Use the "back" button of your browser to return to the list of abstracts.
[PANEL] 0214 CHALLENGES OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN PLANNING IN ETHIOPIA
Nobuhiro SHIMIZU, Ph.D Candidate, Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, Japan
SARA Amare Geberemeskel; DANIEL Semungus Negese; ALULA Tesfay Asfha; Nobuhiro SHIMIZU;
Rumi OKAZAKI; Riichi MIYAKE; HELAWI Sewnet Beshah; ZEGEYE Cherenet Mamo; Keita AOSHIMA
A TALE OF MEKELLE CITY SQUARES AND STREETS: A CASE STUDY OF ROMANAT DISTRICT [Abstract ID: 0214-02]
Romanat district is the most prominent area of Mekelle city, where many residents flow from all corners of the city to perform different activities. However, district squares in Mekelle are like roundabouts in that they are primarily designed to slow traffic flow. Thus, the streets function as traffic channels that direct people from point A to point B without providing them an interest to stay and walk in the district's squares and streets for an extended period of time. Due to the square’s structure, which does not welcome leisure stays outdoors, one can observe numerous pedestrians searching for, or moving into, indoor catering facilities, where they will spend their leisure time or wait for someone from the square. Accordingly, everyone has to order and pay for something in order to take a seat in those catering facilities. This raises the question of affordability. In addition, one can also observe a preference for a motorized mode of transportation through the district, as opposed to walking. This results in high traffic congestion as these routes belong to the primary public routes of the city. This congestion may create conflict and feelings of annoyance between pedestrians and vehicles, in addition to pollute the environment. In the future, this may create a potential threat to vehicles needing an eased circulation and movement, as is currently experienced by vehicle drivers in Addis Ababa.
ASSESSMENT OF BUILT URBAN HERITAGE IN MEKELLE CITY, ETHIOPIA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT [Abstract ID: 0214-04]
Although urban heritage is acknowledged as a fundamental role player to enhance Ethiopian cities` identities and as a driving force for social and economic development, the urgent demand for basic infrastructures to catch up the growing urban population makes it challenging to successfully integrate heritage and development in practice. As many cities of similar nature in developing world, Mekelle City is challenged in providing quality urban life and protecting urban identity. The UNESCO`s recommendation on Historic Urban Heritage (HUL) approach to heritage management assumes urban areas as layers of development which were added over time. In that case, current development as part of the big evolutionary process cannot be in contrast with heritage. This focuses on including broader urban context beyond the conservation and management of heritage elements singularly. This presentation assesses the built urban heritage actuality and its management in Mekelle City categorized as an object based (isolated sites) and landscape based approach by taking selective examples. The applicability of Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach in the given context will also be discussed. Based on the assessment, recommendations are provided on key issues by extracting potentials, possibilities, problems and risks in actuality of integrating Mekelle City`s built heritage for sustainable urban development .
HERITAGE RISK IN ETHIOPIAN HISTORICAL CITIES [Abstract ID: 0214-05]
The standard pattern of a historical city is that historical sites and relics concentrate in the central district. In many cases, the urban core is the place where the initial stage of urban settlement started as well as an area where various types of mansions and houses are dotted as the very place for daily life of citizens. In the case of historic cities of Ethiopia, the destiny of historical districts is still uncertain or even tragic. To maintain the level of historicity, not only public attention but also good financial system and well-established governance are fundamentally needed. However, in general, the priority is naturally given to the infrastructure and housing that would satisfy the minimum requirement of basic human life within a city and does not coincide with cultural and spiritual value. In other words, historical monuments or cultural property is the last and far-away existence that is reserved only with rare probability of realization and thus the precious historical centers are being replaced by completely different townscapes. This paper addresses the “heritage risk” in three historical Ethiopian cities, Harar, Gondar, and Mekelle, by clarifying the vulnerability related to lived-in heritage in a socio-spatial context.
THE DEMAND FOR RESPONSIVE ARCHITECTURAL PLANNING AND PRODUCTION IN RAPIDLY URBANIZING REGIONS: THE CASE OF ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 0214-01]
Over the past few years, compelling evidence has emerged that Ethiopia has begun its transformation in almost all spheres, revealing both potentialities and challenges. In this period of heightened dynamism, the subject of urbanisation, which has been long neglected in political and development discourse, is becoming a central agenda. For almost the first time in modern Ethiopian history, an intentional, top-down instigation of urbanisation is included among the country’s chief development programs (NPC, 2016). Leaving aside the question of whether or not the capacity of the existing political and administrative apparatuses is strong enough to handle such large-scale socio-spatial reorganisation, the sheer technical demand for the rapid production of massive architectural space is overwhelming. It entails the construction of millions of houses; thousands of schools, health centres and administrative buildings; as well as the development of numerous infrastructural projects. Furthermore, this urban transformation is expected to serve as a mechanism for economic stimulus, job creation and trade diversification. In both urban and rural areas, however, these emergent needs for large architectural/urban spaces have to sustain the complexity of local (contextual) realities in order to function as a platform for the long-term processes of cultural transformation. This article attempts to underscore the opportunity for a more creative and responsive urban future by examining the case of Ethiopia, which is one of the least urbanised nations currently undergoing a rapid transformation.
WELCOME TO MEKELLE: TRACE OF URBAN SCAPE OF MEKELLE IN RELATION TO THE MASONRY TECHNIQUE AND URBAN PLANNING [Abstract ID: 0214-03]
The urban development of Mekelle was initially prompted by Yohannïs IV in the latter half of 19th century, and has been still progressing as the regional capital of Tigray. While the rapid urban growth has gradually changed its urban scape and replaced old buildings with new modern ones on the one hand, the unique urban scape with traditional flavor has still remained, even if it is presently going to vanish, on the other hand. The urban scape of Mekelle, which is located in the region where masonry culture has been nurtured, is characterized by the use of stone: masonry building, masonry enclosure, cobblestone road, and so on. Nonetheless, the traditional urban scape of Mekelle is varied depending on the time of the development. The status of urban planning and building techniques at each period mainly affected such emergence of variety. In this presentation, urban scape of each period is approached on the basis of several pictures of relevant scenes which can be still seen. By explanation of each element’s origin which consists of each picture, urban scape and urban structure of Mekelle is discussed.