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Caldas Feliz – happy to live here

This concept should be a part of an overall strategy – EMPOWER THE PEOPLE of Caldas to take the destiny in their hands and build themselves a better life. This part concerns the improvement of their health and their environment.

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"..This is an epidemic theory of crime. It says that crime is contagious-just as a fashion trend is contagious-that it can start with a broken window and spread to an entire community....The impetus to engage in a certain kind of behavior is not coming from a certain kind of person but from a feature of the environment." Malcom Gladwell, Tipping point

The project “Caldas Feliz” strives to achieve an environment where people will be happy to live. The synergy between community, each single individual, government and investors leads toward healthier, more prosperous and less crime environment. An easy slogan “Caldas Feliz” should ensure identification of all stakeholders with a final goal.

In a short-term plan we wish to create a healthier environment and in the same move take the opportunity to improve the appearance of Caldas buildings. We expect that this will motivate both the single person and the Caldas community to strive for a better live.

1. Remove the health risk of asbestos roof

This part of the concept deals with the health issues related to the use of asbestos in the building roofs. It is known that the danger of asbestos is related to free volatile fibers which can enter our body, for instance through breathing. The process to remove asbestos from the roof is expensive and thus not practicable in Caldas. Therefore we suggested encapsulating asbestos with a film of (plastic based) material which would prevent asbestos fibers to be released in the air. This would allow removing the health hazard of asbestos for a very cheap price. This is possible to achieve through:

a. Recycled plastic, for instance PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) from beverage bottles.

PET is a valuable material that can easily be recycled in thin films with great insulating properties. We suggest collecting and use waste bottles to provide the raw material to encapsulate asbestos.

b. Paint. There are several industrial paintings already widely used to encapsulate asbestos. They can also provide a cheap alternative to removing asbestos from the roofs of Caldas. A good description of this paintings can also be found in the concept of Laci Videmsky

2. Clean the environment

In our concept the material used to encapsulate asbestos is coming from the recycling of wasted plastic, thus helping removing not biodegradable polluting material from the extremely rich ecosystem of Caldas. As an extension of our concept, projects could be started with the schools of Caldas, moving students to contribute cleaning their environment by collecting wasted PET bottles. The collected PET could be paid by means of books or other didactical material or any
other funding to the school programs, thus supporting education in Caldas. Furthermore, different collected waste could be used as a further resource for creating income, described in the inspiration:

3. Create a more attractive environment

As in the M. Gladwell quotation above, our purpose is to make people of Caldas proud of the place where they are living. An easy way to characterize Caldas’ roofs would be to produce the films of encapsulating material in different colors by adding colorant pigments in the recycling process. When several films are used in the same roofs, the effect achieve will be of a colorful ensemble. In addition, putting colors to the outside appearance (Painting project, as mentioned in the inspiration: will ensure that the housing will stuck out from the environment, giving its owner a sense of pride and motivating other people in the community to undertake the same process.

How do you envision this idea making money?

In a short-term, a main source of making money is introducing the technology to recycle PET and sell the material to encase/encapsulate asbestos. Eventually this can be extended to hiring a team to do the whole work. It can be negotiated with Caldas state health department to finance the buying of the encapsulating material on the argument that less people suffering from asbestos related diseases will reduce health care expenses. Entire small communities may decide to remove asbestos hazard, thus creating a unique pictures of their roof tops.Furthermore, the same idea and technology could be implemented in many other countries, fighting with the same problem. In addition, a space for multiple small business will be opened: roof workers, house painters, recycled product designers and producers... In a long term, tree hotels and tree adventure parks could be well coupled with the hosing loan projects (as a precondition for a opening license).

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

Encapsulating asbestos will remove its volatile fibers thus eliminating asbestos related diseases. This concept will have a direct impact on the environment both by reducing pollution. and making Caldas’ roofs a unique work of arts. We expect also Caldas’ people develop a stronger awareness of their community by introducing art as a feature of their housing. In a long-term, Caldas will be a place offering new job and housing prospective and will improve overall living standard.

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

Environmentally: eliminate waste of bottles and other garbages thus cleaning the area surrounding Caldas' communities. Socially: young students will contribute to improve their education; Caldas’ people will develop a sense of belonging to the community. They will also get a sense of ownership of their environment. Health: encapsulating asbestos will reduce/eliminate the impact of asbestos related health hazards. The costs of healing for patients could be redistributed to government subventions for the entire project.

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

Contact Caldas governement to: - campaign to increase awareness about asbestos health hazards. - consider financing the costs of the material (not the labor) to people who wish eliminate asbestos hazards from their housing Check which investment is necessary to acquire the machinery to recycle PET or to produce the paint. Analyze deeply the business case considering how much PET material could be collected, and how much encapsulating material could be produced. Investigate whether other technical solutions can be available by discussing the problems with chemical companies like DuPont et competitor (eventually they may have further idea or develop ad hoc material) Elaborate a loan policy for the following cases: Encapsulate roofs Painting houses Starting small business (painters, roof workers, recycled production) Ix Chel, Center for Creativity


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love the way you have thought of using a waste product to produce the 'paint' locally -- allows direct action by the people most affected & would definitely help to empower them.

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