Design program for Kombolcha Campus site

University essay from SLU/Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)

Abstract: The objective for this Masters thesis is to conduct a Design program, as a planning and design tool, for the outdoor environment at the campus site of Wollo University in Kombolcha, located in northern Ethiopia. The geographical location as well as the social and political context of the site has constituted the framework for this Design program and Masters thesis. Kombolcha Campus site was established during 2006/2007, as part of the Ethiopian government’s strategy for higher development which was initiated in the Ethiopian policy of ‘Education and training’ 2001. Investment in higher education was a step towards the development of socio-economic conditions and an essential prerequisite for poverty reduction and important for the future of Ethiopia (Federal ministry of Education, 2010). The strategy has resulted in several universities being built during the last decade distributed in different parts of Ethiopia. At Kombolcha Campus, most buildings are more or less constructed. However, there are still some facilities and constructions lacking and parts of the infrastructure as well as the outdoor environment are yet to be planned, built and established. Because of its location, Kombolcha Campus confronts a high risk of flooding during heavy rainfall in the summer. There is a gully running down the hillside through the middle of the campus site which creates a threat towards many buildings and has already caused severe damage to some. In addition the campus faces problems with erosion. The outdoor environment and the vegetation at site is young and represents a surface with a few green spots and many empty, large scale, areas. It lacks seating areas and shade in order to support the use of the outdoor environment. The choice of subject for this Masters thesis was initiated from a raised interest and a request from Wollo University in order to conduct a Design program for the outdoor environment. The main focus in this Masters thesis is to highlight the landscape architectural perspectives and to contribute with a planning tool, as well as applicable design approaches. The aim is to provide additional support and ideas for the development of the outdoor environment at site. Focus has been laid upon how to strengthen the study environment and make Kombolcha Campus functioning and attractive. The emphasis has been placed on students and their desire and requirements in particular. The methods used hazve been based on a pragmatic and an empirical perspective (Patel and Davidson, 2003). Analysis tools employed have mainly been mapping, observations, participation, talks and interviews with a focus on the students in particular. Within the program special focus has been laid on how to deal with three main fields at site: Water, Vegetation and Placemaking. Examples/Suggestions of solutions are given through several approaches of how to deal with: Water issues such as flooding and erosion; possible ways to work with and establish Vegetation; as well as identification of areas suitable for additional support for Placemaking. Thereafter seven key areas are shown as examples, including a range of different approaches applied within each key area.

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