Upgrading Coastal Slums through Floating Architecture


Recent studies have indicated that over one billion people around the world live in shadow cities called slums, some of them are located along the coast. These informal settlements that have historically been regarded as a marginal, temporary and unworthy form of urban development suffer from poverty, overcrowded houses, polluted environment, lack of infrastructure, lack of education, poor economy, and high rate of crime and violence. In addition, coastal slums face another threatening problem which is the flood risk after the sea level rise due to the climatic change. Hence, all of this has led to social-spatial segregation and to low living conditions. This paper aims to produce design guidelines for upgrading the coastal slums through implementing floating architectural projects as an outside of the box solution. As a concentrated case study, the paper may envision the possibility to execute a floating building in Ouzai periphery, Beirut, Lebanon. It targets providing a center of awareness that can contribute in improving people’s behavior, feelings, and well-being. In order to outline this hypothesis, the paper will depend on the field methodology through visiting the site, holding interviews with urban experts, and concluding the intended design guidelines. One of the most important conclusions is: improving the well-being of coastal slums’ dwellers is possible through the maritime extension establishing simple modular units of floating architecture.


Maged Nabeel Aly Youssef