SUIDs for sustainable renewal of public space

SUIDs for sustainable renewal of public space

Tipo de organización: 
Sin fines de lucro / ONG / Sector Civil
Etapa del Proyecto:
Resumen del Proyecto
Presentación del Proyecto!

Resumen conciso: Ayúdenos a presentar esta solución! Proporcione una explicación en 3 o 4 frases cortas.

An integral approach in the revitalization of traditional urban areas: we propose an adaptive system of Small-scale Urban Intervention devices (SUIDs) that both solves the lack of infrastructure (water drainage,) and preserves the traditional way of life by improving the quality of public spaces.

About Project

Problema: ¿Qué problema está tratando de abordar este proyecto?

Indian city centers are currently facing the effects of external forces resulting from rapid development and intense socio-economic pressure. As a result, living conditions are actively deteriorated and obsolete infrastructures need to be replaced through an innovative renewal strategy that restores the identity of the public space as a place for daily activities and social interaction

Solución: cuál es la solución propuesta? Por favor sé específico!

In contrast to renewal programs that ignore existing architectural and cultural heritage, we identify representative sites (urban voids, in-betweens, courtyards...) to implant a network of SUIDs:micro urban devices that positively transform and reorganize the existing scenario. These artifacts are conceived to solve spatial problems and fulfill community needs (common spaces for daily activities, lack of green areas,…) and they are designed to preserve traditional know-how, with local structural systems, energy saving methods, water collection, reuse and recycling technologies.These artifacts are conceived to harness local resources, materials and technologies, with a high commitment to social and environmental sustainability.
Impact: How does it Work

Ejemplo: Guíenos a través de un ejemplo/s específico/s de cómo esta solución hace la diferencia; incluya sus actividades principales.

The local authorities have to deal with the interests of different agents involved in the city changes (investors, entrepreneurs, inhabitants,…) in long complex processes that are not always successful. It´s time to develop new methods of intervention in consolidated urban fabrics, focusing on natural, economic, technological, individual and collective resources within the area. Placing the citizen as the main catalyst of change, we could imagine renewal processes where the past and future are still able to coexist. While most of the policies of intervention replace parts of the city or copy foreign typologies of public spaces, we call for a strategy where new social practices emerge while traditional ways of life are still taking place.

Mercado: ¿Quién mas está abordando el problema aquí descrito ? ¿Cómo difiere el proyecto propuesto de esos enfoques?

Ahmedabad Heritage Centre is an Institution for rehabilitation and conservation of Historic Cities of India. This institution seeks appropriate measures to improve the management of cultural heritage sites that would be applicable to Asian countries. With the experience of Ahmedabad Heritage Centre and in the context of Ahmedabad recent inclusion in Unesco`s World Heritage City tentative list, this project could be an opportunity to shine a light on participatory ways building of our habitat and generating new prospects for the future of traditional urban fabrics.
Sobre ti
Laboratorio de Antropología y Arquitectura (LAnA)
Sobre ti



Cano Piñeiro

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Nombre de la organización

Laboratorio de Antropología y Arquitectura (LAnA)

País de la organización
Países en donde este proyecto está creando impacto social
¿Cuánto tiempo ha estado operando la organización?

1-5 años

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Tu Solución
Historia de la fundación: Comparte la historia del momento "¡Aha!", ese que inspiró al fundador a comenzar o la historia de cómo los fundadores vieron el potencial para que el proyecto tuviera éxito.

I was still studying architecture when I visited India for a workshop. The on-site experience in the historic city centre of Ahmedabad gave me an idea of the global problem of this kind of areas to be updated. Despite the precarious habitat conditions and the obsolete infrastructures, those areas represented a beautiful manifestation of compact, climactically responsive, urban settlement, where community life was closely linked to public space. I began a research project “Urban Strategies to Regenerate Indian Public Space” where I first developed my understanding of architecture as a tool for social empowerment towards a better and more sustainable future

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Sanitation and Hygiene, Agua, Waste, Sustainable Agriculture.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

With this initiative we promote citizen empowerment processes. Innovation and technology transfer play an important role in social development .SUIDs provide appropriate and appropriable technologies that introduce new dynamics in the public sphere. With simple recycling systems, water storage mechanisms and energy production methods, we introduce an ecologically oriented management of local resources.These small-scale intervention devices fulfilspatial needs of the traditional domestic-common life.

Impacto: ¿Cuál es el impacto del trabajo hasta la fecha?

We began with an academic research that received numerous awards and was published in journals/magazines. The project has gone further and we continue developing this micro urban devices and promoting the strategy among local authorities and potential sponsors in order to bring the project to life. Thanks to the analysis of some exemplary practices and prototypes we could expect positive effects: social impact (participation and democratization of the public space…), environmental impact (prevent the historic centres from being environmental degraded, solve lack of infrastructures, improve quality of common spaces,…), economic impact (effective management of resources: water and energy saving, benefits for local industries and manpower,..)

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

Winning the Unilever prize would allow us to invest in the construction and validation testing of a real-scale prototype. This experience will be addressed through collaboration among local authorities, sponsors, interested institutions, neighborhood associations. Significantly, citizens are to be involved in the implementation of the programme. Rather than determine a single solution, this project aims to create a flexible and adaptive system conceived for managing a variety of urban contexts with similar degrees of complexity. Based on the lessons learnt in the initial stage, a long term goal will be identifying potentially transferable elements their possible application to different countries.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

The areas included by UNESCO in the World Heritage List are potential recipients of this initiative. World Heritage Fund provides about US$4 million annually to support activities related to the conservation of cultural outstanding sites. This fact confirms the raising awareness of the need of investments for the preservation of cultural heritage. We must seize this crucial opportunity in the international scene to promote our work.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Almudena is an architect and urban designer. Co-founder of LAnA, a laboratory dedicated to urban anthropological research, design and teaching. LAnA has participated in forums and exhibitions such as EME3 “Global problems, local solutions”, “Ideas Urbanas2.0”,“Design as Social Capital” India under construction. Prizes including ARPA-PETC Young Researchers Award 2012, Hunter Douglas Awards-Archiprix 2013 and the XII Bienal Española de Arquitectura