Polycentric Infrastructure and Community Development Paradigm for Sustainable Urban Transitions (PICD-SUT)
The attainment of SDG 11 and SDG 12 will arguably be the hardest to be achieved in developing countries due to a combination of ineffective planning systems, high rates of population growth, rapid urbanisation and environmental degradation. This initiative aims to improve the implementation of SDG 11 and SDG 12 by showing new paradigms for building sustainable social housing and financing afforestation schemes through house rentals.
Objectives: (i) Introduce low-cost Modular Sustainable Dwelling Units on the market. (ii) Establish a Pay Rent to Plant a Tree scheme as an off-site carbon sequestration scheme to reduce the carbon footprint of urban dwellers. (iii) Promote the wide-scale development of affordable Modular Sustainable Dwelling Units through revenues generated from voluntary international carbon offsetting schemes. (iv) Provide capacity building and knowledge dissemination on sustainable building strategies and resource efficient lifestyles to the general public, housing contractors and local authorities. (v) Build synergies and partnerships with sustainable construction materials research and development initiatives. The project will demonstrate how changing the way that houses in sub-Saharan Africa are designed, built and lived-in has the potential to facilitate significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions and energy use in developing country cities and how the mindsets of building contractors, policy makers and urban dwellers can be transformed in-order to enable them to pursue lifestyles and housing choices that have less adverse impacts on the environment. The project aims to facilitate the introduction of new designs of environmentally friendly low-cost dwellings on the Malawian and sub-Saharan African market and hence creating enabling conditions for more people to easily adopt sustainable behaviours since ordinary people and institutions will have numerous choices and easy access to houses that have environmental and sustainability credentials. The project also has activities related to education and capacity building on technologies and strategies to make urban developments more sustainable in-order to engage the general public and support policy makers and other building contractors to initiate similar initiatives. The project is anticipated to have four major impacts namely: (i) Material use efficiency-Reductions in the use of natural resources such as trees/firewood and water in sustainable dwelling construction and use. (ii) Energy use efficiency- Reductions in dependence on grid electricity and firewood for water heating by utilising solar water heating and other alternative renewable energy technologies. (iii) GHG emissions reduction– Reductions in GHG emissions due to the use of soil stabilised cement blocks instead of kiln fired bricks and establishment of Pay Rent and Plant a Tree carbon sequestration scheme. (iv) Gender – Create new employment opportunities for women in managing project’s afforestation woodlots and nursery.
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