HEAL: REGENERATIVE HOUSING FOR KERALA
Urbanization, the key to the future – a good or a bad one at that? On August 2018, Kerala & some parts of Kodagu, India faced one of the worst Floods of the century, with 300+ deaths and infrastructure damages over Rs. 8,000 crores (1.1 Billion USD).
Every time disaster hits, we as humans do everything in our power to suppress it, provide aid and rehabilitate. But even the most advanced prevention systems and methods fail. The only way out is to fold how humans grow and work together + towards living with the forces of nature collectively.
With floods being an inevitable problem with drastic climate change and rising sea levels,
- Can we build habitats that accept water surge as a reality?
- Can we design buildings that help people to get back on their feet much faster than before?
- As everybody is rebuilding in the same battle can they do it together?
- If India is too big to be planned ‘outside in’, can we create habitats that are planned ‘inside out’?
- If a flood rises to a wipeout situation can there be places of refuge built or made accessible beforehand?
- Can habitats be prepared for the next disaster already irrespective of time while rebuilding?
Brief: A ‘community housing’ proposition that is scalable, heals when damaged and regenerates faster than before when broken down. The design problem is to build unit micro-neighborhood for 100 families, with a case of use established in Aluva.
Housing development in most of the peri-urban and rural Kerala is organic and spread out which cannot change. State government cannot bring forces to secure each of these households, with its limited funds/strength. The challenge is to gather 100 households that work together to make a habitat which stands/works together in a situation of a flood.
The problem is expected to be answered at a point of time in a post flood scenario, where people are rebuilding their partially damanged/wiped-out /degraded homes. The idea is not to spend all the private resources of a person on a planned cooperative housing redesigned from scratch, but on pre-conceived shared systems that help to sustain the direct (residents) and indirect population (marginalized communities, livestock, etc.) of this unit neighborhood which contains households/owned plots already.
The shared systems can help battle floods, or store essential items, or build places of refuge, or have a function designated to these colonies, etc. for 100 households at a time by the people. The next step would be how a top-down entity (government) help these unit neighborhoods and make them thrive at a large level integrating them into an action plan in the next hazard scenario.