Urban-Think Tank develops low-cost housing for South African slum - architecture and design

Urban-Think Tank develops low-cost housing for South African slum



Urban-Think Tank has completed the next phase of its Empower Shack project, bringing safe low-cost housing to residents of South Africa's informal settlements.
The design strategy collective first started studying Khayelitsha, Cape Town's second largest township, in 2012 and designed and built the first four prototypes alternative slum housing two years later.
This year Urban-Think Tank added another 16 units as part of their larger goal to demonstrate an adaptable method of designing safe and accessible housing units within urban plans.

This phase of the project has earned it a spot on the RIBA International Prize 2018 longlist, a biennial competition that recognises the world's best new buildings that benefit their surrounding communities. South Africa is currently experiencing a housing crisis, with high property prices, limited financing options, and lack of appropriate housing stock leaving some 7.5 million people living in informal settlements.
A quarter of Cape Town residents are locked out of the formal property market, despite the right of access to adequate housing having been written in to the country's post-apartheid Constitution.

Slum housing can be difficult and dangerous with communal taps and toilets inconvenient, and with shacks often built right up next to each other fire is a constant hazard. Poor services and facilities mean the areas become poverty traps that are difficult to escape.
Current government schemes have been inadequate, with not enough hom...
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Issue 75

28-08-2020 22:11 - ( Architecture )


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