For long, we have turned a blind eye to a rising global crisis: more than 1.600 million people are without access to proper housing. This issue is especially salient in Sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the world’s highest poverty rate where one third of its urban population live in informal settlements. It is as high as 90% in countries such as South Sudan and Central African Republic.
At NCID, we want to tackle this issue with state-of-the-art tools and evidence-based research to assist in decision-making to secure a better future for people in these developing cities. Research on this area is long overdue as it is a cornerstone to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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Reinhard König is an Architect and Urban Planner. Professor for Computational Architecture at Bauhaus-University Weimar, and Principal Scientist at the Smart and Resilient Cities competence unit in the Austrian Institute of Technology in Vienna. He collaborates with the Big Data Informed Urban Design group at the Future Cities Lab in the Singapore ETH Centre. His current research interests are applicability of multi-criteria optimization techniques for planning synthesis, cognitive design computing, and correlations of computed measures of spatial configurations with human cognition and usage of space.
Belén Gesto has a PhD in Architecture and is Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Territorial Planning of the ETSAM, UPM. Since 2013, she has been the Director of the Instituto de Cooperación en Habitabilidad Básica (ICHaB), which she coordinated since the year 2000. She has also been the coordinator of the UNESCO Chair on Basic Habitability for a decade. He teaches at the MCH (Master in Collective Housing) of the UPM and the ETH Zurich, and in cooperation courses promoted by the ICHaB. Her lines of research are informal settlements, emergency, basic habitability and housing policies in developing countries.
Primoz Kovaçic is co-founder and director of Spatial Collective. He is a geodetic engineer with a master’s in strategic political communications. He provides strategic direction for the company and has significant field experience in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, and USA. A Pop-Tech Fellow, and a former teaching and research assistant at George Washington University, Primoz has had more than ten years of professional experience in land surveying and GIS, technology training, community organizing and participatory development, collective action and research.
9:45 Reinhard König: Artificial Intelligence for Urban Planning in Africa.
Massive rural-urban transformation processes and population growth in African countries require the fast development of innovative urban planning approaches. To address these challenges, we propose new computational analysis tools in combination with arti cial intelligence methods for the automatized generation of urban planning variants.
10:45 Belén Gesto: Urban expansion, challenges and responses from the basic habitability approach.
Informal neighborhoods as a consequence of the social stratification shown in socio-spatial segregation within the same territory. Analysis of the incidences of housing policies in the reproduction of informal settlements.
11:45 Coffee Break
12:15 Primoz Kovaçic: Digitally Enabled Collective Action in Nairobi’s Informal Settlements
Spatial Collective (SC) applies new technologies to capture the data of the land registry in order to test if there are affordable tools for land documentation, and if these tools can reach the standards of precision required by the state. The data collection is made by the communities themselves. SC explores the role of technology in community mobilization, focusing on collective action and mapping initiatives undertaken in the urban slums of Nairobi.