Problem DescriptionSlums are often the product of organic development-- they are built up over time without the oversight of urban planners or the resources of more economically advantaged communities. This means that the configuration of the slums (with respect to dwellings and infrastructure) is often not optimized. When a individual's home is disconnected from arterial roads, they are also shut out from critical life services such as sanitation and emergency response access. This was confirmed by research carried out by Arizona State University and the Santa Fe Institute when they completed surveys in slum federations in Cape Town, South Africa. The solution that is put forward in response to this is called Reblocking, and the specific tool this solution uses is called OpenReblock. Reblocking optimizes the configuration of slums to allow the maximum flow of services. OpenReblock is a open-sourced computer algorithm that generates the most efficient Reblocking solution for a given slum.
OpenReblock is currently available for urban planners to download and use via an open-source GitHub page. Currently the tool has been applied to two case studies in Mumbai and Cape Town, but its recommendations have not been entirely carried out. For the moment, the tool is still in development as its creators attempt to determine the best methodology of translating algorithm into reality. OpenReblock was recently chosen as one of the winers of IDEO's Amplify Challenge addressing urban resiliency. It will receive funding from the Global Resilience Partnership to continue to improve the toolkit.
- Luis Bettencourt, Santa Fe Institute
- Christa Brelsford, Santa Fe Institute
- Joe Hand, Santa Fe Institute
- Nicholas De Monchaux, UC Berkely CED
Solution StageOne of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
|STAGE||SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED||EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES||RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING||FINANCE REQUIRED||KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED||GOAL|
|Developing and testing3||Mix of design and implementation skills|
|A stronger case with cost and benefit projections developed through practical trials and experiments, involving potential users||Demonstration that the idea works, or evidence to support a reworking of the idea|