Summer School Addis Abeba 12-21.09.2017

(Merkato: carpenter’s street, August 2017, by local team VLIR UOS development project)

Next week, KU Leuven and EiABC will launch ten-day International Summer School in Addis Abeba, hosted by the local university EiABC and part of the Streetscape Territories research and design project of KU Leuven, Belgium.
Both institutions have successfully collaborated in the past years through development projects, workshops and parallel design studio. This early fall, these previous collaborations will lead to a fully joint project about architectural and urban research and design, with a focus on the Merkato area in the Ethiopian capital. This market area is in full transformation and presents many challenges for further development. This summer school will be developed with a group of local and international professionals and academics via a series of input and research/design sessions and lead to a final presentation to university community and local stakeholders. It is also the end of a six week local development project (VLIR UOS) of KU Leuven students.

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Addis Ababa and the Merkato area

Addis Abeba is the captal of Ethiopia and the capital of the African Union, characterised by an increasingly growing population -currently around 3 million inhabitants registered in 2007. The metropolis is in full transformation and counts an increasing number of foreign investments, mostly related to real estate development and infrastructure. The summer school will focus on the Addis Merkato area -officially the Addis Ketema district- that is the largest open air market in Africa, employing an estimated 13,000 people in 7,100 business entities. Addis Merkato was originally instituted by segregationist policies of the Italian occupational government in the early 20th century. The Italians called this place also “Merkato Indigino” (which means market of the indigenous), as they also set up a “European equivalent”, illustrating their policy of clear segregation. The Mercato area did not have any urbanistic plan and gradually grew taking different categorical stocks called “terras”. The market combines formal as well as informal settings and includes permanent as well as ephemeral activities. It can also be understood as a place where production, consumption and storage is combined in an emergent way but representing a substantial part of the local economy.



Formal / Informal processes of urban transformation, related to:
– Transport systems (from mini buses to LRT)
– Housing schemes (from kebeles to grand housing schemes)
– Productive cycles (from informal markets to shopping malls or logisitc centres)
Market mechanisms: logistics, users, local economies, recycling processes, local employment, social justice
Multi scalar approach: from architectural detail to regional scale
Hands-on approach: real live project: on site engagement


Local team

Streetscape Territories team Addis Abeba: Omar Elkousy, Rasya Kumar, Siddharth Thyagarajan, Maelle Vandenbergh, Simen Lambrecht, Arnout De Schryver, Matteo Paracchini, Vincent Chukwuemeka, Yannick Sluyts, Luna Catteeuw, Pille Koppe, Kris Scheerlinck


Through this blog, we will keep you updated of any presentations/meetings of our on-site development project!

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