The CASA Project seeks to promote innovative solutions for the sustainable development of communities in urban contexts. It is being developed in the Amazon basin, as the region holds some of the fastest growing intermediate cities in Peru and South America. It is also where the effects of climate change are becoming more evident. Through CASA, we explore alternatives for the urban design of new human settlements, in response to the effects of climate change.
In the Amazonian basin, urban populations coexist with the rainforest, ever changing rivers and wildlife. The survival of this ecosystem cannot be approached only from a technocratic point of view, but from a multidisciplinary, humanistic approach. This short documentary film explores the work and results of CASA while working in the district of Belen – Iquitos, a traditional place where people from many areas come and gather, due to its central position and its market. This is a first example of how we can adapt to the challenges ahead.
Between 2017 and 2018, CASA worked on a rainwater collection, storage and distribution system; an improved stove; and a solar grill. These three technologies were integrated to generate a “communal eco-kitchen” that was built in the already-existing maloca (an amazonian typology for community centres).
The collection, storage, and distribution rainwater system uses pipes which numbers can increase and it occupies less space than traditional water tanks. It can be used as a permeable wall that allows better ventilation of indoor environments, thus rescuing traditional construction systems that promote permeability and ventilation.
“What is the most important moment in the history of humanity?”
For Belén Desmaison, director of CASA, that moment is now. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), by 2050 there will be 250 million refugees worldwide due to the effects of climate change. What is the role of architecture and urbanism in designing socially just and environmentally sustainable cities for the future?
CASA is currently working in the design, implementation and monitoring of a community laundry and shower system which further explores how capturing, storing, and treating rainwater can be integrated into the spatial design of spaces of encounter. We do so in close coordination with the local government, local universities, and community members. CASA seeks to generate evidence towards political incidence and to provide access to clean water to Amazonian communities while generating new knowledge and capacities.
Download our publications
Home [Self-Sustainable Amazonian Cities]
A book with essays written by a wide-range of experts from a variety of fields, analysing the impacts of climate change, urban centres and the action-research project itself from a global perspective, plus a more local point of view.
Convivir en la Amazonía en el Siglo XXI
A guidebook for architecture and urban design for settlements the Amazonian Rainforest, which included social processes to be considered. This guide can be replicated in other areas of environmental, cultural, and social particularities.
Part of the climate Resilent cities iniciative by:
An action-research project by: