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The adaptability of grouped housing to the population of Kinshasa

Jules WEMBY-LOFUDU student laureate

°1961 Congo
Architect, Institut du Bâtiment et des Travaux Publics / Kinshasa, DR Congo, 1988

L'adaptabilité des logements groupés à la population de Kinshasa

Jules Wemby-Lofudu's work, a research work which is rather dominated by an urbanistic-architectural issue, contributes to explaining a way of thinking in the enormous reflection on and the unavoidable challenge formed by the housing of millions of people in the big cities in black Africa, and in particular in Kinshasa.
Being focused on the evaluation of grouped housing, as initiated under the colonization, this research does not deal with the most common way of housing in cities, i.e. the construction, by the people themselves, of individual (family) houses. The latter, considered as anarchistic in the past, is more appreciated today, from different viewpoints (cost, feasibility, management, etc.) However, the possibility of grouped housing could simply be left aside, in view of the urban growth rate and the enormous allotment problems. Therefore, the author's modest contribution, based on an approach taking into account history and the socio-cultural needs and which uses a small empiric opinion-poll, has as its principal merit that it shows that the opinions of the population differ sometimes very strongly from the findings of the planners, the occidental urbanists and the local authorities, and that a possibility remains of an economically and culturally acceptable concept of grouped housing.