Register: 09/01/2017, Submit: 09/04/2017, Eligibility: Architects, students, engineers, designers; individually, (multidisciplinary) teams up to 4 members, Fee: 50 USD (02/02 – 05/31/2017), 75 USD (06/01 – 09/01/2017), Awards: 1st Prize 5,000 USD, 2nd Prize 1,000 USD, 3rd Prize 1,000 USD, The Green Scheme – Sustainability Prize 500 USD, 7 Honorable Mentions, Top 20
The city of Mosul is one of Iraq’s principal cities located approximately 250 miles north of Baghdad, the city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank. It is the capital of the northern Iraqi Governorate of Nineveh and Iraq’s second largest city after Baghdad. Mosul District is the most populated of Nineveh’s nine districts with over 2 Million pre-Daesh population. Mosul has a hot climate with extremely dry hot summers (record high 49 °C) and moderately wet, relatively cool winters (average low 12 °C).
Its relative wealth and strategic significance grew after oil fields were discovered nearby in the 1920s and a major oil pipeline was built in Turkey.
In June 2014, Daesh stunned the world by seizing Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. Now Mosul is the last major Iraqi population center under Daesh control, with all others having already been retaken by Iraqi government forces. In October 2016 the Iraqi government launched an offensive to retake the city from Daesh – an offensive which until the time of writing this document has liberated major areas in Nineveh and the Left Bank of Mosul city.
A post-liberation outlook
Mosul witnessed further deterioration of conditions after Daesh occupation and allied air strikes, facilities for education, healthcare, water, sanitation, electricity, and communications services were damaged or severely restricted by Daesh.
It is estimated that between 50 and 75 per cent of the city’s governmental buildings are destroyed; these include public directorate, university, and public utility buildings. This will place additional burdens on stabilization, reconstruction and developmental responses in Mosul. The threat dwells of a potential post-liberation conflict, in part due to the displacement of rightful property owners. There are qualified fears the emergence of ‘property mafias’ will monopolise from the unstable situation. Such fears raise the question of rightful property ownership for individuals and communities during the early liberation period.
The impending housing crisis will put further strain on the city as neighbourhoods are freed and internally displaced persons (IDP’s) or refugees return home- albeit to nothing but complete desolation.
The foreseeable challenge
Following Daesh’s takeover of Mosul, investments in the housing sector and all ongoing projects were halted. As many people abandoned the city, the vacant housing units were taken over by Daesh fighters’ families and followers. To date, although the city’s existing housing stock has not suffered complete physical Destruction, certainly compared to Syrian contexts the city has however suffered from a protracted lack of maintenance.
Further destruction in the hot spots around Mosul and inside the city is likely to put additional pressure on housing within the city. IDPs living in Mosul city may not be able to return to their hometowns and new IDPs may join them as the battles to retrieve their areas from Daesh intensify. With the lack of an updated and effectual master plan for the city, it would not be surprising to see informal settlements proliferate and new encroachments on the city’s agricultural hinterlands taking place.
The United Nations and the International Organisation of Migrants warned that the current number of internally displaced people from Mosul is estimated at over 500,000 (January 2017) and could reach 1.2 Million as the military operations continue. Some formal IDP camps have been established, but they will not have the capacity to accommodate the majority of new displacements.
The 53.000 units’ deficit is predicted to significantly rise due to the current military operation to retake the city of Mosul from Daesh.
Participants are asked to propose a solution for the Mosul’s upcoming housing crisis, which will affect the city as more neighbourhoods will be freed and internally displaced persons and refugees will start to return.
No minimum size or amount of residential units per block is specified. The proposals should be flexible enough to adapt to various sizes with different inhabitant capacity requirements.
The designs should also be adaptable, allowing adjustments to be made in order to suit different residential capacity requirements. It is required to provide a detailed scheme of the typical unit(s) and the principle of their arrangement in large groups.
Participants are permitted to choose any location within the city of Mosul for their proposal.