2011 a new African state was born, The Republic of South Sudan, when the
region voted for separation from the Sudan. It has a rich diversity of natural
resources and subcultures but, crippled by neglect and intermittent civil
wars during the period 1955 – 2005, remains poor in human resources and
practically all physical (infra- and super- structure) aspects.
Beyond the local vernacular, South
Sudan has neither a tradition in physical planning nor one in urban
architectural design. Furthermore, there is now a natural urge to formulate
an identity in planning and design for the new African state which is visibly
distinct from that of the northern neighbour which, officially, is Arab
A university now being planned in
the town of Aweil in the new state faces many challenges since it is made to
play several roles besides the normal educational ones.
Our vision while setting up the university
is to create an urbanising force in a rural or semi-urban region generating
employment, changing lifestyle and raising aspirations.
The university would attempt to
introduce trends in urban planning and architectural design responsive to
climatic and cultural needs. It would utilise renewable energy sources,
mainly solar and wind energy (which here is a necessity not a curiosity) and
set an example in environmental protection and enrichment to be hopefully
followed and continually upgraded by other institutions. The project would
also include dealing with seasonal floods and harvesting water, utilising
intermediate and alternative construction technologies for ancillary buildings
and sewage treatment and recycling. In short, our objective is to apply
relevant principles of eco-neighbourhood and healthy town
design to help our vision to materialise.