This is a minimal physical urbanistic intervention with maximum social equity and neighborhood enhancement effects. The project is a small structure that functions as a labor market and service delivery platform for day laborers who wait for casual work every morning at customary gathering points. As this picking up of day workers takes place in cities across the United States, and in other countries, it is also a project that is worth replicating. It is low cost, and could be sponsored by the contractors of the day laborers.
The structure provides rest rooms, kitchen and office space for day workers. It is a first step in providing healthcare and the building of social networks for workers that are among the most vulnerable, poor and often denigrated. It is also a solution to what the surrounding neighborhoods often experience as social disorder and what local police forces find difficult to handle. Thus the benefits extend to a larger social context than that of the workers themselves. This larger positive social effect is further enhanced by the addition of community gardens to be maintained by the day workers themselves, particularly on those days when they are not picked up for work.See more
A San Francisco-based project offering a solution for day laborers and the surrounding communities received the Global Holcim Awards “Innovation” prize 2009. The project led by Liz Ogbu and John Peterson of non-profit organization Public Architecture was selected out of thousands of submissions worldwide in the competition for sustainable construction projects. Internationally-renowned sociologist Saskia Sassen and celebrated architect Enrique Norten presented the USD 50,000 prize at the new California Academy of Sciences – itself a winning project from the 2005 Holcim Awards competition.
Internationally-renowned sociologist Saskia Sassen and celebrated architect Enrique Norten presented the USD 50,000 prize at the new California Academy of Sciences – itself a winning project from the 2005 Holcim Awards competition.
Self-contained day labor station is a flexible bus-shelter-like structure that offers shelter, benches, washrooms, a kitchen and an education/training space – creating a sensitive environment for people who find themselves on the edge of the community and at the same time addressing health and safety needs. Green and recycled materials are used to minimize the environmental footprint and economic cost of each facility.
The project qualified for the global level of the competition by winning the regional Holcim Awards Silver 2008 North America. The day labor station impressed the jury principally for its far-reaching impact on a whole community: “The structure provides a solution to what the surrounding neighborhoods often experience as social disorder and what local police forces find difficult to handle. Thus, the benefits extend to a larger social context than that of the workers themselves”, the jury stated. The Global Holcim Awards “Innovation” is a prize for a project that demonstrates a strong element of creativity or inspiration.
Internationally-renowned sociologist and economist, Saskia Sassen, noted for her analyses of globalization and international human migration was one of the six members of the global jury and provided a keynote address at the handover ceremony. The author of The Global City and Cities in a World Economy praised the day labor station project for its novel approach that combines a minimal physical urbanistic intervention with maximum social equity and neighborhood enhancement effects. “This is a low-cost solution that generates tangible benefits to those at the periphery including healthcare and social networks, while at the same time alleviating social disorder in the surrounding neighborhood,” she said.
Further global prizes for projects in Asia and North Africa
Almost 5,000 sustainable construction projects and visions from 121 countries entered the five regional Holcim Awards competitions in 2008. Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in each region automatically qualified for the Global Holcim Awards competition in 2009. The global jury was headed by Charles Correa (architect, India) and included Peter Head (structural engineer, UK), Enrique Norten (architect, Mexico/USA), Saskia Sassen (sociologist, USA), Hans-Rudolf Schalcher (civil engineer, Switzerland), and Rolf Soiron (economist, Switzerland).
The celebration of the “Innovation” prize winner in San Francisco was the first of four events honoring the Global Holcim Awards winners. The hand-over of the “Innovation” prize was held at the new California Academy of Sciences building – which itself received the Holcim Awards Silver 2005 for North America. The other Global Holcim Awards winners for 2009 are:
Gold for River remediation and urban development scheme in Fez, Morocco
A project centered upon restoration of the river through the UNESCO World Heritage listed Medina of Fez was awarded the top prize of USD 300,000 and the Global Holcim Awards Gold. A youthful and international project team led by architect Aziza Chaouni (Morocco) and urban planner Takako Tajima (USA) are remediating the heavily-polluted river Fez to revitalize the ancient heart of the city. The approach includes a series of interventions to renovate traditional tanneries, create public spaces and pedestrian zones, and restore wetlands as well as biodiversity.
