater earthquake resistance. As in earlier schemes, the unit is a long “tube” of interlocking row housing. Each house is also incremental. The NNW-SSE orientation of the houses allows the prevailing winds to travel along the axis of each spine. As the breezes pass the porches they are drawn into the houses by a louvered air-scoop over the double-height 6 meters 6 meters volume within each unit. Narrow plots resulting in narrow frontages, ensured that the facade to be controlled, was very small and set well back into the porch.
recent projects that were inspired by PREVI are: The Golden-Lion-Winning project at the Venice Biennale in 2012 by Urban Think Tank. Another example is the ‘Half a House’ model for social housing by the Chilean practice Elemental. Many scholarly research articles have cited that James Stirling interpreted the future behavior of the families with certain amount of accuracy. Stirling houses were the most requested and they display PREVI’s finest qualities of occupancy. All the entries for PREVI exhibited a unique approach towards incremental housing. Having said that, all the architects ended up with a very rigid, symmetrical urban layout based on multiplicity. It would be worthwhile to explore on the possibility of an informal urban pattern for the case of Villa 31.
Inferences from the Case Study PREVI serves as the prototype for many modern architects looking into social housing today. Some of the
Fig 5.9 Masterplan Layout of PREVI Housing Illustrating the Location of the Various Proposals
5.4 Quinta Monroy Housing, Chile The Incremental Housing The Quinta Monroy project was initiated by Alejandro Aravena in 2003 as a demonstration of an architectâ€™s ability to engage in real challenges within a framework of very serious constraints. The challenge of the project was to accommodate a hundred families using a subsidy of $7,500 dollars that in the best of the cases allowed for thirty-six square meters of built space in a 5,000 sq meter site, which cost three times what social housing could normally afford.
dents themselves as and when required. The extensions allow an individual design of the houses and serve a closer attachment of the inhabitants to the object. All the necessary facilities such as supply lines and staircase access were provided during construction and the structure of the buildings made it possible to achieve optimal extensibility with simple means.
The Half House Solution
The project is a great illustration of how one could work with constraints and at the same time provide flexibility for users to revamp their housing according to their needs. The incrementality and empowerment of users is a key challenge to address in the case of villa 31 .
To tackle the challenge, the housing units were therefore planned with an area of about 70 mÂ˛, but only half were built; The second half can be created by the resi-
Inferences from the Case Study
Fig 5.10 Elemental Incremental Housing. Source: Elemental Architecture/Fer Neyra
5.5 Conceptos Plásticos, Columbia Lego, Plastic Houses Colombian company ‘Conceptos Plásticos’ saw two pressing issues in the world and decided to tackle both with recycled building materials. One issue is the housing crisis, prevalent in Latin America where 80 percent of the population now resides in urban areas. The second is the overwhelming amount of plastic crowding landfills. To combat these issues, Conceptos Plásticos recycles plastic into LEGO-like building blocks that families can use to easily construct their own homes. Conceptos Plásticos works with local communities to source plastic and rubber and train locals on the building process. With the building blocks, locals can build their own houses, emergency shelters, community halls, and classrooms. A home for one family will take four people five days to construct with the recycled building blocks – and there’s no construction experience necessary. The blocks fit together like LEGOs. Not only are the pieces easy to work with, they’ll resist natural disasters as well. Conceptos Plásticos puts an additive that
makes the product fire-resistant, and since the blocks are made of plastic, they’ll also resist earthquakes. The company reports their “construction system is 30 percent cheaper” than systems traditionally utilized in rural areas. A standard home can be constructed for just $5,200. The plastic building blocks will degrade around 500 years or more down the road, but for now they offer shelters for families who can’t afford other housing or are fleeing crises. In 2015, 42 families were “displaced by violence” in Colombia, and Conceptos Plásticos helped build a hostel for the families that could easily be torn down and rebuilt elsewhere if they ever had to move again.
Inferences from Case Study Buenos Aires produces around 14,000 tonnes of trash everyday. The considerable population of Cartoneros in Villa 31 could be utilized for recycling the plastic waste as a construction materials.
Fig 5.11 Plastic Houses Construction. Source: Conceptos Plásticos/ArchDaily
THE URBAN DESIGN FRAMEWORK
6.1 Structure of the Framework Critical Evaluation of the “Barrio 31” Draft The ‘Barrio 31’ draft is a conscious urban design proposal that responds to the imperative demands for revitalization of Villa 31. The urbanization initiative ‘Treinta y Todos 2009’ to be carried out by the ‘Secretaría de Integración Social y Urbana’ has imbibed most part of the ‘Barrio 31’ draft. Although, the draft has been formulated with scrupulous attention to issues at micro and macro levels, the draft is still a top down notion of how people should live. It is also legitimate that the ‘Barrio 31’ draft has overlooked the latest initiation by the government to re-route the Illia highway.
The Improvised Framework Taking into consideration, the shortcomings of the “Barrio 31” draft and all the preliminary research data, the urban design project undertaken proposes the framework, “A Framework for Empowerment”. The proposed urban design framework will not only work in parallel with the urbanization initiative’s vision but also strives to augment the vision to create self-sustaining communities. The framework’s primary objective is to revitalize the settlement through community participation in designing and building the villa and thus empowering them.
