ADDIS 2050



Rural Housing research project in Ethiopia enters its final phase with a stakeholders forum

RH

On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, a stakeholders forum in Butajira city to place to present and discuss further steps of the Rural Housing research project, a combined research project of EiABC and ETH Professorship Dirk E. Hebel, with representatives of Guraghe Zone Administration, City Government, Bete Guraghe Cultural Center, colleagues from Wolkite University and Wolkite Polytechnic College and other stakeholder.

In his opening speech, EiABC Scientific Director Joachim Dieter explained the role and importance of housing research for the development of the rural areas and the meaning of experimental and applied research in full scale for the education of Architects, Construction Manager and Urban Planner at the Institute.

Project Manager Melekeselam Moges and his team explained in their presentation the achievements of the SRDU project, the current state of research on the continuation project, improvements in it’s design and technical aspects as building materials and construction methods, while possible collaborations and partnerships with local authorities, University and Polytechnic, communities and NGO have been evaluated.

All topics of the presentation had been commented and discussed with the invited guests to reach maximum acceptance and learn from previous valuable experiences.

This research project is supported and facilitated by Switzerland’s Arthur Waser Foundation, the ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and ETH-Global.

The team of EiABC included both wings of the management, academic and administrative, and was represented by Scientific Director Joachim Dieter, Managing Director Dr. Beatrice Delpouve, Project Manager Melakeselam Moges and his team, Chairholder Imam Mahmoud – Chair of Housing, Head of Finance Shimeles Habtamu, and the Head of International Relations, Mr. Agus Prianto. The event was concluded with a visit of the future project site.

EiABC and Assistant Professorship for Architecture and Construction present alternative housing concepts to the Addis Ababa Housing and Construction Development Board

On October 20th 2014, Bisrat Kifle, Fasil Giorghis and Dirk E. Hebel presented alternative housing concepts to the Addis Ababa Housing and Construction Development Board as part of the ongoing research project ADDIS 2050 The aim of the project is the construction of 5`000 low cost housing units to shelter relocated citizens within the inner city of Ethiopia’s capital, preserving existing social and economic networks. The presented typologies resulted in an overwhelming feedback for EiABC and the ETH, featured in the national evening news on the Ethiopian Broadcasting Network EBC. The short clip can be seen below in Amharic.

EBC Evening News from Architecture and Construction on Vimeo.

Simulating Incremental Housing at Hybrid Highlights Seoul

IMG_0109

Can a social housing program only provide a structural frame? Will inhabitants start to activate their own skills and financial means to fill this structure according to their needs and desires? And how could this look like? The experimental research project Simulating Incremental Housing is following these questions by implementing a proto-typology of such a structure in a developing settlement in the heart of Addis Ababa’s no-income zones. The simulation tool allows to speculate on different materials and construction methods how such a structure could be populated and used by its inhabitants.

Exhibition Dates: Thursday 9 October to Monday 8 December, 10:00 – 18:00

About the Exhibition
Although long under way, the hybridization of art and science presents itself as the most significant challenge for society today. The boundaries between the sciences are poorly delineated and those between art and science are as well. However, these poorly delineated boundaries form commonly shared areas where the stull unknown can be explored and where points of suture between disciplines can be made. It is here that artistic and scientific forms of knowledge begin to merge and are allowed to develop into hybrid formations which bear new knowledge and offer unique experience. And if hybridity is the landmark of artistic and scientific practice, the exhibition “Hybrid Highlights” is indicative of such hybridized territory that goes beyond art and science while exploring and expanding through the possibilities offered from the still “unknown” of the poorly delineated

ADDIS 2050 an alternative pathway into Ethiopia’s future

The conference ADDIS 2050 – an alternative pathway into Ethiopia’s future – was held on October 9th and 10th 2012 at the campus of the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development EiABC in Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa belongs to the fastest growing urban centers in the world. Migration from the rural areas as well as massive redevelopment strategies of the City Government put the African capital under enormous pressure. Infrastructural deficiencies, water and energy shortages, environmental hazards and mobility challenges question the current modus operandi in place.

