Ida Hansson; Anna Olausson Spatial planning for cooperative housing, pp. 128. TKS/Fysisk planering, 2004.
Lack of housing is a problem in Bolivia, migrations from rural areas to towns causes problems in the fast growing cities. Since urban planning does not have the resources to keep up with the need for housing many settlements are illegal and often lead to a land use conflict. In some cities large parts of the population live in spontaneous settlements, often in areas planned for another use of land.
In Cochabamba the number of inhabitants has grown rapidly, particularly in the past few decades. Many of the immigrants are low-income people who search housing in areas accessible to their incomes. Low-income groups search housing through illegal establishment in peripheral zones.
The high housing costs in most of the districts of the city make housing provided through legal conditions unaffordable for them. In Cochabamba the expansion takes place in the outskirts of the city and the land use conflict is about the conflict between land set aside for agriculture purpose and illegal settlements.
In focus for our study has been the area Maria Auxiliadora in District 9, Cochabamba. A group of women got together with a wish to build houses of their own. The area is situated on
a hillside in an area for agricultural use but on a piece of land not suitable for this use because of the steep and rocky terrain. There are several non governmental organizations involved with a common ambition to build a cooperative housing area. Cooperative housing is a new experience in Bolivia which could be a beginning of a new way of thinking and a new way to solve the housing problem in the country. There is a growing interest, both from the government and from people that need land for housing, of this new form of living. The Bolivian cooperative housing program is formed out of a concept used in Uruguay.
In this study we focus on spatial planning issues for cooperative housing. Through spatial planning we demonstrate how housing areas can be planned in the future with focus on cooperative thinking and living. The project area, Maria Auxiliadora, has been used as a case study. Maria Auxiliadora has a spatial plan and houses are already under construction but the plan does not consider cooperative thoughts and needs.
We have developed two individual proposals and one proposal jointly. The first individual proposal treats generally aspects of how to plan a cooperative housing area in Bolivia. The proposal treats for example how many inhabitants that is to prefer in a cooperative, physical aspects of the outdoor environment and other physical arrangements that can give the area great opportunities to be a well functioning cooperative housing area. It also illustrates house types that can be used in a cooperative and how the houses can be grouped to promote the cooperative thoughts. One part is treating how to build in steep terrain though many of the new housing areas is situated in steep terrain.
The second individual proposal illustrates how an area like Maria Auxiliadora can be planned in the future. The proposal consider cooperative thinking and needs in line with the first individual proposal. Maria Auxiliadora is situated in steep terrain and it is likely that other new housing areas will be planned in similar terrain. The proposal illustrates the possibility to place houses in groups around a shared garden even in steep terrain to give the area great opportunities to act as a well functioning cooperative housing area. Even a design proposal have been created to illustrate the importance of an coherent appearance of an cooperative housing area.
The third proposal is drawn jointly and illustrates improvements of the existing plan for Maria Auxiliadora. In this proposal we have been taken the built houses and roads into consideration. The plan is adjusted to fit the steep terrain and considers cooperative housing.