Transforming public space in a peripheral condominium neighbourhood of Addis Ababa
In the metropolitan region of Addis Ababa the population is expected to grow from four to ten million in the next decade. This growth of population means that a large number of houses has to be produced to keep up with the growth of the city and at the same time deal with the current housing shortage. Around ten years ago the Ethiopian government started a mass housing program that provided houses that can be bought with subsidized loans. All around the city condominium blocks are built, from small scale interventions in the inner city to large scale developments in the periphery of the city.
These large scale peripheral neighborhoods have an urban lay-out that reminds us to the modernistic ideas of large buildings in vast open fields. A suburban landscape is created with compounds that consist of around six housing blocks that have little or no connection with the street life. In many occasions these compounds are fenced off for a sense of security. All this results in a public landscape that has little connection to the buildings and the people that live in them.
The design proposal focuses on one of these peripheral neighborhoods that has been build six years ago. By introducing a new type of housing block the public space is transformed from a vacantunpleasant landscape into a network of pedestrian streets and public places.