WIT Press

Low-income Sustainable Dwelling


Free (open access)





Page Range

165 - 172




1,462 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


C. Cerro


Up to 100,000 people move into urban slums every day. According to UN-habitat, around 33% of the urban population in the developing world in 2012, or about 863 million people, lived in slums. The reasons for the growth of this urban phenomenon vary; from poor infrastructure, social exclusion and economic stagnation to colonialism and segregation. But at the core of the problem is a lack of dignified affordable housing. The low-income sustainable shelter was designed to address this issue and to start a conversation on dignified sustainable living. The unit is made out of stackable shipping containers. Each apartment can house a family of five or eight (depending on the amount of container used) people per floor, with a stackable capacity of five levels. All the elements are prefabricated in the slum itself, creating jobs for the community. The first floor is reserved for commercial use in an attempt to stimulate the economy of the area, the activity provided by the commercial spaces will also help in terms of security and safety. The top floor is an urban farm. The idea is to help the dwellers to have a passive source of energy, food and income. The unit combines both passive and active technologies to solve both economical and psychological problems that arise from dwelling in slums with the purpose of bringing back health, security, dignity and pride to these communities. Once the project is implemented the amount of green brought into the area will clean the air and will lower the cost of food by eliminating transportation costs, developing through all these systems, a better quality of life for the population of the slum.


sustainability, green roofs, low-income housing, self-sufficiency, third nature, standard of living, health, containers, hydroponic farming, passive income