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Visual & Performing Arts
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A Study of Large-Scale Housing Projects in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Research Paper Sample)


Urban planning and the use of Open sapce in Santo Domingo Este.
The use of open space in large scale housing in Dominican republic


Public Space Design and Activation:
A Study of Large-Scale Housing Projects in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
This thesis explores the significance and constraints of public space design in large-scale house development. There is an increasing trend in developing large-scale housing in growing cities to address housing needs and replace informal settlements. However, the designs should focus on meeting the occupants' specific needs and achieving sustainability goals, along with community participation. The literature review explores the concept of large-scale housing development and the open-space concept. The study indicated that the large-scale buildings are developed using different designs depending on the needs of the people in the targeted regions. Also, the grid system and the gated communities incorporated in the large-scale house development create a safe, secure, and prestigious environment for the inhabitants. The grid system supports the use of the open space and allows people to interact. The study employed Spatial and Graphic Analysis and qualitative analysis. The study is focused on the Santo Domingo Este, Dominican Republic. It indicates that the open spaces in the housing design facilitate walkability and make the people's lives thrilling. The main goal of establishing large-scale houses is to increase affordable housing for people from low-income settings. However, it is not all about having open spaces but making them useful and valuable to human beings. The review also indicated that the open spaces improve the value of large-scale houses in Santo Domingo.
Public Space Design and Activation:
A Study of Large-Scale Housing Projects in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Beginning: Large-Scale Housing
Most of the global population live in the urban region, resulting in congestion of people in the regions. Besides the rural to urban migrations, the growth in the city populations has been influenced by the high birth rates. The increase in the global population influenced the development of proper housing development patterns and policies. It is estimated that 53% of the population lives in the urban regions, with the developed and developing nations being 80% and 46%, respectively (Jaitman, 2015). On the other hand, the case is different for the Caribbean nation, which, though it belongs to the lower and middle-income nations, has an urbanization rate of 79% (Jaitman, 2015).
People move from rural regions to urban areas, including searching for jobs and a better life. Furthermore, the populations in the urban regions enjoy the benefits of agglomeration and economies of scale. The level of access to basic services, including health and social amenities, is more advanced in urban regions than in rural areas (Jaitman, 2015). On the other hand, the extensive movement of people in the urban regions causes a lot of pressure on the existing resources, including housing. Informal settlements are products of the overcrowding of people in urban regions. Some of the major challenges associated with the mushrooming of the informal settlements in the urban regions include poor sanitation, reduced public safety, and increased social crimes. Therefore, with such problems, there is a need to develop affordable housing to make life bearable and enjoyable to the dwellers and create a green city environment.
The UNOPS is working with the government of Antigua and Barbuda and other private institutions to develop innovative and affordable houses. The Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Initiative was launched over ten years ago to develop about 10,000 affordable homes (New agreement to build 10,000 affordable homes in the Caribbean, 2021). UNOPS also aims at expanding the development program to the island of the Caribbean. The project wills complement the large-scale housing initiative, which will satisfy the high demand for quality housing in the region homes (New agreement to build 10,000 affordable homes in the Caribbean, 2021).
The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) is mainly made up of low-income families; therefore, they may find it difficult to finance a house without significant financial support from the public and the private sector. The Inter-American Development Bank (n.d.) report indicates that over 58 million of the people in LAC need adequate housing, which calls for urgent intervention. Therefore, the government is partnering with the private sector to initiate mass housing projects to improve the quality of life for the population (Inter-American Development Bank, n.d.). Furthermore, the current housing projects incorporate the elements, including land, financing, infrastructures, and construction inputs. Furthermore, the report indicates that the construction practices among the BOP sectors are significantly affected by the high rates (Inter-American Development Bank, n.d.).
The housing projects are governed by the core house model, which involves various strategic partners in a unique value chain. The houses were developed to allow low-income families to access basic services, including water and sanitation. This would play a significant role in addressing the issues associated with poor sanitation in the informal settlements (Inter-American Development Bank, n.d.).
The Latin America and the Caribbean people exhibit the highest level of homeownership globally. It is estimated that 73% of households own their homes (Inter-American Development Bank, n.d.). The main reason for homeownership in the region is land tenure. On the other hand, the role of the government in increasing the land tenure, though their contribution in the direct construction of the owner-occupied houses, has been immense. The informal market and support have played a significant role in promoting house ownership among the poor populations in the LAC.
Large-scale housing is becoming a trend in the global urban development strategies to eliminate informal settlements. Some of the significant large-scale house projects worldwide include the Mirador housing project in Spain, designed with slits existing between housing blocks (Inter-American Development Bank, n.d.). Furthermore, there is large airspace between the buildings to provide the residents with a communal meeting place (30 of the world’s most impressive social housing projects, 2021). The other significant large-scale housing is the Torre Place Europe and the Poljane Community Housing. Also, the Carabanchel Social Housing is a significant example from the global perspective. The building is made up of houses designed using modern ecological technologies. In between the houses are the air trees which provide clean air for the residents (30 of the world’s most impressive social housing projects, 2021).
Large-scale housing aims at providing enough houses to meet the increasing demand in the Caribbean. Furthermore, projects have been developed to renovate the informal settlements in the region. For example, the market-based and low-income mass housing project was initiated in the 1970s to promote urban sprawl (Azad et al., 2018). On the other hand, poor design and inadequate open space were major challenges encountered in the process. For example, the poorly designed house coupled with poor maintenance strategies because of poverty resulted in the increased decay of the buildings, which eventually worsened the living conditions. The housing policies shifted in the 2000s to promote an integrated and participatory approach. This meant that various units of houses would be developed jointly as an intervention to promote inclusivity (Dogan, et al., 2020).
Despite the legal frameworks of involving the municipalities in the structural and housing reforms, affordable housing projects have a significant backlog. Subsequently, new measures were developed to help foster the large-scale housing projects, as evident in the National Development Plan (2006-2010). Furthermore, despite the land management and planning scheme progress, there are still huge gaps between housing demand and supply. Nations such as Columbia developed national housing policies that would increase the public housing supply. The first element in the policy was the rural to urban development agenda, which took place in the 1970s (Dogan, et al., 2020). The massive enrolment of large-scale housing in the LAC presents an effective solution to the housing issue. The increased movement of people to the urban region and the natural population group stirred the enrolment of the large-scale housing projects mainly through public-private partnerships.
Problem: Open Space
Open space is an element of quality in the modern housing design that lacks large-scale house developments in Latin America and the Caribbean region. In exploring the lack of quality in the open space in the housing developments, it is important to explore the key challenges associated with the rapid house development to meet the ever-increasing demand. The increased in housing demand influenced the introduction of large-scale housing projects. However, open space remains a major limiting factor to the development trajectory. The increased human settlement means that natural resources, including forests, will be destroyed. According to Dogan, et al. (2020), deforestation of the Latin American tropical forest is a major threat to the ecosystem. There are significant sustainability concerns with LAC's current large-scale housing development plan with limited land space. There is increasing competition between the human settlement, the need to conserve the environment and promote agricultural productivity (Inter-American Development Bank, n.d.). The nations in the Latin America and ...

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