15. -17. Dec. 2014 | International Symposium on Climate Adapted Urban Infrastructure | Addis Ababa

 Addis Ababa is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic cities of the Global South. With the "Integrated Housing Development Programme", the Ethiopian government is striving to tackle the challenges of an ever-growing population and climate change. But the program is struggling to create sustainable urban spaces and quality housing. Rigorously standardized housing blocks along with the non-integration of urban infrastructure might just be two reasons for that. 


Symposium Focus

The “International Symposium on Climate Adapted Urban Infrastructure” will reveal alternatives to current planning practices in social housing all over Africa. These alternatives shall reflect a holistic planning approach that gives priority to urban infrastructure strategies (sanitation, waste, roads) but at the same time integrating participatory design methods and urban planning.

The results of the symposium will have influence on an experimental prototype neighborhood planned to be realized within the next 5 years. It will comprise 500 robust housing units and enable flexibility and urban “mixety” (socially, culturally, and economically mixed) through highly adaptable urban infrastructure systems.

The “International Symposium on Climate Adapted Urban Infrastructure” will consequently lead to writing up the multi-disciplinary research project “Integrated Infrastructure” between Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany (planned for 2015).

For this symposium the holistic planning approach will be sub-divided into two themes: the relationship between urban infrastructure and (A) the urban level and (B) the building level.



The main theme is further sub-divided into two themes.

A) Infrastructure on the urban scale: innovative planning methods
Inventory: What is the current situation of urban infrastructure in the different sub cities in Addis Abeba (sanitation, waste, roads)? Which central facilities are available? Which correlation and which vulnerabilities between infrastructure and urban planning can be drawn. (Nowadays situation and demands for future development)? Are there best-case examples for non-standard planning models/ resilient urban designs?
Urban development and Participation: Which stakeholders have to be involved? Which is the appropriate and required participation for sustainable urban planning and development?
Perspective:Which are the needs for action for urban resilience? Which research questions can be derived?

B) Infrastructure on the housing scale: houses and facilities

How is flexible sanitation achieved which in return will allow for a flexible use of space (and how much flexibility in sanitation is reasonable)? Is it necessary to supply all buildings with Western standard sanitation facilities? How can maintenance be ensured? Are there alternative approaches to current practices? Are there best-practice examples that reflect a sustainable approach to infrastructure on a housing scale?



Guest and keynote speakers will be selected from practice, administration, and research on invitation.

We are very interested in adding new angles to our discussion workshops. Interested professionals who wish to contribute, are invited to send an application to caad@architektur.uni-weimar.de

The application should contain a short background on the person and state in which event he/she would like to participate.


Schedule of Events

Applications for workshop discussions are welcome until: November 1st 2014

Symposium duration: December 15th – 17th 2014 (2 ½ days)


Schedule Symposium

December 15th 2014 - INITIAL PROVOCATION
The first day of the symposium starts at noon. The afternoon will be filled with guest speeches and keynote lectures by interdisciplinary professionals from practice, administration, and research.

12 am Arrival - Registration
6:30 pm Evening event


December 16th 2014 - FIELD TRIPS
The entire second day will be devoted to panel discussion and experiences on-site. The excursions will take place in two groups according to the attendees' workshop theme.

2 pm

Group A: Urban development
Group B: Buildings and construction

7 pm Evening event


December 17th 2014 - WORKSHOPS
The morning of the third day will be characterized by intense discussions in small groups about the two themes of the symposium. The presentation of results will conclude the symposium in the afternoon.

A: Infrastructure on the urban scale
B: Infrastructure on the housing scale
discussion, and conclusions for further action, closing remarks
5 am Closing event
7:30 am Symposium dinner



Goethe-Institut Addis Ababa
Located in a beautiful historic building in the North of Addis Ababa, the non-profit German cultural association is generously providing its premises to the “International Symposium on Integrated Infrastructure”.

Address: Goethe Institute Addis Abeba, Sedist Kilo, Compound of Faculty of Business and Economics, P.O.B. 11 93

Directions: From Sidist Kilo, take the direction to Entoto, pass by the main gate of Addis Abeba University, after 200 meters you will see the sign on the right hand side. The Institute can be accessed by minibus via Schiro Meda road.



EiABC.Bauhaus-Universität Lab

Tesfaye Hailu
Chair Holder Infrastructure Design and Construction at EiABC

Joachim Dieter
Scientific Director at EiABC

Dr. Ing. Dirk Donath
Professor for Computer Science at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany

Dr. Ing. Jörg Londong
Professor for Urban Water Management and Sanitation at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany

Organization Executive:
Lars-Erik de Vries, Ephrem Legesse, Nicole Baron, and Astrid Köppel


EiABC - Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development of the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany

Goethe-Institut Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Venue)



This symposium is funded by the German Embassy Addis Ababa - Green Climate Funds, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, EiABC Addis Ababa, Goethe-Institut Addis Ababa, and DAAD "Welcome to Africa"