Georgetown, Guyana - Adèle Naudé Santos, Marie Law Adams

Neighborhood Upgrading for Productive Public Space and Housing Improvements in Georgetown, Guyana

Informal settlements occupy some of the most vulnerable locations in urban regions – along infrastructural corridors and on hazardous geographies such as low-lying plains.
Many such settlements are built with temporary, scavenged materials, and have limited access to urban services. However, while being home to the most vulnerable
populations in the city, these communities often have active social networks and bottom-up organization. In such a context, how can designers learn from these
strengths to design built environments that provide for autonomous living, low-cost housing, and risk management? Based in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, this
workshop tackled these challenges at the neighborhood scale to provide housing that strengthens community while providing for safe, hygienic and resilient shelter.

This workshop explored aspects of public infrastructure, flooding, and community development as they relate to housing in the neighborhood of Sophia, located
approximately three miles east of downtown Georgetown. The redevelopment of the major north-south canals and their flanking reserves become the focus for building
a strong community open space and amenity infrastructure. Since these “reserves” cause the divisions between the neighborhoods, this approach creates mutual
areas of focus. The linear development contains a community market place and spaces for intensive agricultural production that would serve markets within and
beyond Sophia. The new twin house has inherent cost savings, and these are clustered to further reduce the costs of infrastructure. This housing arrangement
also allows for greater public space and new community typologies.

Collaborators: Central Housing & Planning Authority of Guyana, Inter-American Development Bank, MISTI Global Seed Fund, University of Guyana