Re: [holistichelping] Social housing in Latin America
- Dear All,I believe in the concepts and my concept has always been "motivativation through suffering".Some sacrifice to help others while I also help myself. These are the words of value to me and hope through them I will be able to work with or for any member Of our groups.I am now doing own community Transectional drive to get some actual informations and identify the government protocol in creating awareness on sanitation regarding bird flu. This is going to apply very well if I have information about groups vetting for information and appraisals. In this field I can be happy to work with Lucas as he is convasant with our country and his knowledge on bird Flu.In the other aspect, i am going to get groups environmental information to help get them prepared for the Bird flu. Any interested person in our groups can get me through to help the projects. This is going to make me have community based information and school based information. These bases will help in making information monitoring and evaluations for calamity preparedness.I am also of the opinion to find problems affecting our slum dwellers and more problems which are being caused by up coming settlements. Any body can help if he/ she needs some information about settlement and slum improvement.Any interested member can contact me and we see away forward to get info about these projects and we can work together.Thanks I would hope hear your comments and work together.Samwel
Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...> wrote:
How do we solve the housing problem in the world's cities? Nikos
Salingaros is asking for our help to come up with good approaches. I
share with several of our Minciu Sodas laboratory's groups:
- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minciu_sodas_ES/ nuestro grupo en
español porque Nikos hablaré en Brasil en noviembro, especialmente sobre
cubierta social en América latina.
- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minciu_sodas_EN/ we have people from
around the world, including India, Eastern Europe, Chicago
- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/holistichelping/ we have participants
- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/ our global villages
group is hosting our initiative to organize the pattern languages
community, please join us by sending a blank message to
I invite us to read Nikos Salingaros's thoughts below on a "pattern
language" for social housing. He has been invited to give a talk in
Brazil this November on the future of social housing. He asks for our
help, and perhaps we might work as we did in our chocolate project. Our
ideas can help communities, governments and businesses think humanely
about what kind of housing (and housing policies) will uplift us all.
Nikos is thinking about "urban villages", transportation for access to
jobs, contact with nature, a sense of the sacred, multifunctional
zoning, owner-occupied housing, funding partnerships. I think that this
is an important social issue but also a huge business opportunity that I
would like to pursue if we are interested.
I also want to thank Nikos Salingaros for introducing me to Nikos
Karidis, an architect in Bath who I very much enjoyed visiting. Nikos
K.'s key concept is "observe to understand" (no, I didn't give him much
time to think about it). Nikos, thank you for your recent letter to me,
and I want to say that I mentioned you to Alan Heeks
http://www.thenaturaladvantage.com/alan.htm He is author of "The
Natural Advantage" and is getting ready to build an eco-village in
Dorset county, not too far from you, near Gillingham. He was
considering using the pattern language methodology. So I recommended
you as an architect in the area who could lead this process. He was
delighted to learn that you live nearby, that is important to him.
Please let me know if you might be interested. Alan agreed that I write
a proposal to him for 300 GBP to organize online for him interested
pattern language and sustainability practictioners, and for 500 GBP I
would facilitate the first session for the layout of the village,
hopefully introducing you at that time. I am also interested to involve
others in our group, including the many who we signed up from the Centre
for Alternative Technology in Wales http://www.cat.org.uk
Welcome to Kate O'Connell of The Farm http://www.thefarm-online.co.uk
(thank you to Markus Petz for introducing us!) and to Dominik Werner of
Special thank you to James Ferguson, Markus Petz and Benoit Couture for
your help in responding to flows in our volume of letters. Our readers
are not generally aware that we try not to have too many letters come
all at once. We know that it can take many months to get a sense of
what our lab is all about. We don't want people to get so much mail on
one day that they decide to unsubscribe. So Franz and I ask our most
active writers to refrain from writing when we're getting a lot of
letters. And we're very happy when you show leadership by writing when
there is a lull. Thank you especially for helping with our new working
groups and our gateways in French, German, Spanish.
I also want to remind us of the great impact that our dialogue has on
people's lives because it helps us share our good energy. Many of us
have read letters by David Ellison-Bey who lives in the Englewood
neighborhood in Chicago. I spoke with him yesterday and he was sad
because this last week he witnessed a drive-by shooting on his block.
An eighteen year old neighbor of his was shot by a fourteen year old.
David went to console his neighbor's grandmother. He is a great spirit
and I know that he gave her much peace. But it's all enormously
draining. Recently, a sixteen year old on their block was imprisoned
for murder. And two ladies he knows well died of breast cancer. It
just goes on and on and on. Yet it means a lot for him to receive my
energy, even as I receive from all of us. And he gives my life a lot of
meaning, and I believe that we share that with all of us, too. Please
know that this transfer of energy between independent thinkers is
enormously real and helpful. There are children in Africa who eat
better because of our letters. And I know that Benoit's daughter, who
suffers from spinal bifida, is happier because of the energy he draws
from us. There is an exchange of energy and meaning. It allows us to
work together to help people who we might otherwise never ever reach.
Thank you for our thoughtful letters!
Thank you to Nadia McLaren with whom I stayed here in Brussels, Belgium.
