UNIVERcITY has been awarded third price in the International Competition for the Conceptual Master Plan Design for the Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia. This master plan covers an area of over 500 ha consisting of 7 campuses with a total of 350.000 m2 of facilities, a cultural heritage centre of 20.000 m2 and student and staff accommodations of a total gross floor area of 200.000 m2.
UNIVERcITY is the entry by DASUDA and INLabs design, in collaboration with LIAG.
The principle of our entry is ‘integration of University and City’. The University Campus of the future is the city itself. In the city science, talent and prosperity are all blooming in an urban environment where people interact, share and compete. Businesses all over the world are looking for these environments. Therefore a large University campus is preferably not only a collection of facilities by itself, but becomes an open place, with extravert relations to its surrounding environment and act with that open attitude to the world. The master plan for the Bahir Dar University was designed in correlation with the existing qualities of the site like the outstanding natural beauty of both Tana Lake and the Blue Nile River in the direct proximity, the excellent vegetation conditions on site and direct access to the main infrastructure and potential links with the neighbouring city centre. The integral concept connects river landscape, university, and the city.
The first framework to strive to integration is a series of Axes, based on some main existing roads, along which most developments are centralized and with a new north-south Boulevard as heart line through all campuses. The second framework is a grid pattern of 150 x 150 meter over the entire area. This grid can accommodate University program, general campus and more generic urban development and covers a large area of which a part will have new green programs for agriculture, scientific test fields, ecology, parks and recreation. The grid is flexible and can facilitate any future development and still have a well organized area at all time. It is not treated rigid, existing valuable buildings, public and nmt transport, routes and structures can be incorporated and adjust the grid specifically.
Along the Axes and boulevard the quality of public space is emphasized to cater for urban life. The connection with the Blue Nile river shore is a main aim to strengthen the landscape identity. The UNIVERcITY concept proposes to link all shores and wetlands. In conjunction with the existing green areas a greenbelt around the City centre can be defined, which offers great public qualities at all sides of the City and also clearly defines the University being part of the City centre of Bahir Dar. Special attention have been given to relate buildings to their environment by creating natural ventilation, outdoor teaching spaces under canopies and using water and planting for natural cooling, wetlands for natural water purification and plant valuable indigenous trees and plants. A special place is created to strengthen the identity of the Bahir Dar University with the Cultural Island housing the new Heritage and Cultural Centre right at the spring of the Blue Nile river.
A case study of moving towards Inclusive Urbanism
The Eastlands estates are several neighborhoods of colonial-era housing in the east of Nairobi, built by the British colonial government between the 1920s and 1960s to provide affordable housing for Africans in Kenya’s rapidly growing capital city. Although today they are dilapidated and in disrepair, tens of thousands of Nairobians still call them home.
One of the targeted estates, Kaloleni, is the focus of our Inclusive Urbanism project where we have been exploring stakeholder and residents’ responses to this looming threat of redevelopment while demonstrating a participatory and integrated approach to urban planning and regeneration with the objective of showcasing a viable business case for affordable housing.
The Kaloleni project aims to provide professionals, students and residents engaged in urban planning and development with the critical tools to design and manage an integrated provision of both housing and urban systems.
Its goals are premised on the lack of scalar integration and participatory planning in the implementation of large-scale and capital-intensive urban regeneration projects in Kenya. Indeed, the implementation in the context of rapid growth, lack of proper regulation and management, consolidated self-building practices and increasing inequality holds innumerable threats to equitable urban development.
Co-producing inclusive urbanism for sustainable city transformation is therefore an essential skill for engendering meaningful social and physical change.
For the Kaloleni project DASUDA is working with: Nairobi City County, University of Nairobi, KERA (Kaloleni Estate Residence Association), University of Groningen (MA Pauline Bezemer).
The Wingfield Case as example towards inclusive urbanism
The DASUDA team, in conjunction with Frank Cumming (Regenco) and Greater Tygerberg Partnership, has demonstrated an integrated approach with new digital tools on water and traffic, with a potential high impact on the the biggest challenges Cape Town is facing concerning flooding, traffic, low employment and social exclusion.
The location of the case study was the former military airbase of Wingfield, situated between Voortrekkerroad and the N1 in Cape Town. This vast 225 ha space is derelict for a long time and an example of the many unused spaces within the metropolis.
One of the tools DASUDA is using is the 3Di water showing consequences of severe rainfall on the site. Based on big data a real time calculation shows the exact situation of flooding on site. Outcome is directly used by the design team to alter various models incorporated in an overall spatial design to solve the problem. For the Wingfield site it resulted in the proposal to locate a water catchment in the centre of the area. In combination with green surrounding and connections to especially the Elsieskraal river south of the location led to options of integral solution and identity of what Wingfield could be.
On the topic of traffic the MOVE Meter simulation model helps to test what could possibly be alternatives for the daily infarct of the cities’ infrastructure by all those cars moving daily across the wide spread low density urban fabric of Cape Town by people seeking amenities and work that is not located in the proximity of their house.
With testing various mixed densities on Wingfield we are able to raise the density with a factor 10 compared to the neighbouring areas. Meaning that 20,000 new units can be realized instead of the typical area development of 2,000 in an urban environment which enables more amenities, social and commercial functions and mixed income groups, realizing better liveability conditions.