Planning A University As An Instrument Of Change
Free (open access)
279 - 289
A. M. Ahmad
In July 2011 a new African state was born, The Republic of South Sudan, after the region voted for separation from The Sudan. It has a rich diversity of natural resources and subcultures but, crippled by neglect and intermittent civil wars for half a century, remains poor in human resources and practically all physical (infra- and super-structural) aspects. Beyond the local vernacular, South Sudan has neither a tradition in physical planning nor one in urban architectural design. Architectural education started in the Sudan in 1957. Today there are 16 schools of architecture in the North and one in the South. A university now being planned in the town of Awiel in the new state faces many challenges since it is made to play several roles besides the normal educational ones. Our vision while setting up the university is to create an urbanising force in a rural or semi-urban region generating employment, changing lifestyles and raising aspirations. The university would attempt to introduce trends in urban planning and architectural design responsive to climate and culture. It would utilise renewable energy sources (which here is a necessity not a curiosity) and set an example in environmental protection and enrichment to be followed hopefully by other institutions. The project would also include dealing with seasonal sheet floods and harvesting water, utilising alternative building technologies for ancillary parts of the campus and treating and recycling sewage. In short, our objective is to apply relevant, affordable principles of eco-neighbourhood and healthy town design. Now that the project is at the conceptual planning stage, this paper hopes to generate some fruitful debate and get some expert advice to help our vision to materialise. Keywords: South Sudan, university campus planning, planning for change, eco-design.
South Sudan, university campus planning, planning for change, eco-design.