Human Habitat: Searching for a Response to Sustainable Development in the Eastern Plains of Colombia

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Diego Botero Cabal


This study presents the “Human Habitat Concept,” an alternative resettlement proposal for internal
displaced people. The research focuses on planning and architectural issues related to sustainable development,
as outlined on the Brundtland Report: “Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” (Brundtland, 1987). A sustainable settlement is defined,
here, as one economically self-sufficient; socially self-determining; and environmentally self-supporting.
The research is a theoretical/practical one based on a case study in the Eastern Plains of Colombia,
and its objective is to create a planning and design replicable platform for sustainable development in developing
countries; which can be adapted to different socio-economical and environmental scenarios. As a result, calculations
are proposed to show how the annual output of a settlement changes by accumulating, restoring and balancing
key components of the community. In particular, the study shows how the fusion between city and countryside,
and urban zoning contribute to the aims.
The final result is a framework to help urban and architectural decision-makers to choose the most
environmentally friendly and socio-economically responsible solutions, based on nature’s design/functioning;
in which a sustainable architecture is one that is: economically affordable; socially fulfilling; and environmentally


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