Wadi Re urbanization

Authors’ description:
‘Wadi’ an Arabic word for a valley, ravine, or channel that is dry except in the rainy season. It is a medium to decommission and repurpose 20th century large scale water infrastructure in Amman to create new urban patterns. Twentieth century water infrastructure in Jordan was focused on a centralized system rather than local scales, fueled by political and economic forces while funded by international money. These infrastructures are bypassing existing water systems like the wadi to feed the intensive urban growth of Amman. Prior to these concretized infrastructures, cities and villages were mostly ephemeral settlements comprising local communities. Their dependency on natural springs, intimate understanding of the water and wadi cycle omitted the need of distanced water supply.

Wadi Re urbanization is a process of redefining urban environment through systematic framework of architectural typology of water core. The water core is combination wind tower modeled after ancient Persian wind catchers stationed on earthwork that are inspired from nigerian water harvesting technique of using different elevation of landform. The wind tower use are systems for water retention and collection. The architectural typology is an integration of water holding and development technique gradually becomes an urban element dictating decentralized urban patterns driven by logic of water, social life and programmatic landscape. The design proposals extend to time-based development integrating population influx, economic activity, and seasonality.

Phase 1 – Existing town grid: In the existing city grid, the water collected from the catchment area behind the town is distributed through bioswales feeding into the existing town fabric. The vacant lots in the city grid are converted into points of collective water centers. They perform as a decentralized water distribution network that accommodate programs like markets, playgrounds or a training center in order to learn how to deploy these earthwork techniques. They creates a platform for learning, economic activity and a new way of living.

Phase 2 – Agro Tourism: The intersection of the existing town, the highway and the land adjacent to the highway, provides an opportunity to promote an agritourism based on tourists taking part in agriculture production, such as olive oil production and processing, which is a growing enterprise in Jordan. The buffer alongside the highway, serviced through a combination of stone, gravel, and sand filters takes the greywater from the existing town and pipes it into these new agriculture patterns.

Phase 3 – New town: The north side of the town is envisioned to accommodate a growing population. The ground is prepared before in order to provide areas for holding and catching the water. The new housing typology sits within the ground itself providing the benefit of passive cooling through the earth. Water is also diverted into the new housing cluster through its proximate water catchment area and water center.

Wadi [Re] urbanization works through the idea of a wadi cooperative, local actors such as farmers and town residents are the workers through this platform. It expands the limits of constructing habitats and architecture with architects that are not standing tall to designer identities but also a manifestation of people, culture and place.

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