The Role Play
The visit to Buenos Aires aided greatly to establish the vital collaboration with the ‘Secretaría de Integración Social y Urbana’. The role of architect ‘Ignacio Perotti’ who heads that firm is very crucial for the urbanization initiative. Ignacio with his courteous personality has been successful in communicating with the communities and has secured the faith of the community. He is the only point of connection between the community and the political bodies. His role is pivotal to bridge the gap between the ‘Top-Down’ urbanization vision and ‘Bottom up’ aspirations of the community. The proposed design framework demands such a role and I seek to fill in the shoes of Ignacio by collaboration with him. Such role play is critical to envision a holistic development that reflects the community’s aspirations.
6.2 The Objectives of the Framework Rehabilitate: 1. Removal of sub-standard housing and relocating those inhabitants to new standard low-cost housing proposed in the adjacent site. 2. Design solutions to augment the quality of existing housing. 3. Develop an Incremental housing strategy through self build approaches. 4. Harvest construction techniques from recycled materials that are economically viable and user friendly
Fig 4.21 Shaded Residue Space under the Structure
5. Enhance the micro-climate by designing environmental friendly solutions using waste.
1. Enhance the social and community life. 2. Designing and re-imaging the public infrastructures. 3. Refurbishing the community spaces for integration, awareness, education and celebrations. 4. Explore on ideas for creating interventions of tactical urbanism to deal with transiency of spaces
waste management. On the other hand in 2006, the city adopted a so-called “Zero Waste” law by taking initiatives to identify and formalize the economy of the Cartoneros. The demographic data identifies 11% of the people in Villa 31 as Cartoneros along with 43% unemployed in Villa 31. There lies a compelling opportunity to upscale the urban scavenging practice of Cartoneros in Villa 31 into a formal recycling industry. The proposed design framework aims at capitalizing the recycling practice of the ‘Cartoneros’ as an impetus to drive the revitalization of the settlement.
The Cartonero Pattern Book
1. Removal of infrastructural barriers. 2. Proposal for spatial connections to integrate to the formal city. 3. Social connection to the formal economy of the city through the proposed recycling industry. 4. Economic connections through markets for recycled products
The proposed recycling industry will aid in community development and serve as an ‘economic engine’ by creating job opportunities. The framework through the industry will develop the ‘Cartonero Pattern Book’. The patterns in the book are a set of recycled products, recycled building materials, design solutions and construction techniques. The patterns will not only assist the inhabitants in self building of their settlement but also will gain a demand outside the villa by the setting up of markets. The patterns generated out of the wastes are climate responsive, energy efficient, fire/water resistant, user friendly and easy to install. The pattern generation is an infinite process and more user defined patterns would evolve over the years
6.3 Urban Scavenging as an Impetus Upscaling of the Recycling Practice of Cartoneros The informal practice of urban scavenging by Cartoneros save up-to 25% of city’s energy expenditure on
Fig 4.21 Shaded Residue Space under the Structure
7.1 The Intent of ‘REHABILITATE’ The first section of the design framework is “REHABILITATE”. The principal objective of this section is to provide the inhabitants of the villa with access to standard housing; basic infrastructures like water, sanitation, electricity, health and the fundamentals for community living. As mentioned earlier, a participatory framework is engendered to build the housing that is transient, modular, incremental and flexible. This section of framework also goes into nitty-gritty of solving the housing typologies and methods of construction using recycled products.
The main goals of Rehabilitate are as follows: 1. Removal of sub-standard housing and relocating those inhabitants to new standard low-cost housing proposed in the adjacent site. 2. Design solutions to augment the quality of existing housing. 3. Develop an Incremental housing strategy through self build approaches. 4. Harvest construction techniques from recycled materials that are economically viable and user friendly 5. Enhance the micro-climate by designing environmental friendly solutions using waste.
7.2 The Relocation Plan The Existing Plan The draft “Barrio 31”, prepared by the Faculty of Architecture, Buenos Aires has identified 30% of sub-standard housing in Villa 31 to be removed and then relocated in the adjacent tax lands. The majority of houses to be removed are either situated on the railway infrastructures or clinging to the Illia Highway bridge. To add to that a considerable number of houses will also be removed to enhance the accessibility and continuity of the streets in the existing fabric. The “Secretaría de Integración Social y Urbana” has successfully carried out the negotiations for relocation with the residents of these dwellings. The city will buy the adjacent 38 acres of land from the ‘YPF Oil and Gas’ for the relocation. The houses to be relocated have been numbered and physically tagged using stickers.
The Relocation in Phases The houses are planned to be relocated in two phases as illustrated in fig 7.2. The first phase will relocate the houses colored in black which totals to 2730 units and the second phase will relocate the houses colored in red. The houses in red are structures that have very minimal access to the streets. Removing these structure will benefit the surrounding houses of the Manzana for enhanced health, ventilation and lighting.
