Holistic Design for Sustainable Living in Kigali
A collaboration between the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, The Fay Jones School of Architecture, the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, and Peter Rich Architects has earned the University of Arkansas Community Design Center a 2013 Residential Architect Design award.
The designers worked with the Kimichanga neighborhood in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. The project, which features a proposed holistic design approach, doubles as an instructional manual on hillside development for the Ministry of Infrastructure in Kigali.
“For fragile and severely resource challenged environments like Rwanda, there is no choice. Holistic design thinking is the only option for recovering a sense of prosperity and sustained security,” said Steve Luoni, director of the Community Design Center.
He went on to explain that their proposal, Building Neighborhoods that Build Social and Economic Prosperity: Manual for a Complete Neighborhood, “features advanced systems for building community resiliency that draws from the resources of the place, allowing residents to readily adapt to unforeseen challenges.”
The project’s goal was to transition land settlement from informal patterns to formal neighborhood patterns based on closed-loop, sustainable principles responsive to low-resource environments, alternative energy production, regenerative landscapes, waste recycling and local food production.
Jason McLennon, jury member of the Congress for New Urbanism, concluded that the project exemplifies how developing countries like Rwanda “can transition from informal to formal settlement patterns with an eye towards resiliency, sustainability and local social vitality.”