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Community Green Box

Modular natural soil water filter combined with food supply and community space.

Photo of Tom Cornish
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Setting the scene. In Hyderabad, India, there are over 1000 urban slums. Slum communities can range from 5 tents through to 5000 tents. Some communities have been there for over 10, 15 and 20 years. The vast majority of these communities are NOT PERMANENT. This impermanence, coupled with dynamic household fluctuation due to migrant workers requires a solution that is modular, and easily transportable. A solution with fixed infrastructure will only help a small minority of communities that are already highly established - often having electricity and other basic necessities. It's the less developed communities and families that require the most help, and that there is the most potential to help. The problem. Often drinking water is obtained from local taps - this water is contaminated and unfiltered spreading dysentery and other water born diseases. "Water" is available - it's just contaminated. The solution. The solution involves a three tiered plantation and water filtration system. Unfiltered water or collected rainwater is fed into the system. The water is purified as it travels through different soil strata, natural bacteria and plants. Plants should be planted in accordance with water and sunlight needs in the tiered system. The space within the plantation itself can be used as a community dining area to foster relationships and a sense of belonging, or as a small restaurant. Build options: (1) Modified shipping container (2) Locally sourced materials

WHO BENEFITS?

For the product to be cared for the most, the community members must feel they have ownership. They need to be partly invested in the system. They have to be empowered to use and leverage the space, food and water. To make this happen a community owned financial model could be implemented. Where community members partially own the food/water and on sell the fresh water and fresh produce at affordable rates slowly paying off the initial investment. Community education is another use of space.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

Increased food prices. This will limit the effect of altered food prices in urban slum communities by providing a local source of food. The plantation system may encourage further community gardens. Increased temperatures. The modular system placed onto the walls of existing structures (or within the shipping container) provides a natural insulation. Temperatures will be more controlled in these areas. Natural disasters. In each case the solution is designed to be modular and able to move with the community (bearing in mind most are impermanent). If the community is cut off from fresh water supplies - they have access to fresh water. Likewise if their food supply is cut off - they have access to food. Financial. A micro-enterprise model is to be put in place to help lift the community out of poverty by empowering them through their own business. Education. Just by having this green facility in the slum, people will be educated about water scarcity, the importance of fresh water and where food comes from. The shared space may be used for workshops and other community educational activities. Community. Having a green space and communal garden will give the slum community a sense of unification and identity. Gender Equality. Less children sick, combined with less water and food collection will give the women more free time. Note: This module can be expanded to include a community toilet and bio digester to generate gas for community cooking.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for two or more years

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • Yes

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I have worked within the civil industry in top tier firms in management on multi billion dollar projects. I have a bachelor of engineering and masters in energy systems. I currently work for a company servicing urban slums in India.

3 comments

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Spam
Photo of Caroline Kenduywa
Team

Hi Tom, 

I recognize that you have a similar  idea as i did with urban farming. Would you be interested in collaborating with my urban food hubs idea? Thanks!! Caroline.

Spam
Photo of Tom Cornish
Team

Caroline Kenduywa that sounds great.

Spam
Photo of Caroline Kenduywa
Team

That's awesome Tom. I'm sure we can learn a lot from your involvement in servicing Indian slums. If awarded, would you be open to working with us in Kenya, Nairobi? I can be reached at carolkenns@gmail.com.