Fig 7.0 The Existing Plan for Relocation of Housing
The Proposed Plan The proposed framework will imbibe majority part of the relocation plan and documentation produced by the ‘Secretaría de Integración Social y Urbana’ as it is rational and the negotiations with the residents for the relocation are completed. Having said that, this plan was drafted long before the anticipated idea of ‘Re-routing’ the urban highway was put forward. The
proposed framework will capitalize on the future proposal of re-routing the Illia highway. The touch down part of the existing highway stretch is removed to provide for additional 13 acres of land for relocation. Replacement of the physical barrier with a mixed-use housing development paves way for better urban connectivity within the Villa. Thus the framework proposes an amended relocation plan to be executed in three different phases.
Fig 7.1 Planned Proposal of Re-Routing the Autopista Dr. Arturo Umberto Illia. Source: Nexofin Writing
Fig 7.2 Space Gained by Removal of Touch Down Part of Highway
7.3 Relocation Phases - 1 and 2 The Phase - 1 of relocation is centralized in the adjacent 38 acres of YPF land. The relocation takes into account the future proposals for the â€œCarlos Mugicaâ€? Memorial and subway station at the north western end of the site. Initially, the existing street network of the villa is extended into the land for relocation. A diagonal street connecting the heart of the existing settlement with the proposed subway station is envisioned. These form
the primary streets of the new phase of development. Secondly, all the essential public infrastructure buildings like the high school, creche, housing council, community center and the primary health care center, etc are proposed at the intersection of the primary streets. The primary streets which intersect at different angles dictate the form of these proposed buildings. The public buildings are constructed initially and they serve as
Fig 7.3 Proposed Primary Streets with Public Infrastructure Buildings
Fig 7.4 Informal Blocks and Secondary Streets
landmarks for the new development. Following the erection of the public buildings, blocks/Manzanas are engendered around these important landmarks with the introduction of secondary grid of streets. Thus, an informal and organic urban pattern of blocks are induced to the new development. Following the block generation, the relocation and construction of housing is executed block by block in a systematic and sequen-
tial manner. The housing typologies that will densify these blocks are illustrated later in this chapter. The phase - 1 will generate 2230 housing units in 38 acres of YPF land. Similarly, following the demolition of the touch down part of Illia Highway, phase -2 will generate 1100 houses. An astounding total of 600 additional housing units, excluding the requirement of 2730 houses is generated through both the phases.
Fig 7.5 Proposed Housing for Relocation in Phases 1&2
Fig 7.6 Aerial View of the Proposed Housing
7.4 Phase-3 Augmentation of Existing Housing The Phase - 3 of relocation is centralized in the existing fabric of the settlement. Initially, the housing structures with very minimal access to the public streets are identified in each of the existing block/Manzana. These dwellings are often stranded in the center of a block/ Manzana and are surrounded by dwellings of different ownerships. Such housing structures are categorized as â€˜sub-standardâ€™ according to the UN-Habitat norms.
The housing clusters in these blocks are deprived of basic health that includes natural lighting, ventilation, access to services and vulnerability to fire hazards. The framework proposes the removal and relocation of these centrally stranded housing structures in a systematic and a sequential manner. Removing the central units will promote the health of the remaining units in the block with enhanced supply of natural lighting and
Fig 7.7 Centrally Stranded Units to be Removed and Relocated
Fig 7.8 Removal of the Central Units for Enhanced Access
ventilation. The open space created also provides for better accessibility by opening out the rear end of the dwelling units. A new type of introverted, semi-public space for the residents of the block are engendered which will be explained in detail in the next chapter.
Plug-in of ‘Infrastructure Rooms’: The opening out
of the blocks also makes the individual houses more ac-
cessible for amelioration and installment of infrastructures. Following the removal, public ‘Infrastructure Rooms’ are added to the terraces of determined houses in the block. The plugged-in Infrastructure Rooms will accommodate water tanks, services like Electric control boards and Communication junctions. The duct lines carrying these services are then routed out from these Infrastructure Rooms to the individual houses.
Fig 7.9 Removal of the Central Units for Enhanced Lighting and Ventilation
Fig 7.10 Plugging-in of Infrastructure Rooms
7.5 Modular, Flexible and Self-Build Housing Addressing Transience
Dwelling Unit Allocations
Villa 31 has a majority of transient/fluctuating population.. The volatility of permanent residentship is explained by the demographic data charts in fig 7.11. Families or individuals may reside in the villa for a few days to many years depending on their employment patterns. The framework responds to the transience by proposing a housing strategy that is Transient, Modular, Flexible and Incremental.
The relocated inhabitants of the villa are compensated with dwelling unit types of sizes that are equivalent to their demolished houses and their family sizes. The inhabitants are permitted ownership/lease of the new dwelling space depending on their previous tenure of residentship. The framework does not allocate a completely built unit for the relocated residents. Instead, the residents are allocated 3 Dimensional volumes of dwelling space in a structural lattice of Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC). The extremities of the structural grid marks the extent of the plot size allocated for the individual families. The framework will enable the residents to complete their houses with subsidized building materials from the pattern book of wastes.
The Modular Unit A basic spatial module of size 11.5 ft X 13 ft (3.5 m X 4 m) is devised. The basic module is worked into two functional types - (i) A room module which can serve as a bedroom or a living room and (ii) A Service module which accommodates the kitchen, bathroom, dining and the service shaft. The basic dwelling unit is a combination of these two modules (i & ii) that are multiplied depending on the size of the family. The modules can be arranged in different combinations to engender different unit types. The possible unit types are Linear 1BHK, L-shaped 1BHK, 2BHK and Studios. The proposed housing typologies of the framework are a combination of these unit types which are stacked vertically and horizontally.
