Sustainable development has emerged as a powerful practical objective for the twenty-first century, still it remains under theorized especially when considering other unifying concepts scholars traditionally use such as “modernism,” “industrialization,” “capitalism,” even “nature” to describe what has happened to the world’s cities and settlements in the last 100 years. Henri Lefebvre argued space is a social product, or a complex social construction. Therefore, every city and every place produces its own space and its own spatial practice. Yet economic globalization and the emergence of a global culture have profoundly altered the social, economic, and political reality of what is sustainable for third world cities and mega regions of the so-called underdeveloped world.
Goals include design explorations that investigate advances in closed-loop stand-alone comprehensive systems for buildings designed for a city as a determinate system. Lessons learned from that investigation will further design parameters intended for indeterminate systems such as unincorporated settlements where infrastructure is an afterthought. Three sites include temporary encampments outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, more permanent sparsely populated colonias near El Paso, Texas and more densely populated favalas outside of Chilca, Peru. Significance of the work is a better understanding of the necessary design parameters for urban infrastructure intended for indeterminate systems comprising mega regions more characteristic of global forces and local factors.
Click the top image to view the PolicySpace Design Responses presentation. The other images will open image galleries of the sites in Haiti, Texas and Peru.
Download the Design Responses presentation (PPT, 8.2MB)