I’ve decided to progress the larger project, namely to achieve an urban environment that reflects my friend Muchimba’s vision:
Well built houses, calm, not the noise and stress of ‘developed’ cities. People with dignity and good health.
I would classify a large proportion of Blantyre’s built stock as semi-formal. Not illegal, but not constructed within established urban development parameters. Within 2km of the down town area the streetscapes more resemble early photos of C19 European towns and villages than most contemporary conceptions of a city. In essence, the traditional urban development processes have not worked for the non-rich.
Thus I’ve written a (almost) one-pager for a project proposal based on ‘new paradigm’ thinking with a facilitated process to build on residents existing strengths and achieve the desired vision. If interested enough, see the Word document which you are welcome to comment on/change etc.
As well as taking a facilitated approach to development, a component of the proposal is to ensure that there are opportunities for people to earn small amounts of money through casual employment.
We found this had great outcomes when introduced into a housing estate in Northern NSW (also see Video), and is also demonstrated in a Malawian village such as Kalata. In this village there has been opportunities for residents to make stoves on a casual basis. Not everyone wants or needs to do so, but for those that do it can make considerable difference to dignity and emotional well being.
So all that’s needed now is a donor! Ideas gratefully received.