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3. Project Title: Los Piletones Environmental Plan and Childcare Center 4.

Team PART A: BASIC Initiative Project Coordination/ Design-build Services/ Funding - Sergio Palleroni, Professor of Architecture + Co-Founder, BASIC Initiatives - Architecture students from the University of Texas, Austin, Portland State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of New Mexico

Instituto Argentino Para Desarrollo Sustentable - Project Coordinaton, Environmental Consulting, Community Liasons - Ezequiel Gaspes and Carolina Schirian

Foundation of Margarita Barrientos Client (Interventions), Community Partner - Margarita Barrientos and Isidro Barrientos, Co-Founders

Corporacion Buenos Aires Sur/ProSur Habitat Client (Master Plan) - Carlos Sanguinetti Economic Development Manager

University of Palermo Project Partner - Leo Lotopolsky, Professor of Architecture - Alvaro Garcia, Assoc. Professor of Architecture

Other Advisors: - Natalia Sturba, Buenos Aires Ministry of Urban Development - Mauricio Corbalan, m7red

Team PART B:

Urban Plan: Corporacion Buenos Aires Sur, Program of Regularization of Land Urbanization (PROSUR) Community of Los Piletones, Buenos Aires, Argentina University of Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina BASIC Initiatives

Childcare Intervention: Foundation of Margarita Barrientos 50-100 children age 1-4 (Please Correct) 7 teaching staff (Please Correct)


DEMOGRAPHICS: Demographically, Los Piletones consists of approximately 4,000 people, 70% Bolivian and composed of a nearly 100% immigrant population from Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay. Compared to Buenos Aires proper, the average age in Los Piletones is significantly younger, with 26% percent of the population between the ages of 16 and 29. The community experiences both a low literacy rate and a high rate of unemployment. Los Piletones is situated on the edge of the Lago Regulador, originally intended as a drainage overflow for a cistern system for the Riachuelo River, though it never functioned as such. Currently, Lago Regulador is a stagnant, polluted, marsh-like area and represents an environmental hazard to the community. A high traffic highway (Autopista Campora) serves as an eastern border for the community, and its underpass provides public market space near the entrance to the community.

HISTORICAL/CULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS: After nearly 15 years of incremental squatting, the Los Piletones community will finally be granted its permanent legal residence. Its land continues to lack basic services such as sewage and potable water. Electricity is illegally routed to houses. A 1998 zoning law converted the land on which Los Piletones was settled from parkland to a special zone designated for villas. Titles are currently being distributed to inhabitants. The community has been characterized by poverty, underemployment, drug abuse and disenfranchisement. The community, however, has continued organize socially and economically in the form of sports and traditional productions of foods and goods. A majority of the employed residents work in construction and textiles with many home-based enterprises. While the population reflects rich heritages of Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay, barriers to trust, communication, and cohesiveness across the groups present a serious challenge.

6. COMMUNITY CHALLENGES Environmental Sustainability Childcare Civic Environmentalism Empowerment Economic Development

Describe the design and how it is a response to the priority issue selected above. (250 word limit)

Elaborating on Basic Initiatives current masterplan for Los Piletones, the design team proposed equitable public improvements to a prototypical group of 3 dense urban blocks in Los Piletones, constrained by a budget of approximately million dollars and seeking maximum sustainable impact for residents. Los Piletones was rapidly and spontaneously constructed, causing systemic problems in circulation and pooling stormwater. The nearby detention lake is used as a waste dump as a result of improper waste services, leading to hazardous level of rat infestation. Meanwhile, there is a lack of access to fresh air, natural light and fresh water within many dwellings. At the convergence of safety, health, community-building and economic development concerns, the team founded a proposal to outfit strategic street intersections with artful public spaces. The project will

target public funds and incentivize household investment toward the activation of 4 novel plazas that capitalize on existing lakefront, civic facilities, and commercial hotspots. The construction will coincide with forthcoming public right-of-way expansion to bring streets up to fire code. By demonstrating the benefit of improved drainage, lighting, and waste/wastewater management, and facades, these nodes will promote future infrastructural improvements across the neighborhood. The project also proposes to furnish these public spaces with wi-fi, cultural programming, mobile health and employment resources as a means of expanding access to the larger intercommunity network of assets. Adjacent to these plazas, the city will invest in several demonstrative integrated waste-water-energy service cores, kick-starting a program to encourage and educate homeowners about the adoption of green household technologies.

Methods 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) Physical 3-Block Survey, Drawing and Analysis Interviews Low-altitude Aerial Mapping Local Government Support & Priority-setting Asset-based Development Stakeholder Charrettes / Advisory Group Coordination with Local Development Plan Public Budgetary Awards

Participation Methods Summary

Describe the ways in which community members, audiences, or stakeholders were/are involved in the design process. (100 word limit):

The area of focus was recommended by CBAS, negotiated with IADS and the University of Palermo, and informed by attendance of district plan public meetings. Designs were probed by a panel comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Urban Development and IADS. Residents, business owners and health workers were interviewed regarding current practices, future plans, concerns and perceptions regarding the development of Los Piletones. Transcripts served as a primary reference for the students propositions. Low altitude aerial map-making engaged 15-20 neighborhood youth. Publicly accessible imagery will empower locals to voice concerns with their communitys current and future states. Measurement Method Summary
How will the project's success be defined and results measured (especially relative to the issue you are addressing)? (100 word limit):

The proposed scheme will be evaluated for community approval through public meetings through Summer 2013. In public workshops, interviews and household surveys, final implementation will be judged with regard to: Community satisfaction with the safety, accessibility, and functionality of public spaces and nested services Increased awareness and appeal of sustainable building practices Increased public engagement with masterplanning process Sense of equitable investment on part of community Lasting improvements in sanitation, stormwater infiltration.

