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Re: [holistichelping] Social housing in Latin America

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  • samuel kongere
    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.
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 6, 2006
      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.

      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
      from Africa
      - 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 globalvillages-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ) 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
      from home!


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas

      Date: Thu, 27 May 2006

      From: Nikos Salingaros: salingar@...

      Dear Andrius;

      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
      central government.
      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
      natural geometry.
      3.    Residents should love their homes and neighborhoods. That means
      that the form of the immediate built environment must be spiritual and
      not industrial.
      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.

      Construction Strategy.

      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
      look like.
      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.

      Funding Strategy.

      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.

      Maintenance Strategy.

      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.org

      Samwel Okech kongere
      Nyamuga primary school
      P.O BOX 191,
      MBITA  040305-KENYA.
      Cell: +254 725 600 439
      Computer specielist
      Community Development
      UDOGO youth development group-coordinator

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