Fleur Luca

Science for the benefit of people. All people. Worldwide.

Story nr.

13

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Designing for rural agriculture in metropolitan Addis Ababa

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities, presenting a real challenge to tomorrow’s architects and urban designers; one of the reasons why Architecture Graduate, Fleur Luca, chose to study Global Housing as part of her Masters degree at Delft University of Technology. Her project took Luca to Abajale on the outskirts of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, which is typical of many poor suburban areas around the world: “Ten years ago it was an illegal settlement surrounded by fields and small villages, and now it’s almost been swallowed up by the city, as the population grows.”

As she travelled around, Luca saw ‘urban agriculture’ everywhere: “All over city, you see fields for farmers and people growing vegetables in bags on the street. So people are using their rural skills for income-generation, even in an urban environment.”

For her MSc project, Luca designed new housing for Abajale, which involved researching traditional building materials and infra-structure: “Our goal was to strengthen Abajale’s position as a place of transition between rural and urban areas, whilst protecting the green character, the village-like qualities of the neighbourhood and rural skills such as agricultural production. So my design was based on this whole concept of growing your own food and using the space around your house for income generation and social activities.”

Luca’s designs feature traditional materials such as cob, a natural building material made of mud, water and straw, bamboo floors and roofs and planting on rooftops and in courtyards throughout the community. “Income generation has become a driving force for my project because the success of migrants – and with that the success of the future city – depends on their possibilities for using their skills as a way of survival in the city.”

Co-workers: Klaske Havik, Nelson Mota, Dick van Gameren, Tom Avermaete and Brook Teklehaimanot

Global Challenges
Rural-urban migration, traditional building, environmental care, income generation

High-tech Science
Low-tech building with earth and bamboo

Co-creation
Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development

Story nr.

13

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