|Pankaj Nath , Tanzim Rachana, Shehran Parvez Seyan, Sangita Bhattacharjee, Mahua Chakma, Sarah Shehnaz
|L-4 , T-2
|Dr. Md. Shahidul Ameen, Dr. Farida Nilufar, Md. Ruhul Amin, Dr. Nayma Khan
|Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET)
| From the submission |
From the dawn of its emergence, Semarang, Indonesia has been continuously challenged by various natural disasters throughout the decades. The intensities and modes of calamities have changed with time, but the stress remains the same. However, the inhabitants of this area have still now managed to survive despite having provided all possible difficulties by nature. This thriving attitude of the inhabitants is what we feel the greatest strength of this project. With the advancement of technology, better and innovative infrastructural solutions can be provided to stop the disasters every now and then, but until and unless the society is ready to accept and adopt it, every effort will eventually fail.
In our proposal, we opt to build a Soakable Society -a society that can withstand whatever natural disaster it is challenged with and is ready to soak up the shock and stresses. We have explored how architecture can contribute not just to ensuring a stable house, but also to nurture a self-sufficient and secured family. We have generated and triggered those scopes for attaining social and economic resiliency, through urban and architectural decisions. The society itself will in the process eventually address the factors causing the disasters and their approaches towards a resilient community will ensure the better living condition of the concerned inhabitants.
COMPETITION SITE: KAMPUNG KALI BAHRU, INDONESIA
The site is located in the Kelurahan Bandarharjo on the northern part of Semarang. The site is defined by very clear boundaries. To the north the area it is limited by Jalan RE. Martadinata, the primary arterial road connecting the western and eastern parts of Semarang that also connects to the airport. The west boundary is formed by Jalan Lodan Raya and Kali Semarang, the Semarang River, and the east boundary by Jalan Yos Sudarso and the Kalibaru, the New Canal.
Reclaimed Neighborhood and Topography: Although Kelurahan Bandarharjo sits on the lowland reclaimed from the sea and can be considered almost as flat, the site is characterized by a micro topography. In this sense, the central part of the competition site is slightly above the level of the areas close to the canals.
Economy and activities in the neighborhood: The port area of Tanjung Mas Semarang is located next to the site. As an area neighboring the Port, the site has always been closely connected to the harbor in terms of activities and work dependence. Proof of it are the existing warehouses located north of the site.About a third of the population living in the area are dependent on some kind of manufacturing or industrial activity for their livelihood.
In addition to these activities, small local shops with local activities can be found scattered around the neighborhood. It is notable that in the northwest part of the neighborhood, beside the Semarang River, a large amount of houses and families have developed a smoke fish cluster. These families cook and smoke fish at home and sell it in the market.
Heritage: The “Goedang Toedjoe” warehouse (1911) is the most important heritage element in the area, and it has been designated as a listed historical building.
Environmental problems in the area: Droughts, Subsidence, Flooding
The combination of demographic and environmental characteristics makes the SMA and the competition area a particularly important site for examining local vulnerabilities and adaptability to climate change.
Droughts and lack of water infrastructure: One of the main environmental issues affecting the city of Semarang are droughts, and Kampung Kali Bahru is also under this risk. This issue, coupled with the lack of water supply infrastructure in the neighborhood has led to the proliferation of wells and the over-exploitation of the ground waters. As a result, the space left by sweet water is being replaced by sea water (sea water incursion), with the consequent salinization of the ground waters and the decrease of their quality.
Subsidence: As a consequence of this excessive use of the freatic levels and intensive development, the effects of subsidence are affecting the lower area where Kampung Kali Bahru is located with the soil sinking between 5 to 8 cm a year.
Flooding: Land subsidence increases the impact of floods. There are two types of flood that occur in Semarang, i.e. the tidal flood which is caused by, among others, the increase of seawater level and land subsidence , and flash flood. There are 21 rivers located in Semarang, creating a high risk of flash flood. Flash flood is also caused by poor drainage infrastructure, environmental degradation in the upstream area, sedimentation in the downstream area and high precipitation.
