Research Studio januari - march 2022
Livability is a complex international phenomenon which constantly changes due to new societal insights. A general definition of Livability is: ‘the degree to which a place is suitable or good for living’. Livability is therefore a statement about the relationship of a subject (an organism, a person or a community) and its environment, specifically its ability to provide conditions for a decent living situation. Creating ‘liveable cities’ is a growing policy aspiration across multiple levels of government globally. This is largely in response to population projections, rapid urbanisation, and climate change, whereby designing liveable cities that promote health and wellbeing is now a global priority, however, despite the increasing use of the concept of ‘livability’ and its intuitive meaning, it is rarely explicitly defined4. Architecture as a response to the core living necessity of a human being can clearly define the conditions in which livability take form.
To analyze and understand the experience in the country, it is extremely important to actively engage the community and use inclusive research methodologies. For this reason we are collaborating with the North Coast Medical training college in Kilifi and we are going to actively research the following topics with the local people:
Kenya has the largest, most diversified economy in East Africa. Yet, more than 75 percent of Kenyans rely on making a living through agriculture. Despite this fact there are still over 14 million people facing food insecurity in Kenya every year on a population of 46 million people. What leads to this food insecurity? We are looking into the topics of climate changes, agriculture, history, local traditions, nutrition and education to figure out what leads to this problem.
The main aim of the study is to understand how users experience the existing transport infrastructure in remote areas of southern Kilifi county. The research focuses on the national and local transportation infrastructure in Kenya. Railway, Road, Airway and Waterway transportation links were investigated to understand the operation of national transport infrastructure. While the road network being widely used by locals for daily transit is investigated to understand it’s functioning and parties involved in its operation. To better understand the aspects of local infrastructure like accessibility, availability, safety and affordability, a survey is circulated among local residents of area of study to obtain precise and latest data for study.
As a group that researches local materials, we are researching what impact contemporary building materials have on the living conditions in south east Kenya. Different topics will be addressed, such as the history of material usage and building method, the rapid population growth, urban sprawl of different tribes, local versus industrialized materials and also materials their effect on climate. In the end three different scenarios will be used to do research though design.
Culture is that which man creates and is opposed to nature, that which has arisen spontaneously and without human intervention. Culture includes the habits and customs that people have in their own country or that they bring from their country of origin. Culture includes the set of norms and values, eating habits, clothing, religion, music and dance. We are not looking for a problem, but want to get to know and understand the building culture in order to make an appropriate intervention in the design phase. Our group is researching the influence of Kenyan history and the daily routine of the inhabitants on the built environment.
More and more green spaces are disappearing and the population of animals are paying the price of the negative effects. Especially deforestation, drought and the loss of biodiversity are a big problem in Kenya, which endangers the livability. Change can only occur effectively from within, step by step. Our goal is to provide the local population with awareness, action points and points of attention to improve the quality of life with regard to deforestation. Our research question is: how can the local community contribute to reversing the downward spiral of deforestation?
With a population of 53 million, 15 percent of Kenyans rely on unimproved water sources, such as ponds, shallow wells and rivers, while 41 percent of Kenyans lack access to basic sanitation solutions. These challenges are especially evident in rural areas and urban slums where people are often unable to connect to piped water infrastructure. The urban population has greater access to safe drinking water than people in more rural regions (85,7% vs. 41.5%). 31.6% of the population of Kenya only has access to unimproved drinking water sources. We are looking into key topics of water in climate, water in economics, water in culture and water in health.
Energy is everywhere around us.
In the first part of our research, we’ll keep our focus as broad as possible to make sure we don’t forget important topics regarding to energy. Therefore, we divided this theme into different subtopics, which all relate to energy in some way. Some of these subtopics are ‘electricity’, ‘transport’, and ‘food’. In the second part of our research, we’ll investigate how the people in Kenya deal with energy networks, grids and what the awareness is regarding electricity and energy. One thing that we already found, and we’re interested in, is the way of cooking in Kenya. The resource of energy that is mostly used is coal, but it’s not healthy at all. Risks such as lung diseases and fire accidents are present.