Sustainable Inclusive Cities

is the overarching goal the

art and architecture of

Albert Zambrano

intends to achieve.

Rising Core House

The 2003 UN Habitat Global Report on Human Settlements, The Challenge of Slums states: "The journey towards cities without slums must be part of the more difficult journey towards 'poverty eradication', which is essentially a search for sustainable urban livelihoods."

The Rising Core House concept is a housing delivery system and a housing model linked with income generation. The model develops incrementally over time, harnessing the initiatives, energies, resourcefulness and creativity of the millions of low-income earners. This model is for revitalizing depressed urban areas, slum upgrading or Community Mortgage Program (CMP) sites. It can also be implemented in relocation sites or sites devastated by armed conflict, fires, earthquakes, floods or other extreme weather conditions.

It is compact and felxible, intensively utilizes local labor and materials. The ground floor is used for micro-enterprises or other income generating activities while the upper floors are dwelling spaces. The model creates multiplier effects on other sectors of the local and national economy.

This model can be an effective vehicle for the poor to lift themselves out of poverty especially when combined with micro-finance. This can create a larger middle class that will sustain business enterprises. The increase of economic activity can improve the income of local government from real estate taxes, business taxes and permit fees.

Albert Zambrano

Art & Architecture

Copyright © 2014 by Albert Zambrano. All rights reserved.

​​Vertical Sidewalk-​

Medium Rise Building​

The Vertical Sidewalk - Medium Rise Building (VS-MRB) building design connects and stretches the street sidewalks vertically up into the building. This will allow the poor to start small home-based enterprises or expand their existing economic activities in shop keeping, vending and peddling.

This building is conceptualized to support the start up and progressive growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Data from World Bank and Asian Institute of Management publications show that MSMEs comprises the majority of businesses globally. The 2009 National Statistics Office data show 99% of all business establishments in the Philippines are MSMEs and 94% from this are micro-enterprises.

This building typology when built in highly urbanized centers and spread out in various locations in the city can reduce transport expenses of the poor by reducing their transport demand. The intensive use of transport infrastructure by workers for their daily commute to work negatively affects the productivity of everyone in the city. When intensive road use of workers is reduced, roads can then be utilized more for the efficient flow of goods and services.

This building was designed help the poor save on household expenses in electricity, water and building maintenance. Savings can then be spent on nutrition and education. Savings in transportation and household expenses combined with increased income generating opportunities can help the poor lift themselves out of poverty.

Logic of City

The Logic of City (LOC) is a city theory reinforcing the idea that the function of cities is economic. It also confirms that cities are the most efficient wealth generator. Cities have been the incubator of large business when they were still small or when they were first starting. Cities continue to sustain the operations of big business. For a city to function to its fullest potential, it must have a set of requirements and characteristics.

The most important of these requirements and characteristics are sustainability and opportunity for all. Unsustainable practices damages city systems and when some sectors of society are being left out can cause disruptions in the city's processes.

​According to Mark Carney, the Canadian governor of the Bank of England: "unchecked market fundamentalization can devour the social capital essential for the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself."

The LOC theory has many parallels to the New Urbanism of Duany and Zyberk and Transit Oriented Development of Calthrope. The LOC theory emphasizes inclusive growth. When this theory is applied to a city's Comprehensive Land Use Plan, it spreads out small green open spaces, allots sufficient areas where the poor can live and make a living so they can provide manpower and a market for businesess. This will facilitate a mutualistic symbiosis of different sectors of society moving towards a sustainable and inclusive growth.