Silver for Low-impact greenfield university campus in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The Global Holcim Awards Silver with USD 200,000 in prize money was awarded to a new campus for the University of Architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, designed by architect Kazuhiro Kojima (Japan). The project avoids massive land reclamation on an island in the Mekong Delta and aims for harmony with all elements of the surrounding ecosystem: flooding rice fields, mangroves, winds and seasonal changes.
Bronze for Sustainable planning for a rural community in Beijing, China
A rural planning design for a suburban village in Beijing, China received the Global Holcim Awards Bronze and USD 100,000 for effectively combining heritage preservation, traditional knowledge, local materials, modern technology, and professional project management. The comprehensive urban planning strategy led by Yue Zhang (China) and Feng Ni (China) improves logistics, public utilities and services while meeting stringent ecological and energy-saving targets for new buildings.
International finalists illustrate broad scope of sustainable construction
The Global Holcim Awards finalists illustrated a broad scope of approaches to sustainable construction from all regions of the world. Rolf Soiron (Switzerland), who represented the sponsor of the Awards as Chairman of the Board of Holcim Ltd in the global jury, commented that the enormous challenges of sustainable construction demanded many innovative contributions adapted to local needs. “The intrinsic values and merits of the projects show that all have unique features which, in their specific environments, do contribute and bring something new to the table,” he said.
Along with the Holcim Awards, the Holcim Foundation leads a range of sustainability initiatives such as the Holcim Forum – a series of symposiums. The next Forum will be held in Mexico City in April 2010 on the theme of “Re-inventing Construction”. The third Holcim Awards competition cycle will open for entries July 1, 2010.See more
The Global Holcim Awards “Innovation” prize including USD 50,000 went to a project that establishes informal stations where day laborers can meet and wait for casual work. The “Innovation” prize is a global recognition for a project that demonstrates a strong element of creativity or inspiration.
Designed by Liz Ogbu (USA) and John Peterson (USA) of San Francisco-based nonprofit Public Architecture, the flexible structures offer shelter, benches, washrooms, a kitchen and an education/training space – creating a sensitive environment for people who find themselves on the edge of the community and at the same time addressing health and safety needs. Green and recycled materials are used to minimize the environmental footprint and economic cost of each facility.
The project won the regional Holcim Awards Silver 2008 North America, and also impressed the global jury mostly for its far-reaching impact on a whole community: “The structure provides a solution to what the surrounding neighborhoods often experience as social disorder and what local police forces find difficult to handle. Thus, the benefits extend to a larger social context than that of the workers themselves”, the jury noted.Top sustainable construction projects honored with Global Holcim Awards »
The Holcim Awards Silver 2008 was awarded to a project that establishes informal stations where day laborers can meet and await work. The innovative project is designed by Liz Ogbu of San Francisco-based nonprofit organization Public Architecture.
The flexible structures offer shelter, benches, washrooms and a facility to prepare and provide food – creating a sensitive environment for people living on the periphery of society. At the same time, the project addresses health and safety needs and contributes to solving a source of community conflict. Green and recycled materials are used to minimize the environmental footprint and economic cost of each facility.Top sustainable construction projects in North America honored »
Day labor is a challenging social issue in many cities around the globe. Although industry and commerce utilize this informal or casual source of human capital, day labor is itself not organized at all. The project’s uniqueness lies in its simple and convincing approach to this problem. The idea of establishing formal stations where day laborers are allowed to stay and offer their services is unique.
The stations – with a shelter, benches, toilets and facilities to buy or even prepare meals – create a sensitive living environment for people who normally live on the periphery of society. In addition the structure provides a physical location for outreach programs and also supports social cohesion amongst day laborers. From the city’s perspective, day labor stations are a considerable improvement of the quality of life, especially regarding health and security.
This signiﬁcant and diverse range of beneﬁts can be achieved with little ﬁnancial investment. From the demand side, labor stations facilitate hiring the required workforce and meet legal requirements and wage standards. Since day labor is common practice in the construction industry, the project contributes substantially to providing an effective response to the “target issues” ethical standards, social equity and economic performance as deﬁned by the Holcim Foundation.See more
In many US cities day laborers use street corners as informal hiring sites. For hours on end they wait by the roadside and in parking lots, often in the hot sun and without any amenities, in the hope of securing a day’s work for a day’s pay. The Self-contained day labor station aims to improve the life quality of those who find themselves on the edge of the American Dream.Download project entry poster (PDF, 1.87 MB) »
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