“Sustainability can be brought to bear on a broad range of contemporary challenges”
Regional Jury Report - Asia Pacific
Last updated: July 01, 2017 Melbourne, Australia
The story of this project started a few decades ago. The Indonesia-based non-profit, non-governmental organization Urban Poor Consortium (UPC) acquired a parcel of land at the edge of an existing village to protect local farmers from imminent eviction. Plans were recently made, with the support of local stakeholders, to transform the existing farmland into a training center for young farmers interested in promoting organic agriculture. Part of the initiative is to harvest local materials – such as bamboo that is abundantly available in the area – in order to erect a number of farming and training facilities on site.
Three aspects of the project were foregrounded during the jury deliberation process. First, the jury greatly appreciated the idea to use property – in this case, the purchase of a piece of land – as a form of counterpoise to unrestrained real estate development that most often compromises agricultural land in favor of urban growth. Second, the jury valued the initiative’s objective to promote organic agriculture, including measures to control water management on site and enhance soil fertility using sustainable methods of farming as a vehicle to encourage agriculture as a profession for young members of the community. Third, the jury valued that the above-mentioned concepts left their mark on the domain of sustainable construction, namely, the idea to use local materials, including bamboo, for the erection of new structures. All in all, the project demonstrates that sustainability can be brought to bear on a broad range of contemporary challenges, whether pertaining to agriculture, land rights, water management, community building, or construction.