BASEhabitat is a studio within the department of architecture at the University of Art and Design Linz that is focused on research, design, and building socially responsible, sustainable projects in countries around the globe. As part of the course module “Architecture as a Mediator of Peace”, led by Helena Sandman, post-graduate students will be examining the Sebkha Sejoumi area of Tunis, a Ramsar site that is at risk of pollution and degradation due to the growth of the city around the area. The students will be reviewing the area and looking at a redevelopment approach that considers holistic sustainability, finding the balance between the ecological, social, and economic aspects.
As part of this, the students will be using QSAND to assess the sustainability aspects of the redevelopment project. Helena Sandman, who has written a paper examining low-income housing construction in which QSAND was modified for use as a measurement tool for empathic design, opted to use QSAND with the students to support their assessment of the ongoing project in Sebkha Sejoumi.
The hope of the BRE Trust team is that this project will provide further feedback on the utility of the tool outside of purely post-disaster contexts and demonstrate its level of effectiveness as an urban planning, disaster risk reduction instrument. BRE Trust is providing support to the students through training materials and an introductory presentation, and the team will be available to answer questions and receive feedback from the students as their projects develop.