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By 2050, we expect to have 70% of the world's population living in urban environments.
Today, more than 1 billion people reside in informal settlements with the flexibility to engage in activities that are not possible in formal, planned parts of the city. At the same time, they have precarious security of tenure. Affordable, adequate and viable housing is both a public good and an economic asset, and so we cannot ignore the link with finance. Inclusionary housing may require subsidies. But it is not just about the cost of the property.
As individuals, families and communities, our needs evolve over time. Making safe, adequate, resource-efficient, well-located housing available is a huge opportunity. In this episode we discuss how we can intentionally accommodate people in equitable, regenerative ways.
We discuss switching to more climate-responsive, lower emitting, durable, locally-sourced materials, energy efficiency and electrification. As Audree Grubesic explains, modular construction (where 75% of the building of a home is done at the factory), robotics and 3D printing reduce waste, save time, use different materials, and allow for wholesale procurement and therefore housing that is attainable. Co-operative models enable bulk land purchases and negotiations with private developers. In the US, commercial space is being re-purposed, though this does come at a cost.
For inclusive design, we must work with local communities and cultures - which are not necessarily homogenous or static - from the start. As Thea Kurdi says, while over 1.3 billion people today live with some form of disability, ‘universal design’ will ensure housing more readily caters for the different needs of everybody, even as their circumstances change.
Finally, housing does not exist in a vacuum - around it are streets, shops, transport, employment, culture, worship, healthcare, schools and other services that draw us to cities in the first place. However, urban land and its development, says Steve Brooks, is expensive. Densification and meeting our daily needs within walking distance are essential if we are to fit more people in the same area, and not squander space for private vehicles. His experience with urban renewal in the challenging hilly environment of Kigali, Rwanda, is particularly fascinating!
Accessibility Specialist and
Thea Kurdi has 20 plus years of experience in barrier-free and universal
design for architectural projects of varying size and complexity. She is a frequent guest speaker at local
and international conferences, and schools of architecture and interior design, a monthly contributor to
AMI’s Now with Dave Brown Show, and on the Board of Directors for ArtsBuild Ontario and the
Universal Design Network of Canada. Thea has focused her career on helping clients understand how
universal design is better design for everyone, and how to achieve usable accessibility and comply with
the Human Rights Code.
Founder and Director of Architecture
Urban Planning Constellation
Steve Brooks is a seasoned architect and urban designer with a vision to improve human living conditions and the planet through thoughtful human centered sustainable and resilient development. He has over 40 years of experience through the design management of hundreds of millions of dollars value of institutional building construction with complex interdisciplinary teams. Most recently he has been involved with sustainable urban planning in East Africa. He formed the Urban Planning Constellation with a group of stellar experts and their associated firms with whom he has spent many years in international collaboration and friendship.
CEO & President,
Modular Sure Site, Off Site Dirt
Audree M Grubesic is the owner of Modular Sure Site, an Off-Site Construction Management Service company. She has first-hand experience of project management on site using offsite solutions. Over the past 25+ years, she has excelled in marketing, sales, new business development, and homebuilding. This experience has led her to create a niche in the modular construction industry. Our specialty is modular residential and commercial consulting, along with management services including full team development.
For this episode we will be supporting SINA by donating £100 for Every 100 Listeners which will allow :
One young urban refugee in Uganda supported to join SINA for 6 months to unleash his/her potential
Marginalized youth and refugees lack opportunities to create a dignified life and are expected to remain in poverty. Social Innovation Academies in East Africa are transforming the educational system and allowing marginalized communities to create their own solutions and social enterprises tackling root causes of social problems.