A community and ITS waste.

Waste as a tool for cultural enhancement, social inclusion and urban regeneration.

The overarching theme of the design studios was Urgencies  and it prompted us to look for solutions for problems we have faced in the past, are currently facing and those we expect to face in the future. Having spent the greater part of the lockdowns in my hometown of Mombasa (Kenya), I began noticing in detail the problems locals face; especially those of the Old town. 

The old town of Mombasa has for long been described as one of the best preserved Swahili settlements along the East coast of Africa, unfortunately the same can not be said about the quality of life of its residents.Over the years an influx of people and buildings has caused a huge strain on the area’s infrastructure causing a myriad of problems impacting not only the quality of life of the residents but also undermining the architectural quality of the conservation area, which is a major source of income of the area through tourism.These problems include, lack of a garbage disposal system that encourages residents to litter, an outdated sewerage and electric system, poor access to education facilities and inadequate and poor for urban spaces especially for women.

The proposed scheme is centred around a waste management system and aims to demystify that this piece of infrastructure has no place in a conservation area by showing what and how such a system can look and be used, seamlessly blending into the existing urban landscape and culture while also solving other problems the area faces. The scheme utilises vacant land and derelict buildings and features a community centre which apart from being a recycling plant is also a cultural centre and school, a dhow making yard, henna garden and womens centre. 

Throughout the scheme, products of the recycling process are used to create various aspects of the Swahili culture not only preserving and enhancing them,  but also providing a source of income to the locals. The spaces created within and around the scheme also aim at meeting the needs of the local community benefiting both them and tourist.