The Turkish firm Mekano Architects have designed a repurposed green living space in Cairo’s “Garbage City.”
Cairo’s “garbage city” is simultaneously an environmental disaster and cultural landmark. Home to about 60 – 70 thousand Coptic Christians who are referred to as the Zabbaleen meaning “garbage people” in Egyptian Arabic, the community supports itself by collecting garbage form neighbouring Cairo for a minimal fee. The garbage collection by the Zabbaleen is not only cheaper than the going rate for corporate firms, but the Zabbaleen recycle up to 80% of what they collect while the average company only recycles 20-25%.
Inspired by their thrift and super-green attitude of these trash collectors, the minds at Mekano Architects decided to see if they could take this mandate a step further. They unveiled a conceptual design that sees the bulk of the Cairo refuse used as building material to create a vertical city they have named “Seeds of Life” that will incorporate tall “wind stalks” — long vertical poles fitted with small turbines that could generate power, fitted with small modular homes that can be plugged in at various levels.
As well, Mekano designed a system whereby the excess trash could be buried underground to harvest Biogas that would also help to power this upright enclave.
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