Norman Foster Foundation Cities: Affordable Housing Workshop 2022

Page 36 Marking Time Jonathan Ledgard Jonathan Ledgard started his seminar addressing the growing population of Africa, which in 2050 is expected to be of around 2.7 billion, being 25 percent of the children of the world African. Ledgard exposed that, in the midst of a climate crisis and a biodiversity collapse, most of the growth of the planet will be in Africa. He talked about a rapidly growing population where most of the young adults won’t find a job in their life and don’t even have the possibility of acquiring affordable housing. Ledgard explained that most cities in Africa have a big center that with time then has secondary towns nearby that are not well connected between each other. Ledgard focused the attention on one case in South Sudan in an area twice the size of Belgium that is a wetland and has no roads. The increase of rainfall in Central Africa has raised the water levels in the rivers than have then flooded many villages and more than 1 million people has lost everything and now depend on refugee camps. While these communities have proven to be resilient, creative and dynamic, they are held back by climate change, poverty, bad leadership and ecological stress. Using current examples drawn from the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Ledgard explored security, design, equity, ecology and technology choices for secondary towns and their surroundings. One of the issues that Ledgard brought up is the importations and impositions of steel, concrete and constructive solutions that have no respect of the African context or necessities. The importance of achieving a circular economy is enormous in a region that cannot afford other option. The use of local materials and the understanding of the climate and specific necessities of the region is crucial to find the right solution for the rapid growth of this secondary towns in Africa. This lecture provided the attendees with a perspective on relevant macro trends and suggest some new thinking on trim tab potential for some of the fastest growing towns on the planet. Jonathan Ledgard during his seminar, ‘Marking Time’, at the Norman Foster Foundation’s library 2022 Cities: Affordable Housing Workshop Contents Report