Sea level rise is estimated at around 15.5 cm by 2030. However, land subsidence has a greater impact to the community. It reached 13 cm annually in 2015 and this means that tidal flood would affect around 300,000 people who inhabit the coastal area of Semarang, including the neighbors in Kampung Kali Bahru. Unfortunately, the residents in coastal communities who mainly work as factory workers and fishermen cannot do much, and they basically try to adapt their houses to be higher than ground surface, while some others simply see the flood as a part of normal life considering it happens so often. (100RC, 2016)
Communal waste management also contributes to flood disasters. Flash flood and tidal flood are related to the community’s poor attitude towards the environment, such as littering. In Semarang, 50% of the total population was not covered by the municipal government’s waste management service especially in the slum kampung areas, where the low income and vulnerable people live.
The entire design process for achieving a soakable society is categorized into two broad sections- Urban resiliency and Socio-economic resiliency. Soakable society is proposed to be a conglomeration of the cyclic efforts in each of the sectors.
Broader urban decisions are proposed in order to ensure a level of protection from the ongoing hazards in the long run. The major sectors considered here are
i) Rethinking Landuse: The existing landuse shows a very scattered distribution of houses, with no space for recreation and community activities. In the existing settlement many houses are found to be already in an unlivable state, due to land subsidence and flooding. This type of houses are proposed to be cleared, and in the combined land of two to three houses each, a shared landuse with new module of house is proposed. This will also make window for some pocket green spaces which will act as the soakable retention spaces during heavy rain or flood.
At the starting of the project, few houses can be built with the assistance of the government and NGO’s which will set an example to the inhabitants of the better option. Eventually when they will be able economically (as described afterwards) they can follow the previous examples and contribute themselves to upgrade their own houses.
Besides, a new housing settlement is proposed in the site where the land is comparatively more vulnerable and most of the houses and destroyed by land subsidence. This new housing area will provide a model for housing cluster to be followed in the future, when rebuilding the existing houses will be feasible.
House module: As for the house module, the connected plinth is retrofitted to the existing houses. And new housing modules are designed so as to withstand the socks of disasters like Flood, Storm, Earthquake, Land subsidence, etc. A pre-fabricated structure is proposed which can be easily assemble o site. The steel framed structure with cross bracing can be effective in cases of storm ad flood. Foundation is proposed with tyre and gravel, which will reduce the weight of the total structure and the hassle of concrete construction can be avoided, assuring maximum soakable earth without the damage caused by construction. The filler material is proposed to be either bamboo or coconut brick as per user’s preference and affordability. The choice of coconut brick is because it is light weight, the pressure upon land and thereby subsidence can be reduced, and due to its fibrous nature, minimum damage will be cause in cases of earthquake. The roof forms are also chosen keeping in mind the stress of storms upon a house module.
ii) Mobility and Accessibility: In case of assuring resiliency for a site, a well-connected road and transport network is very essential. Considering the current situation, two public bus loops with a bus station and connecting bus stops are proposed. This will provide a direct public transport facility connecting Kampung Kali Bahru to the nearest railway station “St. Besar Semarang Poncol”and Kota Lama, a nearby flourished city. This will not only ensure the smooth communication of the village to central Semarang, but also will improve the administrative status of the Kampung, eventually attracting tourists and researchers to give attention to the site.
In micro level the roads are redefined and segregated for better connectivity. With respect to hierarchy, the roads within the site are categorized into Arterial, Major Collector, Minor Collector and neighborhood roads. This segregation will also help maintain the variation of privacy required in different layers of roads. For example the homely flavor of the neighborhood roads and the busy cacophony of the arterial roads are not desirable to be overlapped.
iii) Ecological infrastructure : As the site is oriented very close to the sea coast, broad scale protection of mangrove layer is a must. Regeneration of mangrove is therefore proposed along the sea coast on both sides of the port. This will reduce the intensity of flood and storm to a major level. Besides, mangrove actively contributes to restoring land to the shore, thereby curing land subsidence.
The low lying areas within the site (which are prone to inundation) are suitably proposed to be water retention zones, which will parallely act as urban community spaces. These zones are the termination of the scattered pocket green spaces proposed within the housing chunks. Thus the entire green network will develop a layer of social spaces ensuring utmost soakability of the land.
The existing box culvert in the northern side of the site is proposed to be reopened as a canal making complete circuit of water connection enwrapping the village. The internal drains and bioswales will combinedly drain out the flood water to these canals. Besides, for the gray water drainage lines, backflush valves are proposed to be installed, so that during flood, the dirty water does not overflow and pollute the environment.