The Green Forum Ethiopia under the leadership of Heinrich Boell Foundation in Addis Ababa commissioned the Chair of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel at FCL Singapore in collaboration with the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development EiABC to invent an alternative “green” scenario for the city of Addis Ababa in the year 2050. The conference concentrated on the issues of Energy, Mobility, Cultural and Social Space, Housing and Information. The event was visited by more than 500 people and arose immense interest from the media as well as the City Administration. As guest of honor, the Swiss Ambassador H.E. Dominik Langenbacher attended the conference as well as delegates from several federal ministries and the UN-Habitat. In the meantime, the Department of Masterplanning and Vision of the City Adeministration invited the speakers to present the work in their offices.

Team FCL Singapore:Dirk Hebel, Felix Heisel, Marta Wisniewska, Alireza Javadian, Gerhard Schmitt, Stephen Cairns, Remo Burkhard, Eva-Maria Friedrich, Matthias Berger, Stefan Mueller Arisona, Ludger Hovestadt, Jorge Orozco, Alex Erath, Max Hirsh, Sonja Berthold, Ying Zhou, Edda Ostertag, Naomi Hanakata, Lindsey Ann Sawyer, Cheryl Song, Noor Faizah Binte Othman, Kevin Lim, Amanda Tan

Team EiABC: Joachim Dieter, Bisrat Kifle, Addis alem Fekele, Tewedaj Eshetu, Yosef Teferri, Eyob Wedesu

Team Green Forum/Heinrich Boell Foundation: Patrick Berg, Ayele Kebede, Jonas

Addis 2050 – Energy

Energy Today

Today, in 2012, over 70 million Ethiopians live without electricity. This is more than 80% of the population without access to the electricity grid. As a result, 90% of Ethiopian households use firewood for cooking, resulting in the deforestation of almost 1500 km2 every year.

Research by Ludger Hovestadt and Jorge Orozco

Developed by Eva-Maria Friedrich, Matthias Berger and Stefan Mueller-Arisona

 

Energy 2050 – An Alternative

Tomorrow, in the year 2050, Ethiopia produces more renewable energy than it consumes.

Every home is electrified, every citizen, regardless of his or her location, his or her religion, his or her income or his or her ethnic origin has access to electrical energy. No firewood is needed any more for cooking; forests are growing again in Ethiopia, protecting our soil for agricultural production to feed our people. Water is pumped with solar energy to every household and every square meter of farmland. No toxic exhausts are threatening us anymore, because we live in a zero emission society.

In the year 2014, the Ethiopian government handed over solar panels in the value of 200 USD for every family of Ethiopia including a battery storage system. Like that, every family was able to produce 100 Watt of electrical energy per hour, which, at that time, was enough to supply their homes with light during the evening hours, to run a radio or small refrigerator and to charge their cell phones and other small battery systems. In order to do so, only half of one year’s foreign aid going into Ethiopian was needed.

Solar panels became over the years cheaper and cheaper and the cooperative started to add capacities to their small networks until bigger systems were able to support urban areas with their energy. With their cell phones, the farmers started to sell their energy on locally installed energy stock markets. They decided when and how much of their energy was sold to customers.

Here, the farmers could actually store energy, inside their plants, vegetable and cattle. But also other systems became very attractive. Production of Butane gas for example. With easy machines, water and CO2 out of the air, many farmers became bio-gas producers, filling thousands of Butane bottles per day.

This Butane gas became by now the most used cooking energy in Ethiopia. Women did not have to find firewood all day long, covering thousands of kilometers every year. The gas did not harm their health any longer, because burning it, did not create any black carbon particles, of which so many died every year before.

But also producing hydrogen with the abundant energy produced became a very lucrative business. The cooperative started around 2030 to install hydrogen separators as a tertiary energy source to be sold to the cities. Hydrogen buses, trucks and even airplanes were introduced to Ethiopia step by step, because the fuel was there and it was cheap.

By 2045, electricity export increased by around 70% every two years. Like that, Ethiopia became the first sub-Saharan country to support the DESERTEC network built in the Sahara desert, supporting an international effort to build a global sustainable energy market, where farmers in the rural areas of Ethiopia play and important role.

