With the $300 house contest we’re addressing a truly global issue.
Call them Favelas, Gecekondus, New Villages or Skid Rows – substandard housing, squalor and lack of tenure security is known and witnessed all over the world. Though nearly a quarter of a billion people were lifted out of slum conditions over the last decade, the number of slum dwellers continues to grow due to rising population and urbanisation. According to a UN Report the total number of people living in slums now stands at 827 million – and will likely grow up to 889 million by 2020.
Favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil by World Resources
While China and India alone managed to lift 125 million people out of poor living conditions over the past 10 years, Africa made very little progress in improving its people’s living conditions – 2/3 of the slum-dwellers worldwide now live in Africa. Especially the 34 sub-Saharan African countries struggled to help their inhabitants – these countries now have over 60% of their populations living in slums.
Kampala slums, Uganda by Sustainable Sanitation
Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya by Chrissy Olson
Needless to say, the world is in need of a solution to house the poor.
jovoto teamed up with The $300 house to come up with a solution to design simple and affordable dwelling. We already have more than 100 submissions, over 1,100 comments and a lot of media buzz – amongst others, the Economist, the Google Sketch Up Blog, Core77 and The Globe and Mail picked up the project.
We’re seeing a lot of discussion over the use of materials, simple and not so simple designs, prefabricated vs. built-in-situ solutions, traditional and new approaches, affordable and not so affordable ideas and are witnessing how everybody is digging deeper into the topic and gaining more and more knowledge around the issue – in a nutshell: the greatest, sincerest involvement by a large number of people that are trying to do their part in making the world a better place.
Of course, there are more issues besides the actual housing design – e.g. land rights have also been discussed briefly. Nevertheless, if we come up with a feasible idea, this is an important first step towards finding a global solution to one of the biggest problems we’re facing.
8days left in the contest – let’s get ready for the final spurt, jovotoans!
Thumbnail picture: Mumbai, India by Jon Baldock