Investigation of a potential habitation strategy within a flood infrastructure in Tanzania’s largest city Dar es Salaam.
According to UN Habitat more than 70% of the city’s population lives in informal settlements. The lack of affordable housing for low income individiuals and poverty causes an increase in the number of informal settlements which are mostly located in empty and free flood plains. This annually culminates in damages and fatalities. Every year people lose their places during rain season and build a new one when its over, as a vicious cycle.
The investors in Tanzania are mainly focused on medium or high income residential or expensive infrastructure projects, none address the affordable housing lack including National Housing Corporation.
The proposal questions whether, the big investments on infrastructure projects can involve other social programs such as habitation and this can be an alternative solution for Dar es Salaam’s informal settlement problem and affordable housing lack.
The scheme is a social housing bridge with tidal power generators that connects two polarised socio-economic regions of the city.
The project uses the existing Selander Bridge as an infrastructre and important passageway that both socially and economically connects two extremes - one very poor one very rich. As well as water level regulating and water purifying systems the project proposes a habitation unit that is integrated with the infrastructural base. Besides its mechanical and pragmatical properties an infrastructure can also be a structural base for other programs.
The project is located in the river mouth where Msimbazi River meets Indian Ocean. The bridge is the only connection for cars and pedestrians for passing across Msimbazi Valley. It is quite an important connection since there is a distinct difference between two sides in terms of economic welfare and quality of life. Upanga holds most of the high end facilities of the city such as hospitals, schools and the financial district. Whereas Hanna Nassif has the highest informal settlement population of Dar es Salaam, lacks infrastructure and facilities. It is also an important vehicle route due to its connection to Bagamoyo intercity road.
The courtyards are important for both natural light and ventilation and used as open spaces by the residents. The ground level also has views through the courtyards, so the visitors can also experience them and retail spaces can use that spaces as gardens or open areas. Roofs are common recreation areas for the residents that they can use them for both special occasions and daily jobs such as hanging out laundry and cooking. These are small sized housing units with many common used areas. People are interacted between their balconies or terraces and socializing in their living spaces. Also there will be micro economic interactions as well, people would need help fixing or producing something and they will get in contact with their neighbors.
As a part of the culture, people commonly use their houses for their businesses as well like markets or kiosks. The idea behind this area is to provide retail areas for the residents and keeping the ground floor for retail purposes, so it will allow for local businesses to develop. It both houses for formal and informal businesses such as vendors and stalls. Formal retail areas are located on the ground floor of housing units.
The visitors arrive to the pedestrian axis through ramps that work as the extensions of the current pedestrian ways. In order to provide space for various activities, the pedestrian and vehicle axis are separated.
The usage of open areas such as balconies and terraces are quite often in local domestic life. The housing units provide the residents balconies and courtyards for both daily activities and leisure purposes.