Let’s imagine a situation where a village is provided with all the high-tech utilities to fight a disaster. But neither can he afford them, nor does he have a close connection with his neighbors who will stand by his side in hard times. Eventually all the measures will go in vain. This is where the inevitable necessity of socio-economic resiliency comes. The basic target is to make a society culturally bonded and economically solvent enough to face any unwanted challenge.
As already stated, the entire village is proposed to be a thematic culinary village. The scopes for social interaction and economic platform are provided in two levels: Neighborhood and Community.
i) Neighborhood: The neighborhood roads are the roads just in front of the houses. These roads hold a very intimate sense of space and are used by the villagers for various daily activities. Unfortunately during flood, these roads become a source of hazard, imprisoning an inhabitant to his house. Intervention is proposed in the construction of this road as shown in the figure following, so that they can hold the flood water for the time being, until it drains out entirely. The plinths of the existing houses are retrofitted to make a connected passage way during flood. This plinth will perform as the primary space for production of home based goods for sale, and maintain a well-communicated neighborhood as well. This series of connected plinths meet up at the pocket green space of the specific chunk, alongside the collector roads, which is said to be a social shade. This shade will provide the neighbors with a common space to share and interact, perform cultural activities.
Simultaneously, the home based goods can be gathered here for collection and retail, local level trainers can offer vocation teachings to the housewives here. Thus the social shade, apart from providing soakable green and retention zone, will also become the heart of social and economic activity of each neighborhood chunk.
ii) Community: Each self-sufficient neighborhood chunk will combinedly create a self-empowered community. In kampung Kali Bahru, two vital communities are noticeable. Among them one is the residents of the central village, most of whom are factory workers. The other community is of high cultural importance- the fish market community or the workers of smoke fish zone. This fish market zone will be the vital force of the culinary village. But unfortunately the condition of the smoke houses and the surroundingenvironment is in highly vulnerable condition both economically and environmentally. Our design proposals include the collaboration of the fish market and the villager’s community so that they can support and correspond with each other’s activity. The fish market zone is redesigned providing self-sufficient smoke fish hub. These hubs will include residential and working zones separated by a common interaction space. The entire hub is circulated on stilts so that their daily activities remain uninterrupted even during flood. The entire zone consist of other amenities for tourism encouragement like information centers, guided walkways and smoke fish restaurants. This will further contribute to enhancing economic resiliency.
An elaborate urban space is provided in between these two communities including a mosque, a market and recreational spaces. This will act as the heart of the culinary village where all sorts of cultural and economic sharing will occur. The two communities will get the opportunity to be closer to each other and together form a efficient society.
A portion of the revenue collected from these self-generated income sources will be used for the welfare of the village. Staring from repairing a broken house, to financing the large scale mangrove reforestation, the villagers will lead towards an interdependent resilient village.
Heritage: In promoting the thematic culinary village in order to achieve socioeconomic resiliency, the heritage zone can play a vital role. This will be the center of attraction for tourists, who will contribute to a great deal in rising the economy of the village. The heritage wall of Geodon Tdgoe is conserved providing a museum (preserving the trading history of this place), a heritage market and a bird sanctuary in the zone. This will in the process create a public platform for the fish market culture to flourish nationally and globally.
Urban facilities:At the south end of the site, at the junction of two primary roads, the space is used to provide a training center and a bus stand. This training center will provide the villagers with necessary workshops and teachings to engage them in achieving the resilient culinary village. Besides, the entire village is facilitated with school and healthcare zones at definite intervals. These will eventually act as shelter centers in case of acute disasters.
Energy generation: The site Bandarharjo has been reported to have a crisis of electricity. To address this problem, a new technology named “Water rotor” has been proposed to be installed in the water body surrounding the site. This device can produce electricity even in very low current of water. This can reduce the crisis of electricity in the village to a great extent.
Besides, waste pit is proposed as shown in the following diagram, where organic waste are to be deposited and converted into biogas through a plant. This will meet the intention of energy generation as well as provide an option for the unmanaged waste.
Thus the various zones of the Kampung, through co-operation and bonding will approach towards a resilient livelihood, and soak up the probable shocks and stresses.
NOTE: The project won the Honorable Mention Award in Designing Resilience In Asia (DRIA) , an international student competition arranged by National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2017.
CONTEXT contributor: Sumaiya Sharmin, Student , Dept. of Architecture, BUET
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