Continued low-altitude aerial mapping events will engage youth in the tracking of impact of environmental improvements on ecology, waste dumping patterns.

Priority Issue 2: CHILDCARE

Design Response Summary

Describe the design and how it is a response to the priority issue selected above. (250 word limit)

In the context of the larger project, the immediate childcare intervention was intended to provide the community a vision of the real positive change that a participatory planning process could offer. A month-long design-build session was an opportunity to familiarize the larger community with the teams presence as well as to engage in proactive conversations about the future to which residents might not otherwise have been open. The built project provides holistic, functional improvement to the overcrowded, under-equipped facilities of the expanding childcare services administered by the Margarita Barrientos Foundation. Increasing the capacity of educational services to over 80 children between ages of 1-4, the improved ___sq. ft. childcare center empowers more mothers to earn income for their families, as well as provides a more stimulating environment for early learning and interaction. The design provides urgently needed lighting, ventilation, teaching surfaces, and flexible storage systems. New nesting tables and a storage partition wall double the multi-tasking capacity of limited square-footage. Three murals activate the previously obscured entrance to the facilities, outdoor play court, and multi-purpose room. The de-facto nap room was transformed into a comfortable, nurturing dream space to make a lasting impression on children's imaginations.

Methods 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Interviews Direct Observation & Analysis On-site Charrettes, Prototyping & Testing Local Government Support & Priority-setting Asset-based Development

Participation Methods Summary

Describe the ways in which community members, audiences, or stakeholders were/are involved in the design process. (100 word limit):

Initial programming meetings with the foundation director and staff established short-term priority needs in the context of longer-term needs such that the month-long intervention would work towards the longer-term facility goals. The design team then conducted in-depth interviews with staff to clarify the interaction of an array of design concerns. A full first week of design was completed on-site alongside childcare operations, such that feedback from teachers was on-going and fine-grained. Prototypes were tested with children and teachers before launching construction. On multiple occasions,

members of IADS and the Ministry of Urban Development participated in murals alongside the team, nurturing important linkages between indirect stakeholders and decision-makers with a grassroots civil institution.

Measurement Method Summary

How will the project's success be defined and results measured (especially relative to the issue you are addressing)? (100 word limit):

While basic success is defined by the ability of the final spaces to serve the needs expressed by the teaching staff in a cost-effective, durable manner, goals are extended to include the facilitation of new or enriched teaching opportunities in the realm of creativity and sustainability. Next, the project should show measurable improvement in environmental health & well-being through improved light levels, ventilation, and ease of sanitary upkeep. Moreover, the project should represent both the center and the larger master-planning process in a positive light, increasing visibility of a strong existing asset and opening doors to community discourse about future neighborhood development.


Design Response Summary

Describe the design and how it is a response to the priority issue selected above. (250 word limit)

Parallel to design-build work, the urban planning team introduced Globo Naranja, an initiative to develop a medium of objective exchange between planners and the communities most affected by their decisions. It studies human ecologies through the participatory harvesting of finegrained environmental data and imagery. After successfully completing the first phase of balloon mapping in 2012 for pilot community, Los Piletones, a robust set of monitoring technologies is now under development with local partners: IADS, UP, and CBAS. The resulting exchange aims to reduce cultural barriers to self-awareness and sound environmental decision-making. The approach employs low-cost mapping technologies to engage residents in a civic environmental process and ultimately to incorporate them into the citys strategies for economic growth. The forthcoming year data-collection will monitor the ecology of contaminated water bodies that present health risk to adjacent communities. New aerial imagery, collected monthly over a year, can track significant changes in the morphology of informal settlements. These fine-grained changes can have a large impact on the permanent potential for the healthy growth of the settlement particularly with respect to light, air, and waste. Nuanced data can inform strategies for health-oriented investment and code building during the process of land-tenure transfer. The close cooperation of city planning officials will benefit project implementation. There are few well-documented cases of this type of research completed in informal settlements with a direct linkage to official master-planning processes. The trajectory of this bottom-up research, as a result, has a large potential to impact public investments and policy-making.

Methods 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) Local Government Support Future Coordination with Local Comprehensive Plan Youth-targeted Engagement Activity Mapping / Multimedia Documentation Community-guided Walkthroughs Community Advisory Group

Participation Methods Summary

Describe the ways in which community members, audiences, or stakeholders were/are involved in the design process. (100 word limit):

The team conducted mapping events with encouragement of CBAS and IADS partners. A small BaSiC Initiative team was joined by at least two knowledgeable locals at each flight who served as security advisors and mediators. A community leader, Leonore, arranged with homeowners to make terraces available for launching. Events spurred interaction with kids and parents, allowing the team to collect impressions on development issues. This was valuable information, later used by the urban planning team. The Ministry of Urban Development, finding the participatory approach aligned with its district planning goals, has enlisted the help of Globo Naranja. Measurement Method Summary
How will the project's success be defined and results measured (especially relative to the issue you are addressing)? (100 word limit):

The proposed initiative, as well as the first completed phase, will be evaluated for community approval through interviews and public workshop surrounding a public exhibit of mapping results in Summer 2013. Final implementation will be judged with regard to: Increased public engagement with master-planning process Improved lines of communication between planners and residents. Improved environmental awareness in community members, particularly youth engaged in the mapping program. The employment of newly collected data and imagery to improve the effectiveness of development measures.