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July 21, 2022

Navigating urban narratives and green alternatives, Ruth Wondimu, MARCH, 2023

by rwondimu

Navigating Urban narratives and Green alternatives, Ruth Wondimu, MARCH, 2023

Hello everyone! I would like to start this blog by stating that the journey so far has been an insightful and wonderful experience. Having been away from Ethiopia for almost four years, I knew that there has been so much change in the social and economical fabric of Addis Ababa, the city I grew up in. Therefore, I knew that going back to Addis Ababa to work on a sustainability project required learning about the various architectural, environmental, political, real-estate, and other groups who have been actively working here. Although one of my main objectives with this project was to create or develop the awareness behind the green industry and sustainability topics, making sure that I don’t go into this project with assumptions was very important to me.

My first two weeks in Addis Ababa had been a time of forming relationships and learning about what already exists. Addis Ababa being the capital city of Ethiopia as well as the headquarters of the African Union, is one of the oldest and biggest growing cities. I was startled by how fast the city had grown even since my last time here. With a change of government back in 2018, the new administration has shown a more significant interest in urban development specifically within the green industry. Therefore, the city has shown a greater number of architectural projects with green certifications such as LEED. 

Sustainability being a very wide topic, I looked through various topics of development. At an urban scale, I noticed that there are common issues such as clean water shortage, frequent power outage, and inefficient waste control systems: all topics that are highly relevant to sustainability.  Therefore, identifying a specific topic and scale was very important to me.

During a team meeting, I was able to sit down and explain my process within these early stages. Even before coming to Ethiopia, we had discussed the best ways of cultivating a shared sense of awareness through a discussion in the form of a panel. That only solidified as I continued to learn about the different groups of professionals and inhabitants within the city. Therefore, my first written task was to write up a panel proposal under the title “Navigating urban Narratives and Green Alternatives” with a specific focus on the building scale. Our ideal panelists are a list of architects, urban developers, real-estate owners, lecturers, construction workers, and a community member. The panel will be in person with a diverse set of attendees. We are planning on having it taped and hopefully streamed in some of the national tv stations. 

In the next few weeks, my first goal is to finalize the content, scope, location, and marketing of the panel. Alongside the work on the panel, I will be working on developing content on green architecture that will be mainly used on the website and social media platforms. I invite you to follow me on this journey as I plan to share my development through a series of posts on this channel.

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