User Participation in the Eyes of an Architect and Gendered Spaces
Musana, Assumpta Nnaggenda
Elwidaa, Eiman Ahmed
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In Kampala City, the high rate of urbanisation has led to sprawling informal settlements which are characterised by substandard housing conditions. Urban sprawl wastes valuable land and makes services and infrastructure delivery expensive. Several housing projects were undertaken by government to provide affordable, adaptable and convenient housing solutions to low-income households. Most of these projects adopted a “top-down” approach in design, which seems not to have considered how the low-incomes households actually used. The paper shows that considerations for space use would lead to the development of more appropriate housing designs. It also shows that outdoor space use, which has been insufficiently addressed in government housing projects, is both functional and a resource to the low-income households. The paper utilises a combination of methods such as literature and document searches and reviews, in-depth interviews and systematic sketching. It illustrates that involving housing users in the preliminary stages of architectural design, as well as studying the way they use both indoor and outdoor space can be a solution towards attaining more suitable housing designs for low-income households. The paper argues that to low-income households, the house as external and internal space is not only a home but a space for subsistence and sustenance. It further argues that the provision of houses with considerations for how gender is enacted spatially could lead to the development of houses that can be user friendly to low-income households. The paper ends by suggesting that developing house designs that adapt to the way low-income households use space while preventing urban sprawl in the informal settlements is an important step towards the development of more effective housing designs.
- Social Sciences