SIGUS attended Habitat III and mounted an Exhibition

"Learning about the incremental self-build construction process comparing formal and informal communities"

A group of 5 students from the Global Practitioner class went to Quito, Ecuador, during Spring 2016. SIGUS will be presented the research and findings during Habitat III in October. Two communities in Quito were targeted; one started as a squatter invasion and the other a formal government/USAID project. They both started in the 1980s, both incrementally self-help built, both today successful. Full services, legal, both expanded to multi-story housing providing needed affordable units in the city. Students reflected upon the following questions: What does this suggest for policy initiatives?, What was the process?, How did the communities achieve this standards? Partnering with local Quito universities and with assistance of the communities a multi-pronged methodology was used:

-House to house survey, using a digrammatic graphic summary to capture and clarify the incremental process. Not just a survey but a celebration of the sucess of the community. It included interviews of original stakeholders from the 1980s. 

-Innovative children's perspective in each community: they were given cameras and asked to photograph things that are good and bad about their community. A way to capture their valuable unique views. 

-High-tech drone flyer, with manipulation of the images with software into a 3D rendering. Experimentation with degree/quantity of buildout, heigh mainly, and other aspects which this approach offers. 

-Extensive photographic documentation, with collection of historical images to capture the development process.