Ethiopia’s slogan ‘13 month of sunshine’ became well-known in a globalized energy market.

Addis 2050 – Mobility

Mobility Today

 

Mobility 2050 – An Alternative

Tomorrow, in 2050, Addis Ababa is the first African city that reached its goal of establishing a ‘Zero Emission’ society.

Through a collective effort in the past 40 years, Ethiopia achieved something remarkable – the decoupling of economic growth and mobility from burning fossil energy carriers. As a result, the capital Addis Ababa, this year received the title of “most livable city in Africa” for the second time in a row. This is mainly due to reasons connected with the management of emissions, social space initiatives, public transport concepts, education possibilities, ecological driven industries and safety concepts in the city combined with a long term strategy of economic growth through ecological strategies put in place by the city government.

It all started in 2015, when rural farmers received an Energy Harvesting Kit, consisting out of a solar panel and a battery. Gradually, Ethiopia developed a new approach towards energy generation, based on individuals and small-scale grids. Already just after a few years, electrical energy in rural and urban Ethiopia was available for everybody. Consequently, the country experienced a paradigm shift on how to produce and use energy.

While such developments rapidly urbanized the countryside, it took a few years to affect the cities. A key development might have been the opening of the first Electrical Mobility Manufacturing EMM near Addis Ababa in 2020. Individuals with an entrepreneurial understanding had been following the energy development in Ethiopia closely and understood the potential of the country. As energy costs started to drop because of the tremendous amount that was produced by energy farmers in the countryside, production costs also dropped tremendously. But even more important, this energy was available for everybody and therefore people started to drive vehicles that could be charged at home. No expensive petroleum, diesel or benzin was necessary any more. With this, a mobility revolution started in Ethiopia.

It was very fortunate that mayor Amanuel Takele realized a common fact: more car lanes also produce more car traffic. Reversing the trend, he used the already existing asphalt for a more diverse functional mix – pedestrian walk ways, bike lanes, public transport and individual traffic shared now what was originally planned just for fossil fuel driven cars. This was possible, because the electrical vehicles did nit harm anyone anymore through heat, noise and exhausts. The days of black exhaust clouds were over, people could start to breath again in public space.

Considering the mind-blowing shift in mobility, the public transport system needed a quick renewal. Hitchhiking on the already existing movement towards renewable energy driven vehicles, the Administration declared the ‘Green Public Transport Act’ in early 2026. Public bus lines, the extension of the already existing electrical tramway and the transformation of the taxi system were the most important steps on the agenda.

In 2042, Ethiopian Airlines – as the first airline in Africa and the third worldwide – changed his whole carrier fleet towards a hydrogen fuel system. Like that, Ethiopian Airlines uses a sustainable, environmentally friendly and most of all renewable energy source, harvested mostly by small energy farmers in the country-side.

Combined with the incredible fascinating developments in the housing sector, it also changed our understanding of building and living in a city. Cities are now seen as multiple dense clusters of local networks: Kebeles harvest energy, organize sewage systems or even build roads within a bigger plan. More important however is the social layer within our new Addis Ababa. The closeness and mixture of functions in a low-rise, dense, heterogeneous megapolis also decreased our need for mobility. Friends, family, work and shopping are usually within walking distance. The air we are breathing is not polluted by carbon or dioxin particles any more, noise is not disturbing our daily activities any longer, bicycling on the new dedicated lanes is fast and fun. And for longer distances, public transport is installed to be fast and reliable. Out of this, car ownership in recent years has been on a constant decline.

We changed our mobility and in return it changed our lifes.

Addis 2050 – Culture

Culture Today

 

Culture 2050 – An Alternative

Tomorrow, in 2050, life in Addis Ababa is vibrant, diverse, public and secure. We enjoy our social heritage, our cities as cultural centers and our public spaces as an expression of an open, active, inventive, green, and responsible society.

