Re: [carfree_cities] The Slums in the World's Teeming Cities Need an Urgent Solution
- Hi All,
Patrick Collins replied to postings on Carfree_Cities regarding
the urgent need for housing for the poor in shanty-towns around
>I witnessed this first-hand, when living in Johannesburg, South...
>Africa. Throughout the city there are large unused tracks of land,
>mostly belonging to mining concerns, that have now been completely
>overrun by so-called "squatter camps". The residents come to the big
>city from the farms, but also from across the continent. Many of the
>people that I met and spoke to came from as far afield as Zambia,
>Congo, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.
>There have been some low-cost housing projects, but these are poorly...
>implemented. Each identical tiny house is built on a tiny parcel of
>land, not touching the buildings next to it, with a great wide road to
>accommodate cars that they don't own. Also the construction is
>sub-standard, with many of these "houses" literally falling apart, or
>being condemned before they have even been lived in.
>I think that Mr Crawford's solution is by far the best - 3 / 4 storyCan we not get together with UN Habitat and maybe Habitat for
>buildings, close together, with some open space reserved for parks.
Humanity and try to come up with a real, workable solution to
this problem? It means thinking outside the box. It means NOT
including "a great wide road to accommodate cars that they don't own"
and probably never will. All that is REALLY required is a cheap
way to build very small two-story buildings (3 or 4 would certainly
be better) that won't fall down in the first minor natural disaster.
Anyone interested in this topic should try to borrow a copy of
_How the Other Half Builds_, which came from the Centre for
Mininimum Cost Housing at McGill U. in Montreal. The spaces
they studied have the evolved character that I advocate. They
provide functioning neighborhoods arranged by the people who
live in them. Realistically, this is the best we're going to
do for the 3 billion people who will be living in terrible
conditions 20 years hence. It's a LOT better than what they
will have if we don't take action along these lines. We will
need a cheap, safe, and effective method to build 2-4 story
buildings that can be designed on the site and built in accordance
with some very simple guidelines that will ensure safety. These
buildings have to be of a nature that unskilled people can do
most or all of the work. And we need basic services. We need
some sort of cooperative bank to make construction loans. Maybe
we can put the auto industry to work stamping out sheet metal
parts that can be assembled on the site.
Can anyone put together a coalition to do some preliminary
research and then to propose something to the UN and Habitat?
Somebody needs to contact McGill. Arie, isn't this something
that is fundable?
I can't do any of this. I have way too much on my plate right
now and am exhausted. But this needs to happen. Anyone?
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J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities