Sustainable Living and Co-Housing Alicante

Project of cooperative housing creation, combining the co-housing model with the principles of self-sustainability, energy efficiency and positive social impact. It is a community designed and created by its own residents, in which cooperation between them is encouraged, with an understanding of well-being.

Currently, the current community property system does not allow for cooperation between residents, especially if they have some kind of reduced mobility, which means that these people are very lonely. As we age, we become sedentary and lonely, causing depression, premature aging, and other illnesses caused by this cause.

In the 80’s a group of young people in Denmark get together to decide the community in which they want to live, from there co-housing is created, where a group of people plan their future from buying the land together, plotting it and creating basic and affordable housing, where they encourage co-living and solidarity.

Eco-housing Alicante is a housing cooperative project, combining the co-housing model with the principles of self-sustainability, energy efficiency and positive social impact.

It is a type of collaborative housing that tries to overcome the alignment produced by the compartmentalization of current housing, in which no one knows their neighbors and in which there is no sense of community.

Its values are aligned with those of Christian Felber’s well-known Economics of the Common Good, and these are a foundation of basic principles that represent human values: trust, honesty, responsibility, cooperation, solidarity, generosity and compassion, among others.

These are modular single-family houses, of the passive solar type, using resources of the bio-climatic architecture combined with a much higher energy efficiency than traditional construction. These houses have very low energy consumption and offer a comfortable atmosphere all year round without the use of conventional heating. They would be designed as smart-houses, taking advantage of digital technologies at the service of the above-mentioned values.

There would be a specific common area for waste management, composting and a workshop for the re-use/recycling of various equipment. There is also a common laundry area, social club or living area. Playground, accessible children’s playground and adapted sports area.

This project is designed to be carried out, between the sea and the mountains, somewhere in the so-called region of Alacantí (Busot, El Campello, Aigues, Alicante, Agost, Jijona, Mutxamel, San Juan de Alicante, San vicente or Torremanzanas), accessible and with all the public services needed, from the circular economy, self-sufficiency, and the least environmental impact and the lowest environmental impact.

All this is seen from a social perspective of intergenerational coexistence, mutual support, accessibility for people with disabilities and/or dependency and solidarity, respecting the private spaces of each unit of coexistence.

Sustainable develpment goals reached

Susceptibility map of mass movements in the southern slope of Avila

The mass movements that originate on the southwestern flank of the Avila, as observed in the analysis of the risk carried out in this work, cause numerous economic losses since many neighborhoods in the area are very susceptible to this threat, in view of the urban expansion of the city that has caused many settlements

Constraints, triggers and erosive factors affecting mass movements in the mountainous south area of Ávila in Venezuela, are spatially analyzed through ArcGIS software 10.0 a synthetic methodology that performs the analysis of these factors in each movement type (rock falls, landslides, road slope and flows) and then synthesize on a single map areas with increased susceptibility.

The main cause of mass movements in this area relates to geological conditions which are reactivated by active seismicity, heavy rainfall, and artificial changes to the ground. Only in Caracas city has registered more than 500 landslides with important effects in the last 60 years.

While the study of the risk of mass movements is elaborate, (a dispersed event in space-time and with low intensity) is one of the most costly threats at a socio-economic level.

Most of the movements studied are mainly controlled by the slope and lithology, observing that most of the most frequent instabilities occur in the metamorphic rock of the San Julián and Esquistos las Brisas Complex type and in alluvial quaternary.

Slope, altitude and orientation vary depending on the type of movement. Observed for rock falls and slopes that go from 20º to 35º and altitudes from 740 m.a.s.l. to 1110 m.a.s.l. Northeast facing mostly for landslides and southeast to the southwest of rock falls.

On the other hand, for edge faults and debris flows it is very variable, with a much lower slope and altitude for flows (0 to 10º) and a higher one for landslides, with slopes of up to 40º of dip being observed. They coincide in the maximum orientation that goes from southeast to southwest and in the fact that they are movements controlled by the adjacent hydrographic networks.

It is recommended that Venezuelan authorities take a forecast of the most frequent climatic threats and keep a forecast and control of dry vs. wet periods as these are the most frequent triggers that cause mass movements. This can be done by expanding the meteorological stations since there is currently the Maiquetía airport station, whose climatic variation contrasts with that of the southern flank of Avila, and the Caracas Valley.