‘Top-Down’ + ‘Bottom-Up’ House Building The framework aims to exploit the potential of user participation in urbanism. A design paradigm which is a partnership between the city driven ‘Top-Down’ and the community driven ‘Bottom-Up’ approaches is proposed for the development in Villa 31. Following the negotiations for relocation, the Housing Authority builds the Structural (RCC) framework, shafts common staircases and delivers it to the families that have
Fig 7.11 Housing Strategies Based on Demographics
qualified for the allocation. The families on habitation would complete the remaining house by building the walls, doors, windows, shadings devices, cabinets, wall partitions, balconies and furnitures. This process of co-operative building established by the partnership between the Authority and the User enables for flexibility in design and usage. This process allows the owners to control their own social, family and cultural needs
making them more involved and motivated towards the project. As explained in the design framework, the recycled building materials and products from the proposed recycling industry would be made available to the users at subsidized costs. To add to that, the design and construction techniques from the ‘Cartonero Pattern Book’ would aid the users for easy, sustainable and climate-responsive construction.
Fig 7.12 Allocation of Modular Housing for Relocation
Fig 7.13 ‘Top-Down’ + ‘Bottom-Up’ House Building
7.6 Housing Typology 1 - Row Houses The Basic Unit The proposed Row House typology is an improvised form of the existing housing typology that is prevalent throughout the villa. The basic unit of this typology is a linear combination of a central service module with room modules at both the ends. The central service module is slightly stretched to accommodate a kitchen, bathroom, dining and the entrance into the house. The entire unit is 4 m wide and 12.5 m deep. The room module towards the street front is provided with a cantilevered slab projection of 2 meters which could be finished as a balcony. Providing the entrance through the service module, enables flexibility for the users to decide on the location of the living room, either to-
wards the street or towards the rear. The users could also negate the option of having a living room and may use both the room modules as bed rooms depending on their requirement.
The Stacking A single vertical stack of the row house includes four floors (or) four units. Another mirrored stack of four units is placed adjacent in a wall sharing configuration. A singular common staircase would serve two stacks of row houses (8 units). A single parcel of the row house typology is a combination of four stacks of units (16 units) served by two common staircases. The units along the stack can be staggered to achieve dou-
Fig 7.14 The Stacking Process of Row House Typology
ble height terraces and shaded spaces, provided the service shafts align vertically through the floors. The entire stack is erected on a plinth of 0.45 m and offsetted by 2 m from the street so as to create a transitional space from the street level. The common staircase leads to the semi-public terrace that would be used by the residents of the stack for drying laundry. Water tanks and other services are also housed in the terrace.
The Completed Unit. As explained before, the authority would build the structural framework, service shaft & common staircase and the users would build the rest of the house using the recycled products and techniques from the ‘Cartonero Pattern Book’. The fig 7.16 shows one scenario of a unit finished using the pattern book.
Fig 7.15 The Stacking and Clustering of Row House Typology
Fig 7.16 The ‘Top-Down’ + ‘Bottom-Up’ Building Process of Row House Units
Fig 7.17 An Example Scenario of a Row House Unit finished by the Resident using the Cartonero Pattern Book
7.7 The Incremental Strategy Although there is a considerable number of transient population, the proposed housing should also cater to the growing families of the permanent residents. The framework should allow for incremental growth of the proposed housing. So to tackle that, a stack of transient/temporary units is introduced between the regular stack of permanent residents in the row house typology. The sandwiched transient unit is a combina-
tion of a service module and a room module. The unit has projected slab provisions for balconies on both the sides. The service shaft is provided in the center of the unit alongside the bathroom. The units in the stack are accessed by a separate spiral staircase. Initially, these transient units are rented on short term leases by the housing authority. The transient labor population who are majorly employed in the construction and fabrica-
Fig 7.18 The Stack of Transient Units Introduced Between the Row House Stacks
Fig 7.19 The Transient Unit
tion industries could take advantage of such leases and renew them periodically depending on their work span. When a transient occupant vacates on termination of the lease, the modules of transient unit become periodically available for the adjacent permanent units to purchase. Hence, when the family size and the economy of the adjacent permanent residents grow, the modules of the transient unit can be annexed by the units of per-
manent residents on purchase. Each of the permanent units would acquire a room module with a bathroom and central service shaft will be shared. The annexed part could also be rented by the user with the luxury of separate access through the spiral staircase. The whole process of incremental growth of the resident units in row house typology is illustrated through the figures 7.18 to 7.21.
Fig 7.20 The Annexation of a Transient Unit Module by Permanent Unit A
Fig 7.21 The Annexation of a Transient Unit Module by Permanent Unit B
Fig 7.22 Before: The Structural Framework Provided by the Housing Council
Fig 7.23 After: Transformation on Habitation following Relocation
7.8 The Balance between ‘Top - Down’ and ‘Bottom - Up’ Urbanisms The proposed approach not only bolsters the Top Down framework’s foot hold over the villa’s revitalization, but also empowers its inhabitants by inducing user participation. As illustrated in the fig 7.24, the relocated inhabitants would add their cultural layer to the proposed built environment. The streetscape will continue to be a reflection of the community itself, its aspirations and cultural exuberance. The framework ensures that both the housing authority and the users have ample control over their critical realms as listed below.
