LOW COST HOUSING
In 1900 only 10% of the worlds population lived in cities. In 2007 it was already 50% and by 2050 the UN expects it to be 75%. To describe our current era as the ‘Urban Age’ is therefore appropriate.
Our present generations have to build more cities than all previous genera- tions have ever built, but the growth of cities are mostly chaotic with high dy- namics. Indeed the need for housing is growing much faster than the supply. In 2030, 2 billion people will be living in so-called ‘informal situations’ (slums, favelas, refugee camps etc). Solutions for creating the required li- ving space without the active partici- pation of the people themselves often leads to closed urban silo settle- ments with in exible building ty- pes and lifeless public areas.
At the Urban Age Conference 2016 in Venice, the Director of the Biennale Alejandro Aravena exp- lained the consequence for social peace and security for the whole world would rely on housing the masses in the coming years.
Signi cantly he quotes a US government report that said unless the world succeeds in the very near future to create one million family units per week at a price of approximately $ 10,000 then security worldwide would signi cantly worsen. He went on to explain that if this goal could not be achieved, then the current refugee ows would grow to unimagi- nable gures. The social hot spots and slums would sink into social unrest and provide the ideal breeding ground for extremists.
Critically, he concluded that such a task cannot be solved with conventional building materials and construc- tion methods. Today almost all housing programs worldwide are hopelessly lagging behind be- cause of a lack of cheap building materials and of skilled labour.
Aravena set his hope in what he called Hypertech a synonym for inventing new materials and construction methods, which also enables the persons concer- ned themselves to create much- needed affordable and sustai- nable housing. In other words he accurately described the ap- proach of PolyCare.