- WASTE
+ SUBSTRATE

DESIGNING THE INFORMAL WASTE LANDSCAPE

CALVIN TAN
MLA


This thesis explores the role of landscape architecture in spatializing the dematerialization and contamination of informal waste landscapes that have emerged in Accra due to global consumption. As a design response, it speculates how waste and excess can become a driver in creating an alternative future that fosters new social, ecological, and economic interactions while addressing the complexities and challenges that have arisen due to these landscapes. The design sites are situated within the Agbogbloshie Scrapyard and the Korle Lagoon.

The lagoon is deployed with topographic modules that are replicated across the site to purify the water and to control its movement in order to generate suitable habitat and substrate through sedimentation and controlled eutrophication. These modules are to be low-tech to allow for a diverse workforce to be employed in the project. Flamingos and zooplanktons occupy the lagoon feeding on the excess algae. Workers collect dredge and algae to be used for substrate. The scrapyard moves away from the traditional method of capping. Instead, it is contained by a perimeter berm that defines the scrapyard as a landscape of risk and experimentation. Within the perimeter, workers separate, stockpile and convert waste material into substrate suitable for land building. Linear plantings of columnar trees become a natural windbreak and screen that allows for the deposition and filtration of odour and dust particles. Scavengers and decomposers remain present and vital in the overall function of the scrapyard.

Supervisor: 
Fionn Byrne