Top - Down Framework
Bottom - Up Urbanism
1. Housing Density and Heights 2. Structural Stability 3. Fire Safety 4. Health - Natural light and Ventilation 5. Basic Infrastructure - Water, Electricity & Sanitation
1. Spatial program and use 2. Spatial Flexibility 3. Economy 4. Dwelling Aesthetics 5. Cultural Identity
Fig 7.24 Streetscape Showing The Addition of Cultural Layer after Habitation
7.9 Housing Typologies 2,3 - Core Buildings The framework proposes two more housing typologies - (i) Six storeys core building and (ii) Eight storeys core building that have an identical building process as that of the Four storeys Row House typology.
The Basic Unit The basic unit for the new typologies is a L-shaped or-
ganization of the basic modules. The L-shaped unit has a service module accompanied by 2 room modules. The Service module accommodates the kitchen, bathroom, dining and the entrance into the house. The provision of a cantilevered slab projection for balconies is provided in either of the basic modules. The basic dwelling unit is embedded with an adjacent smaller â€˜Transientâ€™ unit to enable for incremental growth in future
Fig 7.25 L-Shaped Unit from the Basic Module
Fig 7.26 Housing Typology 2 - The 6 Storeys Core Building
The 6 and 8 Storeys Core Buildings The Core Building typologies have four permanent resident units in each floor, surrounding a common staircase core. The Transient units introduced in determined floors, dictate the massing. The orientation of the core building typologies facilitate cross-ventilation
through all the units and the private balconies donâ€™t look into the adjacent units. The orientation also provides for enhanced natural lighting in the units. The blocks/Manzanas in the proposed development is always a combination of the core buildings and the row houses oriented and configured to capture maximum day lighting and natural ventilation.
Fig 7.27 Housing Typology 2 - The 8 Storeys Core Building
Fig 7.28 The Proposed Housing Typologies for Releocation
Fig 7.29 Final Masterplan of Phases 1 and 2
8.1 The Intent of ‘REINFORCE’ The second section of the design framework is “REINFORCE”. The principal objective of this section is to rejuvenate the public realm of the settlement and thus engender robust spaces for community interaction, congregation, celebration and leisure. It is worthwhile to comprehend that the existing streets of Villa 31 are the vital urban entities that support the public realm. The streets often bulge into open spaces that are often
used for an array of activities like parking, children play area and soccer fields. Having said that, the streets are purely public in nature where the vehicular and pedestrian routes co-exist with no distinctions or sidewalk demarcations. The demographic data ascertains the multi-ethnic nature of the villa and it is a legitimate fact that there are closed communities within the villa which do not intermingle with the other communities
Fig 8.0 The Existing Public Realm
Fig 8.1 The Activities Supported by the Existing Open Spaces. Source: Photographed by Anton Velikzhanin/ Ale Petra Drone Photography
or nationalities. These closed communities embrace their own cultural, social and religious congregations. So, there is an imperative need for separate cultural spaces for these closed communities and nationalities. In other words, the villa lacks semipublic spaces that are conducive for cultural, social activities; and spaces that are physically and visually safe for the children and senior citizens of the blocks.
The Introverted Semipublic Spaces. The urban design framework conceives and introduces a new type of semipublic space called the ‘Introverted Cultural Spaces’. They are introverted (inward looking) open spaces in the center of the proposed blocks of the new development for relocation.
Fig 8.2 Demographic Data Illustrating the Multi-Ethnic/National Nature of the Villa
Fig 8.3 Plan of the Proposed ‘Introverted Cultural Spaces’ - Phase 1&2
8.2 Phase 1,2 - Introverted Cultural Spaces As explained earlier, the housing typologies in the proposed blocks are oriented around an open space. The introverted space in the proposed block has minimal, restricted access controlled by gates. The space is predominantly accessible only to the residents of the block. There is provision for a 2 m private extend able zone for the ground floor units of the block. This space could be incrementally developed into a backyard by
the residents of the ground floor units. Excluding this private extend able zone, the remaining open space is collectively owned by the residents of the particular block. The design and the types of activity to go into the space is collectively decided by the residents of the block through community unions. Thus, the framework empowers the community to design their own space and the design solutions, techniques and
Fig 8.4 Restricted Gated Access for the Introverted Cultural Spaces
Fig 8.5 Illustration showing the Private Extendable Backyards
recycled building materials are made available to the users through the proposed ‘Cartonero Pattern Book’. The use of simple, flexible techniques from the pattern book could pave way for a new type of tactical/popup urbanism. The design solutions for the semipublic space could be temporary and the space can be transformed again in a few years or months, depending on the aspirations and the needs of the residents. Fig 8.6
illustrates one example scenario where the semi-public cultural space is used by the residents for cultural events and as a children play area. The framework reinforces the urban realm of Villa 31 by creating an hierarchy of publicness for the open spaces - (i) Public - Streets, (ii) Semipublic - Introverted Cultural Spaces, (iii) Private - Front-yards, Backyards and Balconies.
Fig 8.6 Illustration of a Community designed ‘Introverted Cultural Space’: Event Space and Children Play Area
Fig 8.7 Illustration showing the obtained hierarchy of publicness in open spaces
8.3 Phase 3 - Introverted Cultural Spaces The provision of Introverted cultural Spaces is also feasible in the exiting fabric. As explained earlier, in phase 3, the centrally stranded units in the existing blocks/ Manzanas are removed to enhance the urban health of the other units. The resultant open space will serve the motive of the semipublic cultural space. Scenario 1: The fig 8.8 illustrates a scenario where bal-
conies are added to the rear of the buildings facing the open space. The rear balconies will not only improve the living quality, but also opens out opportunities for the residents to rent out rooms for transient workers. Scenario 2: The rear balconies of houses in the block can be connected through a corridor to form a gallery space. The gallery space with temporary seating could
Fig 8.8 Example Scenario 1: Addition of Rear Balconies facing the Introverted Space
Fig 8.9 Example Scenario 2: As a Gallery Space for Cultural and Religious Events
host cultural, religious and recreational events as depicted in fig 8.9 Scenario 3: Fig 8.10 illustrates a scenario where the raised podium level around the tree could be used as an informal learning space. It can also host community activities like Yoga, dance, music classes, religious and political congregations etc.
Scenario 4: Fig 8.11 illustrates how the design of the space could be also be downscaled. Metal poles are provided at regular intervals so that the space could be shaded using tarpaulins for activities in summer. These are just example scenarios from the proposed pattern book. The â€˜Bottom-Upâ€™ design possibilities for the cultural spaces are copious and infinite.
Fig 8.10 Example Scenario 3: As an Informal Learning Space
Fig 8.11 Example Scenario 4: As a Shaded Space during Summers
8.4 The Rationale Behind Informal Open Spaces The proposed framework has engendered the introverted cultural spaces that are informal in character. Hence no two blocks/Manzanas of the proposed design have semi-public open spaces that are similar in form and shape. It is also imperative that all the proposed blocks should ideally have fairly the same area of open spaces. This rationale of equivalence for the irregular shaped open spaces are legitimized using the Residential Foot
print calculation method as explained in the book, â€˜The Fabric of Placeâ€™,Artifice, London by Bob Allies Bob Allies , Allies and Morrison 2014.
The Method: To compute the residential footprint (f ) of the blocks: One should subtract the total area of open space (grey
Fig 8.12 Illustration of Block 6 and 2 for Residential Footprint Calculation
Block 6 - Residential Footprint Calculation 1. Area of open space (grey area) (b) 2. Total block area (a) 3. % of land for residential use (c) 4. The difference (a-b) 5. Number of occupants (d) (4 people per unit)
= 748.17 sqm = 3702.94 sqm = 79.8% = 2954.77 sqm = 736
Block 2 - Residential Footprint Calculation 1. Area of open space (grey area) (b) 2. Total block area (a) 3. % of land for residential use (c) 4. The difference (a-b) 5. Number of occupants (d) (4 people per unit)
f = (a-b) x c : 100 x d f = 2954.77 x 79.8 : 100 x 736 f = 235790.65 : 73600
f = (a-b) x c : 100 x d f = 3104.6 x 64 : 100 x 688 f = 198694.4 : 68800
f = 3.2 sqm per person
f = 2.9 sqm per person
= 988.69 sqm = 4093.94 sqm = 64% = 3104.60 sqm = 688
area) (b) from the total site area of each block (a). The grey area is the communal area and it is multiplied by the percentage of gross development-land area allocated to residential use (c) (that is the land-coverage of building footprints as a percentage of the block area); gross includes stairs and green plots necessary to light the windows. That resultant number is divided by 100x d,(d) is the number of occupants in a given block. The
result is the residential footprint in m2 per resident. f = (a-b)x c : 100 x d The result would give you a fair comparison of block size and amount of space allocated to each resident. It is evident from the calculations that the area of space allocated for each resident is comparable in different blocks and also is similar to that of the highly efficient residential blocks of Pearl District in Portland.
Fig 8.13 A Residential Block in Pearl District of Portland for Residential Footprint Calculation
Pearl District, Portland - Calculation 1. Area of open space (grey area) (b) 2. Total block area (a) 3. % of land for residential use (c) 4. The difference (a-b) 5. Number of occupants (d) (4 people per unit)
= 800.00 sqm = 4225.00 sqm = 81% = 3425 sqm = 672
f = (a-b) x c : 100 x d f = 3425 x 81 : 100 x 672 f = 277425 : 67200
f = 3.2 sqm per person
9.1 The Intent of ‘RECONNECT’ The third section of the design framework is “RECONNECT”. The principal objective of this section is to integrate the settlement of Villa 31 back to the formal city of Buenos Aires. The existing physical disconnect is caused by the infrastructural barriers that include railway lines and the Illia highway. There also exists a social disconnect induced by vast economic disparity. This framework not only strives to establish
physical connections but also aims nurture social and economic connections with the formal city. Taking into consideration the plan to re-route the Illia highway, the left over part of the bridge structure could be used to establish a pedestrian connection from the ‘Avenue 9 de Julio’ into the villa. There lies an opportunity to bring in tourism into the villa and thereby incite a ‘Tourism Spine’ through the proposed diagonal street.
