Temporary housing: how cities plan for mass migration

DSC_7309In 2013, typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines killing over 6,000 people. The country witnesses about 20 typhoons a year, with efforts focused on temporarily housing and evacuating those left in the aftermath.

A research project led by Rahul Mehrotra and Filipe Vera is focusing on how these transient accommodations are assembled and deconstructed across the globe.

Radical Temporalities: The Landscape of Ephemeral Urbanism analysis transitory housing and short-term solutions to max exodus whether through natural disasters for instance in Chili and Haiti or displacements due to political turmoil.

Showcased in Shenzhen as part of the city’s Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, the project also explores transient structures developed for mass celebrations such as the Hajj, as well as music festivals in Serbia, the US and Hungary.

This includes Indian celebrations such as the Durga Puja, and the Kumbh Mela – a religious pilgrimage that witnesses the congregation of more than 100 million people and the habitation of 7 million people in a fixed space for 55 days.

Construction details, scale and materials used are collected to understand the dynamic and planning involved in controlling the flow of people on such a scale.

The pair’s book Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Mega City was published last year. Similar to Ephemeral Urbanism it focuses on investigating and documenting prototypes used for the planning and construction of the Hindu celebration of Kumbh Mela attended by over 30 million people.