Nick Hart-Woods, Paul Bedson ; Emergence[y] rules for post traumatic urban landscapes

Slums Book

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These images represent the current work being undertaken to study, analyse and simulate the emergent principles of Slum settlements. The chosen settlement is the Pétionville ‘Tent City’ which was established after the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

In order to begin to attempt to simulate the complex relationship of forces at play it was necessary to recognise and establish patterns of how the settlement developed in a similar way to Frei Otto’s work on occupying and connecting.

In the days immediately following the earthquake people began to congregate on the golf course from the surrounding city in order to escape the danger of falling debris. At this early stage people had lost the majority of their possessions so their primary concerns were based on basic survival needs, the requirement for food, water and shelter.

We began by researching possible settlement rules, and from this inquiry found a set of minimum standards for emergency settlements that were used in the camp. We also referenced the work of Michael Batty, particularly his formula for urban growth:

Pi(t) = f{εi(t) ,hi(t) ,ci(t), ai(t), νi(t)}

Where P=population
l=location
t=time
εi=randomness
ci=physical determinism
hi=historical accident
ai=natural advantage
νi=comparative advantage

We modelled four initial population drivers as attractor points across the site and, recognising that these nodal connections do not act independently of each other, began weighting them in terms of importance to produce a visualisation of the field of forces acting upon the settlement. These attractors are:

The road – due to its ability to provide access to surviving infrastructure, and for access to aid supplies as well as the ability for the population to move around the site.

Water sources – for obvious survival requirements

Trees – as these would allow the population to maximise shelter given limited building supplies. This is also a feature outlined in the camps minimum standards.

Terrain- this was added in the form of contour lines, due to the way settlements form. In order to conserve energy buildings and transport routes would be placed along contours as much as possible instead of across them. The heights of the terrain were also mapped, as the minimum standards for the camp suggest people would use the hillsides as shelter, avoiding the weather exposed summits.

This produced a ‘land value’ map, displaying the most valuable land (and therefore the most likely to be initially occupied.) in red and the least valuable in white.

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