Fig 9.0 The Largest Entity to be Recycled, the Illia Highway Bridge
Fig 9.1 The Illia Highway - An Extension of the iconic Avenue 9 de Julio
9.2 Recycling the Urban Highway The proposed framework has been modeled on the central motif of recycling. Ironically, the largest entity to be recycled is the Illia highway itself. As mentioned earlier, the touch down part of the highway is already removed to accommodate new housing for relocation in phase 2. In this section, the framework urges to recycle the bridge segment of the highway. The segment is recycled in two ways. Certain parts of the bridge structure are recycled for building materials to construct the new housing in the villa. The remaining part of the bridge is recycled as a space. The ‘Avenue 9 de Julio’
which is the world’s widest street is one of the most visited places in South America. The avenue also hosts most of the parades in Buenos Aires. It is an incongruity that the ‘Avenue 9 de Julio’ only continues as Illia highway into the villa. So, the design framework strives to bring the urbanity of the ‘Avenue 9 de Julio’ into the villa to stimulate slum tourism and public realm. The part of the highway over the railway lines is converted into a liner pedestrian park identical to ‘The Promenade plantée’ in Paris.
Fig 9.2 Two Strategies of Recycling the Illia Highway Bridge
Fig 9.3 Creation of a Tourism Spine through the Diagonal Street
Fig 9.4 Illustration of the Proposed Transformation of the Illia Bridge and the Public Realm around it
The Touch Down The linear park is terminated by two descending ramps from the bridge that direct the pedestrians into the south-central part of the villa. As analyzed earlier, the urban shading provided by the bridge structure is a vital micro-climatic quality to exploit on. Fig 9.6 depicts the shaded space underneath
the bridge near the touch down which is used as a pop-up event space. The space could very well become an important node catering to the Parades of ‘Avenue 9 de Julio’.
Fig 9.5 The Touch Down Point and the Location of the Section AA’
Fig 9.6 The Section AA’ Illustrating the use of the Shaded Space under the Illia Highway Bridge
Fig 9.7 The Shaded Space used as a Civic Event Space
Fig 9.8 Aerial View of the Civic Event Space
The Markets for Recycled Products The framework proposes a formal and an informal market for the recycled products. The markets define the edges of the “The Celebrated Arrival” Plaza. The formal market is run by co-operatives, while the informal market is directly run by the inhabitants of the villa. The informal market space is housed in the urban shade under the bride structure. The informal market space is a fine specimen for tactical/pop-up urbanism
which is depicted by the fig 9.7. The market set-up is again a balance between the ‘Top-Down’ and the ‘Bottom-Up’ approaches, where the city would build the platform with spatial demarcations and slots to plug-in the stalls and the users would build their own stalls and shacks from recycled products and techniques of the pattern book.
Fig 9.9 The Market Spaces and the Location of the Section BB’
Fig 9.10 The Section BB’ Illustrating the Pop-up Market Space for Recycled Products
Sequential Tearing Down of the Highway
The top surface of the bridge above the informal markets is used for solar farming. The proposed solar farm will produce 915,968 KWH of electricity per year to power 512 houses. The access to the solar farm is restricted through the adjacent civic building complex.
The remaining part of the Illia highway structure is used to house civic amenity buildings that include the Police Station, the Fire Department and a Community Hall. Finally, the highway structure is reduced to just four columns that stand in the Neighborhood park as a ‘piece of memory’.
Fig 9.11 The ‘Top-Down’ + ‘Bottom-Up’ Strategy for the Pop-up Market Space
Fig 9.12 ‘The Bottom-Up’ Design Strategies for Users from the Cartonero Pattern Book
9.3 The Recycling Industry The next destination along the Tourism spine is the proposed ‘Recycling Industry’. The industry is an upscaled version of the ‘Urban Scavenging’ practice of the Cartoneros. The industry is located at the South-Eastern extremity of the site, so it is easier for the garbage trucks to unload. The industry is institutionalized housing facilities like training centers and interpretation centers. The industry would employ a major work
force from the villa and will benefit the community in establishing an economic connection to the formal city. The components of the recycling industry are: (i) The Waste Collection and Segregation Sector, (ii) The Processing and Production Unit and (iii) The Co-operative Yards. The location of the formal and the informal markets in close proximity to the component facilities makes the case an efficient industrial module.
Fig 9.13 The Public Amenities and the Sequential Tearing down of the Structure
Fig 9.14 The Proposed Recycling Industry
9.4 The Spine Through the Diagonal The Tourism spine continues through the proposed Diagonal street of the new development. The Diagonal street is designed as a shared lane with the provision of
a landscaped hawking island in the middle as depicted in fig 9.10. The introduction of this hawking zone would economically benefit the residents of the villa.