At the end of the 20th century, housing shortages, energy blackouts, old and outdated mobility concepts, and inefficient or not existing infrastructures challenged the future of our nation. Additionally, health risks resulting from high levels of air pollution and other environmental hazards made the capital difficult to enjoy.

But combining economic growth and our own life prosperity with an alternative renewable energy concept for Ethiopia changed the way we lived. Migration slowed down, identity was strengthened, local habits and traditions could survive in the regions and Ethiopia therefore was able to protect its incredible rich culture and history.

Instead of following trends and fashions from the outside, the society developed into a trendsetter itself for other nations. Today, we are a role model for so many other countries, delegations come from all over the world to learn about our culture and how technology is used to strengthen local identities instead of destroying them. We harvest the energy we have, sun, water and wind, and we build small towns and cities of close proximities, where the Ethiopian social culture of closeness, tradition, family sense andcharity are expressed and enhanced.

And even existing cities were changed. In Addis Ababa, a new educational mile was introduced ranging from Arat Kilo to Addis Ababa University, where cars are
banned, trees are planted and extremely attractive spaces were designed by our young architects. The National Museum, the Ethnographical Museum, the Ethiopian History Museum, the new Central Library and other cultural institutions like the Goethe Institute, the Alliance Francais, and Addis Ababa University with its many institutions along the way are now accessible through a common public space which became a garden of knowledge and exchange.

Scholars are meeting and discussing here, tourists come and exchange their knowledge with us, friendships are build and research collaborations are negotiated. It became the urban think tank for our industry and economy. This spatial interaction favors again the humans and NOT the cars, it favors knowledge production over pure apllication, it favors exchange and openness over retraction and close mindedness.

The National Museum, the Commercial Bank, the Ministry of Defense, all of those were reopened and revitalized as public buildings around the area, which had an immense effect on the immediate surroundings as a public space of interaction. Restaurants opened their doors, traffic is re-routed in the evening hours and the National Theater opened an outside stage, which strengthened the role of the building as a magnet for social activities in the midst of the city.

The area is known as the “Cultural Mile” of Addis Ababa. It’s strategic location in the heart of the City makes it a popular space for all generations, small businesses, restaurants, artists and students are to be found, shaded by trees and a densified urban layout to create a real ‘Piazza’ for the people.

Another heritage building, the old station at the lower end of Churchill Road, sparked an additional social and economic important corridor in the city. The “Rail Line Project” started in 2032, connecting “La Gare” with Bole Airport following the old rail tracks of the Addis-Djibouti line.

The artificial topography of the project offers a contemporary and transformative breeding ground for small production and retail stores, spaces for entrepreneur companies, pockets for various markets, test grounds for new technologies, niches for cafes and restaurants, shops and small fabrication places for craftsmen and artists, all enhancing the economic base of the neighborhood. One finds also spaces for religious celebrations, very small open-air cinemas and all kinds of performances along with traditional festivals.

The ‘Kebena River Nature Park’ offers today a remote and piece full place in midst of a vibrant and environmental successful city. The Ethiopian rural history and culture can be combined with an urban future, as long as the urban does not destroy the biggest treasure we have: tradition, history, and our incredible nature.

Addis 2050 – Housing

Housing Today

 

Housing 2050 – An Alternative

Tomorrow, in 2050, Addis Ababa can offer to every citizen a place to live. It is a beautiful city characterized by its diverse and dense building stock, amble spaces for social and private interaction and heterogeneity of functions. Today, we live and work in the same area, we walk to get our groceries and meet our friends in front of the door.

Addis Ababa is a city of millions, but composed of small characteristic neighborhoods and families; a city of chances for the individual to thrive. Addis is my city of choice.

