The population of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, has increased by 197% in the last twenty years, resulting in the creation of sprawling districts with no basic infrastructure that house over 60% of the city’s population. Current development plans are proving ineffective as they require huge investments toward land-owner compensation and infrastructure, and rely on developers for implementation. As an alternative, we have developed a strategic framework for sustainable and affordable district upgrading for these sites as an Incremental Development Manual. The manual offers a strategy for in situ development that accommodates incremental growth and collective improvements to residents’ shared plots. It operates on a small scale, working on the mutual benefits of four households working together as the basic unit for all further transformation. This paper will demonstrate how this strategy reflects the diversity of housing needs and incomes of ger district inhabitants, and discusses potential financial tools for housing and infrastructure provision, including the potential for cooperative development.
Microalgae Building Enclosures: Design and Engineering Principles
By Kyoung Hee Kim
New York: Routledge, 2022
7 x 0.5 x 10 in.
188 color illustrations
March 29, 2022
Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929-1975
By Susan S. Benjamin and Michelangelo Sabatino
New York: The Monacelli Press, 2020
279 mm x 203 mm
$ 60 hardcover
Inequity is the underlying cause of today’s major societal health dilemmas. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines social health as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.” The success of this sequence depends on the distribution of money, power, and resources. Food is central in everyone’s life: an extended commitment for an equitable access to healthy food is necessary--even more during times of isolation due to the COVID19 pandemic. Focus group studies with community residents are important in increasing public understanding and community engagement around food accessibility, prevention of “food deserts,” and associated health issues. Urban United Roots, an organization discussed in this paper, offers an overview on how Baltimore, Maryland is assisting access to healthy food both spatially (elimination of food desert) and socially (achievement of food equity). This Baltimore-group addresses healthy food options that impact every aspect of the quality of life through the Honey Badger Promenade project in Harlem Park.
This paper examines rubble management as an important but often neglected component of disaster response and a powerful example of the frequent disconnect between national plans and local action. It focuses on five marginalized municipalities in Oaxaca, Mexico: Ciudad Ixtepec, Asuncion Ixtaltepec, El Espinal, Juchitan de Zaragoza, and Santa Maria Xadani. These constitute the region most affected by the Mexican earthquakes of September 2017, with roughly 58% of inhabitants suffering either partial or total loss of their houses. The paper builds on the results of fifty-one interviews, a cross-sectional survey with 384 residents, and a mapping analysis to reveal the challenges of post-disaster planning across scales. The results show that local perspectives were given little consideration in nationally-led rubble management plans, and that these documents were likely shaped by concerns over what constituted institutional legitimacy, rather than attention to local context. The paper concludes with a discussion of the findings through the lens of institutional isomorphism and offers recommendations for more effective post-disaster rubble management, particularly centered on increasing the involvement and capacity of residents, municipal governments, and other key institutions.