Fig 9.15 The Continuation of the Tourism Spine through the Diagonal Street
Fig 9.16 The Sreet Section Depicting the Hawking Island along the Diagonal Street
9.5 Father Mugica Memorial and Park The Tourism spine finally culminates at the proposed “Father Mugica Memorial and Park”. Father Mugica was a ‘A Third World’, Catholic Priest who lived in Villa 31. Father Mugica is an influential figure who protested against the government for the rights of the inhabitants of Villa 31. Being one of the important political icons of Argentinian history, he was assassinated in 1974 by his rivals. Father Mugica still holds
a strong sentimental connection with the inhabitants of the villa. So, the framework in accordance with the urbanization initiative, proposes a Memorial and Park as a symbol of paying homage to his contributions. Fig 9.12 illustrates the design, where the actual memorial is subterranean and the park wraps over the memorial structure. The memorial space is lit by a linear light well. The light well serves like a ‘Wall in a Park’
Fig 9.17 The Culmination of the Tourism Spine at the Urban Node
Fig 9.18 Father Carlos Mugica and his Bond withVilla 31
where the wall surfaces could be used for public arts of expression. Thus, the proposed node will be the political space of the Villa, much in accordance with the ideologies of Father Mugica. After this point, the tourists need not walk back the entire stretch as they can make use of the planned â€˜Carlos Mugicaâ€™ subway station to go to their destinations.
Fig 9.19 The Urban Park Wrapping over the Subterranean Memorial for Father Mugica
Fig 9.20 The Light Well Surface as a Palette for Communal Expression
Fig 9.21 Visualization of the Proposed ‘Father Mugica Memorial and Park’
10.1 The Empowerment
10.2 The Urban Sink
Earlier experiences from around the world, have only demonstrated that the accomplishment of a ‘TopDown’ rehabilitation scheme is ephemeral. So, the proposal deviates from the conventional position, by demonstrating a balanced partnership between the Top-Down and Bottom-Up forces.
The Villa 31 is the only type of settlement affordable and accessible to the poor in the urban core of Buenos Aires. The inhabitants of the villa are a substantial economic force, representing a majority of the ‘Blue Collar’ sector employed in central Buenos Aires. Although, their existence in the core of Buenos Aires is indisputable, the proposed framework further augments the significance of their existence.
The proposed framework illustrates how involving the community in the revitalization process can pave way for a holistic, indigenous development. Empowering the community gets them more involved and motivated towards the building-up process by implanting a sense of owness. To add to that, the proposal conceives a sustainable module by the efficient management of the stipulated funding. As per the proposed scheme, the city would save by constructing only the structural frameworks of the houses and that the surplus could be channeled towards the upscaling of the indigenous recycling industry. The proposed industry would eventually aid the residents to complete their houses and at the same time sustain them socio-economically in the long-run by creation of jobs and markets.
The proposed recycling industry in the villa would amplify the urban scavenging practice of the Cartoneros. Villa 31 will become an ‘Urban Sink’, where the trash generated by the formal city would be converted into treasure. The large scale recycling of Villa 31 would drastically help the city cut down its expenditure on waste management and hence there is more so a pressing need for them to exist. Thus, the framework establishes an economic partnership between the formal city and Villa 31 through transaction of wastes. If this module can be replicated in many of the other informal settlements, Buenos Aires could very well be on course to become the world’s most sustainable city.
Fig 10.0 The Possibility of Multiple ‘Urban Sinks’ for Buenos Aires
Bibliography and References
Fernández Castro, Javier. District 31. First Edition - Buenos Aires: Institute of Human Space, October 2010.AGI / Integrated Graphic Arts Carlos Mugica. “Barrio 31”. FADU 2015. http://www.habitatinclusivo.com.ar/publicaciones/barrio31/b31-anteproyecto-resumen.pdf Flavio Janches. “Public Space in the Fragmented City.” Issuu Published on Apr 10, 2014. Max Rohm. “Urban Interrelations / Interrelaciones Urbana.” Issuu Published on Sep 20, 2012. “The unplugged” May 3rd 2014 | BUENOS AIRES <http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21601517-efforts-integrate-shantytowns-are-hampered-lack-trust-and-money-unplugged> Charlotte, Brook. “A Room in the Villa 31 Slum Can Go Up to $4,000.” The Bubble Oct 1, 2014 < http://www. thebubble.com/a-room-in-the-villa-31-slum-can-go-up-to-4000/> Soli, Salgado. “Buenos Aires slums have shaped a papacy.” Reporter Sep. 17, 2015. < https://www.ncronline.org/ news/faith-parish/buenos-aires-slums-have-shaped-papacy> Agustín Frizzera. “Bringing Down The Walls: The Urbanisation of Villa 31.” The Argentina independent.13th December 2010. < http://www.argentinaindependent.com/socialissues/development/bringing-down-the-walls-theurbanisation-of-villa-31/ > Carlose E. Cue. The 31, from shantytown to new neighborhood of Buenos Aires. El Pais. Buenos Aires 30 AGO 2016 Maria Cristina Cravino. “Structural transformations of slums in Buenos Aires”. Annual RC 21 Conference 2011 Timothy A. Trujillo. “Spatial and process strategies toward the formalization and integration of the informal settlement, Villa 31, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.” MUP Thesis, University of Washington 2012
The “Villa 31” in the heart of Buenos Aires, Argentina is an informal settlement(squatter) which has been battling for its existence for the...
Published on Oct 18, 2017
The “Villa 31” in the heart of Buenos Aires, Argentina is an informal settlement(squatter) which has been battling for its existence for the...