Category Archives: Slums

Better Urban Planning Needed To Dodge Disasters

A flooded slum in Manila (Aug 2012) Image credit: Jason Gutierrez/IRIN,

Check out the article “Better Urban Planning Needed To Dodge Disasters” on IRIN

With the world’s mega-cities growing even larger, policymakers (especially those in developing countries) need urban planning that will help these areas withstand the impacts of natural disasters.

The article highlights:

  • Developing world will have 4 billion in cities by 2030
  • Urban flooding is a top worry
  • “Compact cities” speed emergency response
  • Colombo’s remedy for flash floods: lakes and pumps

In response to the article - What is the role for landscape architects in planning for urban flooding?

IRIN reports that in Colombo, Sri Lanka the government is digging six new lakes around the capital city in effort to boost rainwater storage. It is also setting up pumping stations at key outlets to the sea to more quickly flush out floodwater during storms.

The planning and design of storm water systems is a very common component of landscape architecture. The profession brings its design and ecology lens to storm water projects aiming to provide richer solutions compered to solely engineering options. This is not saying that engineering options are poor. It is suggesting that storm water projects can benefit from design professions such as landscape architecture.

Landscape architecture is a profession with the skills to make a difference in dodging distastes such as urban flooding.

Click on the Image or one of the links above to read the article on IRIN

Further reading:

Ashar Macha (Platform of Hope)

Creating Public Green Space on a Lake in One of the World’s Densest Slums

Korail, with a population of 120,000, is the largest slum in Dhaka, a city of 15 million and the capital of Bangladesh. Korail is surrounded by a growing wealthy neighborhood and a lake, increasing density precludes public space. In response to these conditions the Platform of Hope (Ashar Macha) was first proposed in 2007 by landscape architect Khondaker Hasibul Kabir of BRAC University. New to the area, Kabir moved in with family of Fourkan Pervez . Together they transformed the home into a lush community garden.

Platform of Hope, built over Gulshan Lake, with Dhaka in the background. Image credit: Cooper-Hewitt

Ashar Macha (Platform of Hope) by Kabir at Korail Bosti, a Documentary by Quamr ul Hasan  - A little initiative can bring about such a change to people particularly to a family and children in a so called “slum” in karail, dhaka, bangladesh.

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Further Reading:

The Book: (Re)Designing Nature – Current Concepts for Shaping Nature in Art and Landscape Architecture