Taming Desity: Call it Home
Project Description

Call it Home is an app-based platform that enables communities to connect with the world. With simple IT technologies and a local physical presence, the platform makes it possible to share knowledge, experience and knowhow on a peer-to-peer basis. With substantial contribution of Experts such as NGO’s Urban planners and alike, possible solutions and can be also shared and tested on the platform.

THE App: Citizens can express their concerns, call for aid when working on their homes or simply use the platform to organise joint action or petition. The platform encourages a bottom up approach, where individuals start local projects and crowd-source global skills and resources. Having this Global perspective will allow locals to build projects driven by local needs, while being able to leverage on skills and expertise beyond their observable environment. Our mission is therefore to cultivate a global community of likeminded across sectors and disciplines who despite their different social, cultural and economic backgrounds, have a passion and drive for improving living conditions.

A LOCAL PRESENCE: Pop Up data collection stations will be placed at strategic points of the unplanned city e.g. taxi stations and places of commercial activity.  These can be managed and facilitated by local NGOs and on-site printers will enable people to bring the info back home. By making the platform accessible regardless of technological knowhow, both more developed cities less privileged places can benefit from the initiative. The platform can be also used by individual once sufficient on-line accessibility is founded in their areas. Both individuals and local in situ  NGOs can virtually build their neighbourhoods and upload their data that will be a crucial part of the platform database.    

 A DYNAMIC URBANISM:  We see this intervention as tactical urbanism, and a strategy to increase the communication flow between citizens and government. The platform will generate data that makes is understandable how and why people chose to live in certain places. Local governments can use this data to work with economic and social elements so the human flow can be predicted and tamed in a more efficient way. This means better information for strategic urban planning by creating/moving public spaces and facilities where they benefit most, encourage and incentivise economic activities in areas suffering from population loss and develop transportation means so commuting becomes shorter or more pleasant.  Very often housing is connected to mobility, which is linked to access to jobs. As a result, the majority of the world’s population now lives on just 3-4 per cent of Earth’s land surface. The platform can also facilitate the process of creating "social maps" with data about marginalized areas, concerns about public space etc.

 ERMPOWERING DIALOUGE: Policies to address informal settlements must be rooted in the understanding that these cities are spatial manifestations of societal development and a multidimensional and intractable phenomenon, built on decades of socioeconomic and cultural inequality and isolation of certain groups of society. The issue of density goes therefore far beyond the question of good or bad urban planning. The issue of density is not always correlated with living conditions. 

 A WOLRD WIDE NETWORK: individual and local experts are considered as messengers for their own district in which they have the initiative and responsibility to address problems and solutions they experience in their areas. Call it home provide a network between areas around the globe to  exchange ideas. A democratize and transparent local contribution will therefore be supported by similar cases from other countries.

Is this approach suitable to any informal city?

It is bold and naive to work on a “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to informal settlements. Economic and socio-cultural context matters as well as the landscape typology, which make every unplanned city unique. However, the nature of this intervention is replicable in any setting with Internet access, and today, some of the most informal settings have the option to connect with the world.  

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The proposal is developed in collaboration with Alan Qadduri

The Project Received a special mention in Shelter Global Competition 2015