International Essay Competition 2012

International Essay Competition 2012-51
The city is on the United Nations World Heritage Danger List. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism at MIT introduced a working concept of “resilient districts” for urban areas that are vulnerable to climate impacts. "Shallow dome roofing" developed by informal masons from a village in northern India have made it possible to reduce use of steel and cement in building construction lowering its carbon footprint. Designed and built by: Avikal Somvanshi and Manu Gopalan, 2012.Built of mud and located in a flood prone area, the city "remains at severe risk of major damage unless necessary preventive measures are taken...[involving] the conservation and use of Shibam oases, which are considered as the buffer zone of the property." Photo credit: Will De Freitas. From the World Heritage listing: "Abandonment of the old agricultural flood management system in the wadi, the overloading of the traditional sanitary systems by the introduction of modern water supply combined with inadequate drainage, together with changes in the livestock management have all contributed to the decay of the city." Photo credit: Twiga_Swala , Rweru Green Village, Rwanda, 2016. Resilient Districts include four central tenets 1) protecting critical infrastructure, 2) thickening regional soft systems, 3) transferring density to less vulnerable areas, and 4) encouraging landscape-based land uses in low laying areas. A fast-track eco-friendly dis-mountable housing prototype that can be used to provide semi-temporary housing post-natural disaster in tropical regions. Designed and built by: Sandeep Virmani and Kiran Vaghela.

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Past winners have gone on to publish a book with their winnings, start a similar contest in Romania, and found an NGO in Ghana focused on youth, garnering media attention from the likes of the .

Keep an eye on these rising stars as they continue a tradition of excellence.

The social art of architecture, in this case, is the alteration of spatial meaning respectively.

However in architecture, the meaning of space is never defined... On 19th July, I left from Barcelona (the first leg of my Travel Fellowship) and began my 19-hour journey to Lesotho to participate in the Rise International in-loco built workshop.

Grand Prize winner – Democracy that Delivers for Entrepreneurs: Chandrima Padmanabhan (India) “Entrepreneurship in India: The Evolution of the Pedestrian Pariah.” Chandrima will attend CIPE’s Democracy that Delivers for Entrepreneurs conference on April 9-10 in Chicago.

For further information, or to reserve a space, please contact: The Eisaku Sato Memorial Foundation for Cooperation with the United Nations University tel. Designed and built by: Sonam Wangchuck and Neelakshi Joshi, 2016.Combining local earth and solar resources to address housing needs in a cold desert region. is a geospatial risk and planning platform developed for Broward County, Florida by the University of Toronto's Daniels Faculty MIT Urban Risk Lab. "Our goal is to design and develop a web-based tool for Broward County to understand the potential adaptability of the urban fabric to manage the dynamic hydrological condition in the face of increased vulnerability due to climate change." Image courtesy of Fadi Masoud. Building designed and built by: Auroville Earth Institute, 2012. It is also the first urban infill projects to pursue and to receive a "Living Building" certification from the Interational Living Future Institute.The roof "prow" allows for an extended array of photovoltaic panels allowing the building to produce more electricity then it uses. Photo credit: Brad Kahn ( , Seattle, USA.These students emerged from an ever more outstanding field. It is reassuring to see the deep thought and inquiry all the entrants are investing in the critical the issue of climate reslience. The buildings come into existence during a paradigm shift in the South African landscape; after the fall of the apartheid regime.So the emergence of the buildings in the new South Africa primarily deals with the redressing of their brutal political and architectural history.Photo credit: Neelakshi Joshi Kompong Khleang, Cambodia. This fishing village sits on the Tonle Sap Lake that historically rises as much as five-fold during the rainy season.This village is a striking example of vernacular flood adaptation, and potentially a model for low-lying areas where climate change is resulting in increased flooding. Houses are built both on stilts and as floating habitats. ( This 16th century city of towers in the Wadi is an outstanding example of density and natural climate control. This is a unique example where a formal architectural project has incorporated incredible innovations taking place outside the professional world to help improve environmental performance of formal construction industry.


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