When it became clear to the government in 2016, that it neither had the money to construct social housing for the ever-growing millions of new migrants, nor the design for an Ethiopian way of life, a bold and visionary decision was made. The Ethiopian Prime Minister at that time allowed the implementation of a “Incremental Housing Program”, whereby the state only provided a minimum construction to guarantee safety and regulations, but where individuals and families were able to complete their own homes in several steps, according their income and family size. This gave opportunities to the individuals and shifted responsibility from the government in order to activate the capital of the citizens to build and shape their own way of life. It is hard to say where this idea originally came from. Scholars speculate today that a cooperative in Kebele 12 imported the idea from Chile in the year 2017, copying a project from Elemental SA. Working in a similar framework as Ethiopia, these architects developed an alternative social housing concept in 2005, providing only a framework with basic infrastructure such as water, electricity and a sewage system, as well as security to house owners. This made the project affordable on one hand, but more importantly, activated the creativity and capital of its owners to finish the given structure.

Apparently, Ethiopians quickly adapted the basic idea step by step to their own context by considering the climate, available building materials, as well as social and cultural needs. Most of these houses today are raised from the ground, leaving the ground floor open for income generating activities by the owner or public events. An exiting side effect of this idea is the dense network of paths and connections in Addis Ababa’s neighborhoods today, where people pass underneath houses from one active courtyard to the next.

Starting with the first floor, connected by a private staircase, the framework offers the possibility for an individual arrangement of private and semi private rooms. Usually starting with the front door to control access to the area, the owner’s needs determine the order of indoor and outdoor spaces, the choice of material and the speed of development. Windows, façade elements, shading devices and stairs can be constructed individually. This allows for a maximum of individual freedom within a given urban framework and community infrastructure network.

Cooperatives and private investors together consequently built a heterogeneous, dense and mixed Addis Ababa in the following years. The development, based on private, vertical row houses actually proved to be denser than expected. Quickly gaining popularity, this typology now frames streets and community courtyards as well as public spaces, offering house owners the possibility for income generation and housing at once. It is surprising how a small decision in the year 2016 influenced the city so greatly. At a surprising speed, thousands of families moved in their basic structures and started the completion. Low income, no income, middle and upper class all formed new neighborhoods and continued to build a Mixcity.

As we already heard earlier, families started harvesting energy on an individual level in 2024. A similar approach was developed to provide most of the other necessary infrastructure networks as well. Because of the fast development of the city, the government was unable to catch-up with the supply of networks. As a result, the kebeles decided to take it into their own hands and started building infrastructures and public network systems. On a community level, people started to collect waste and sell it to recyclers for the production of biogas or building materials. Small-scale sewage systems proved to be more efficient and cheaper than a city-wide grid. Out of economic reasons, even fresh water grids tend to be relatively small these days. Solar power and hydrogen supports these decentralized systems with the necessary, renewable energy.

This new development proved to be the starting point of today’s Addis Ababa. What had started in small cooperatives and self-built structures of individuals and their creativity, grew in to a new city structure, into a new understanding of urbanity, developed out of the Ethiopian culture, tradition and social networks.

Addis 2050 – Information

ADDIS 2050 – International Workshop at FCL Singapore

The Chair of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel at FCL Singapore together with Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development is organizing an international workshop to develope a vision for Addis Ababa in the year 2050. The African population is growing fast and urbanization will shape the coming decades. Existing cities are changing rapidly and new infrastructures and buildings are constructed at an enormous speed, ambitious plans are in place to create dozens of new cities from scratch. Currently, the focus of this development seems to be “catching up” with developed or emerging economies. In many cases, a ‘copy/paste’ mentality to urban development includes a repetition of the mistakes made elsewhere: expensive imported construction materials such as cement, glass and steel are preferred over locally available and more sustainable solutions, public spaces are diminishing, an increasing separation of working and living quarters enlarges transportation needs and traffic concepts concentrate on cars and individual rather than public transportation.

The aim of the workshop is to demonstrate the advantages of realizing bold visions rather than a continued ‘business as usual’ by envisioning a possible alternative development path of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa over the next 30-40 years. The results will be presented at a two-day conference held in Addis Ababa in October 2012, open to both an Ethiopian and a wider African as well as intenational audience of academics, politicians, government representatives from relevant ministries and authorities and experts from continental institutions based in Ethiopia. A particular focus of this debate will be on the opportunities of constructing much of the needed infrastructure for the first time in the context of expanding cities – as opposed to cities faced with the challenge of adapting existing infrastructure to new challenges.