Luis Orozco, Sean Stevenson, Assoc. AIA, and Philip Miller
Social Waters is an intervention that is culturally sensitive but not culturally specific, it can be applied in other rapidly growing cities in developing countries, allowing each community to come together around a crucial resource.
Given the pace of dense urbanization in the developing world, where water is often a cultural touchstone and a necessity for life, our ambition is to transform water infrastructure into the city’s agent for social cohesion, creating a social order around a communal space for a communal resource. Rapidly growing cities need open space, and better access to, and quality of, water. We introducing a new system of water infrastructure that serves a technical function as well as a social function or a series of social functions that bring people together. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city, the water infrastructural system only serves 3% of the population.
Pollution, flooding and the lack of public and private toilets have taken a toll on the city. In the densest neighborhood in Addis, we are leveraging existing public spaces, and carving out new spaces where they are needed. Our infrastructure is fed by groundwater, runoff, and precipitation. It consists of 4 components: Collection / Storage / Filtration / Distribution, all providing for public engagement. This intelligence is embedded in their form and placement. We deliver each component in context at 3 different scales and offer one or more community functions in the city.