I was excited to meet her and Anthony Judge. Tomorrow I travel to
Luxembourg, where I will have lunch with Lucien Steil,
http://www.katarxis3.com an architect who is a leader in the pattern
languages movement. I hope he might join us here (please send a blank
letter to firstname.lastname@example.org ) as might others who
are interested in these global villages issues, including social housing
in Latin America. I spend Tuesday night in Liege, Belgium and then
visit Nikos Salingaros who will be vacationing in Eupen, Belgium. Then
Wednesday night I take the night train to Franz Nahrada's Hotel
Karolinenhof http://www.karolinenhof.at in Vienna, Austria, my home away
Date: Thu, 27 May 2006
From: Nikos Salingaros: salingar@...
Here is an outline that sets up some questions for the future of social
housing. I have been asked to prepare a comprehensive report for Brazil
(applicable to all of Latin America), to be presented in November. For
this reason, I would like to have input and help from the Global
Villages Group. I have also asked my friend, the New Urbanist Michael
Mehaffy, to possibly come in on this project. Michael is directly
involved with the reconstruction after the Katrina devastation in the
Southern US, which faces similar, but not identical, realities.
Here is the chance for us to solve the social housing problem which is a
major component of world urban growth. Surely we can do it. I thought
that perhaps a substantial solution would be better for history than a
short essay by me. And supposedly, we are the world experts, and can
draw upon Christopher Alexander's work and all the other stuff lying
around unapplied. Governments instead impose the most crazy antihuman
schemes that generate pestilential housing for the poor. We can take
this simple problem and make it a world solution, announcing it as such
to other interested parties and governments.
Patterns of Social Housing.
1. Existing public housing projects are conceptualized and built as
cheap dormitories, and thus follow a military planning philosophy. We
should abandon this mindset and build urban villages instead.
2. A village represents a complex social network, with the
appropriate urban morphology of a network. It is not monofunctional, and
it is not homogeneous. It cannot be built in a top-down fashion by
3. Governments are still stuck in the mindset of social housing
serving jobs in a particular place. The reality is that villages connect
into an urban conglomeration, where people work wherever they can find
Connectivity and Spirituality.
1. People become psychologically sick and hostile in an environment
devoid of nature. Biophilia is innate in our genes. Villages need to
blend with and not replace natural habitats.
2. We connect to plants through their geometrical structure, thus
some geometries are more connective to the human spirit than others. We
feel comfortable with a built environment that incorporates complex
3. Residents should love their homes and neighborhoods. That means
that the form of the immediate built environment must be spiritual and
4. Industrial materials and typologies generate hatred for the built
environment. We grow hostile to surfaces and forms that do not nourish
us spiritually, because we feel their rejection of our humanity.
5. The sacred character of traditional villages cannot be dismissed
as outmoded nonsense (as is done nowadays). This is the only thing that
connects a village on the large scale to people, hence indirectly to
each other. We need to build it into the village.
1. Use pattern languages to plan the transportation network long
before any building takes place. This is essential for generating
village and neighborhood centers. Rigid grids favored by central
government ruin the internal connectivity of the village.
2. Use pattern languages (and develop new ones appropriate to the
locality) to construct a village for a complex society consisting of
children, adults, seniors; and including housing, stores, retail,
schools, informal spaces, transportation hubs, etc.
3. Existing anti-complex (i.e., antihuman) monofunctional zoning must
be rescinded by central government. Without that step, all schemes
preclude urban life from the beginning, regardless of what they might
4. Encourage construction systems (controlled from the top down) to
work with local future residents (working from the bottom up) so as to
generate low-cost, higher-quality dwellings.
5. Use pattern languages to rehabilitate existing low-income
owner-occupied houses, and to convert current rental units to
owner-occupied. This requires an infusion of money, but it also
generates construction work.
1. Funding sources now determine social housing morphology. Central
government wants to build in the most efficient manner. That cannot
generate a village. We need to identify all available sources of
funding, to break out of this antipattern.
2. Raise funds from various sources in order to ensure that homes are
affordable to neighborhood residents. A private-public partnership is
the most effective way of using the market economy to generate a village
instead of a monolithic monster favored by government bureaucracy.
3. Involvement with non-governmental associations will keep the heavy
hand of central government from sabotaging the use of pattern languages
in building a village, or in converting an existing dysfunctional
project into a village.
1. Encourage and support tenants to maintain their dwellings. The
traditional subsidized rental solution has been disastrous. It is not
possible for a tenant to value a material structure owned by someone
else, especially when the owner is the resented central government.
2. Make it possible to own an affordable home, even if it is the most
primitive type of dwelling. Encourage government financial underwriting,
seen as a sound future investment that prevents social housing being
destroyed by its tenants.
3. Establish a strict legislated code of responsibility for the
residents. Owners can be held accountable for maintaining their
environment, whereas renters cannot. Since supply can never meet demand,
owners can be made to care for their dwellings.
I look forward to hearing from all of you,
Please note our rule: Each letter sent to the Holistic Helping group enters the PUBLIC DOMAIN unless it explicitly states otherwise. Thank you! http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.orgSamwel Okech kongereNyamuga primary schoolP.O BOX 191,MBITA 040305-KENYA.Cell: +254 725 600 439Computer specielistCommunity DevelopmentUDOGO youth development group-coordinator
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