Housing development, Megacities, Global Cities

The world population is currently about 6.4 billion people. It is estimated that in the next twenty years the population will increase by 2 billion more and by 2050 it could reach 9 billion. And it will settle mostly in Asia and Africa; it will also be predominantly urban.

An estimated 3.2 billion people live in cities around the world and one third of this population, approximately 1 billion, live in poverty. In Europe, the urban population will account for 83% and in other regions close to 70%. 75% of the urban population lives in cities under 5 million inhabitants, 15% in cities of between 5 to 10 million and the remaining 10% in cities of over 10 million and some mega cities of more than 20 million (Ribbeck, 2007).

Construction Development Boom: examples in Persian Gulf

There are countries that, at times, have extraordinary opportunities to solve the challenge of migration to the cities, but not necessarily the solutions to these urban needs are applicable for the rest. This is what happens now with both the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia.

In the United Arab Emirates, the Masdar City is emerging amid the sand , it will be completed in 2016 and it will only cost 22,000 million. The concept is that Masdar is a completely ecological city, “it will be the first city in the world that will not emit carbon dioxide and does not accumulate trash. This will be thanks to the exclusive use of renewable energies from the sun or the force of the winds, and the systematic use of recycled products consumed”.

It is not the only case. In Saudi Arabia there are 7 new cities under construction. They will cost a sum that will exceed half a billion dollars. The most important of this is that of King Abdullah, which will extend over an area of 168 km2.

The example of high-speed urban planning: China

Urban development in China, especially in Shanghai, has been based on a concept of urban planning linked to economic capitalism, which in some parts of the city has transformed radically its communist structure, characterized by poor basic infrastructure. Traditional neighborhoods have been transformed into vertical high density housing developments aimed at a new consumer market.

Other example of urban renewal: Algeria

In Algeria it is not only to cover a social necessity by housing construction in vast quantities, by the millions, but it also wants to develop the concept of urban plan, and respecting thoroughly that urban planning. They must design and execute the works to build large residential neighborhoods and even new cities, create architectural designs of certain relevance, as public buildings and leisure or commercial centers, and develop tourism around poles specifically designed.

The solution is an industrialized construction system

The only way to deal with these challenges in a cost efficient manner and at runtime is implementing traditional industrialization processes for the manufacture of housing.

As any process of industrialization, the best example is the assembly lines of automobiles, the production of houses in industrial plants is the most democratic response to these pressing needs of housing occurring in several parts of the world (as it was also in early twentieth century with the cars expansion to the middle class). This process, with much smaller and controlled costs and feasible high volume implementation, would face this huge challenge. Besides, the industrial manufacturing quality controls allow developing more effective industrial plants being the germ of an industry, and therefore some jobs more qualified and close to the places with housing demand.

It is in this sense where the low cost industrialized modular construction of homes and buildings proposed by OBOX gets its full meaning.

Attached is a proposal for a new city of 25,000 inhabitants in Algeria. It includes homes, schools, medical centers, shopping and entertainment centers, sports facilities, etc .

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