As far as vegetation control is concerned, a good spatial analysis is recommended to determine the current vegetation type and thus to take vegetation as a conditioning factor. It is known that from the end of 2015 to March 2016 the ENSO has hit the Ávila mountain range causing major droughts and fires, which are triggering factors for mass movements but due to a lack of spatial information could not be included in the present work.

In addition, if urban expansion were to be controlled, the most vulnerable communities could be organized and warned of the danger that exists in this study. The most susceptible neighbourhoods are Plan de Manzano, Macayapa, Blandín, Araguaney and La Cortada.

Periodic awareness campaigns and visits to such communities can maintain areas potentially susceptible to threats from movements of evicted or prevented masses depending on the level of probability.

Sahara Forest Project – From vision to reality

Sahara Forest Project is a company that sparked the idea of turning the Sahara desert into a green area with the establishment of farmland amidst a waterless desert. They have a brilliant idea in greening efforts using advanced technology and working with several organizations.

Why did this idea arise? As we know that the Sahara desert becomes the world’s widest desert which looks so arid and hot. Therefore, this organization wants to turn the Sahara desert into a farm field that can benefit the community. So Sahara Forest Project is not only a company but also the best solution for the greening program. In this case, people who are living in the Sahara desert area will not find it difficult to find vegetables and fruits because they will choose a garden in the middle of the desert.

sustainable farming system
Photo by Sahara Forest Project

 

Sahara Forest Project hopes that the project will give more advantages in the future and they are going to build more and more green area where they are growing some plants, vegetables, and trees for the better desert environment. No wonder if the Sahara Desert will look so green a few decades from now on. This is a big scale project that embraces some organizations that supports the technology and facilities needed.

This is a proper step so that people will not feel suffocated to live in the desert area because some of the areas will be green. This is also important for our future generation so they will have a better environment to live and a sustainable farming system based on local production. Perhaps, the Sahara desert will be the lungs of the world in the future and this becomes a prevention of global warming. When people are busy to make our environments polluted, the Sahara Forest Project will provide a solution to balance the environment condition so that people can survive for a long period of time.

Sahara Forest Project would be the best solution to convert the hot Sahara desert into a beautiful green forest which gives a lot of benefits to the communities. This is a good way to provide a better environment and to prevent it from Global warming.

Ecological latrines in San Ildefonso Ixtahuacán – Guatemala

This project of Architects Without Borders is based on the development and experimentation of technology of ecological latrines and to contribute to the local counterpart technical support in the project.

With this project in the area they have been developing the work and improving the living conditions of the population. On the other hand, the economy is being reactivated with the fertilizer they generate and that improves the quality of farmland.

This project is associated with a whole training and supervision program. Prior to the construction and use of the ecological latrines, training is imparted to the families who will use them. They become familiar with them and learn the proper use of them. Once delivered to its beneficiaries, a complete monitoring and monitoring process is carried out to ensure good use and check the acceptance of latrines in the day-to-day community. This project also encourages the use of manure generated for the land or the sale of the area.

Another of the lines of work of this project is the investigation of the latrines themselves to improve them in every way. Ease of transport, construction savings, cost reduction, design improvement, search for alternative materials available in the community environment, etc.

In the end everything converges in being able to create something that can generate local wealth and the community advances in every sense, both social, economic, ecological and participatory.

Delimitation of the Wildland-Urban Interface and risk of fire

This work applies methods based on Geographic Information Technologies (TIG) For the cartographic definition of these spaces at different scales. The goal is to Test official and public standardized Geographic information resources (Web services, remote sensing and LIDAR images of data infrastructures)

Wildland‐Urban Interface (W‐UI) identifies areas with new territorial dynamics, forest areas bordering residential and mixed uses. The arrival of new residents from urban environment to these places, enhances the risk arising from the inevitable cultural change.

Wildfires show the problem, its control is complicated in these areas, reaching serious consequences of economic value and loss of life. The establishment of the zones (W‐UIZ) is vital in the work prevention and risk management.

Based on Geographic Information Technologies methods will be used for cartographic definition of these areas, at different scales. Resources Geographic Information, officers and public normalized will be tested (web services, remote sensing and LIDAR from Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), using GIS‐based free and open‐source software, in order to evaluate the advantages of its use.