International News

A new architecture prize for projects in conflict or post-conflict situations

The EME3 International City Award, which seeks to promote and disseminate best practices in urban planning in countries in the South, has created a new category for architectural projects that are the result of the demands of organised indigenous people and which are the result from post-conflict situations with municipal disintegration. This time around, the award focused on the Mediterranean, and the three finalists were the refugee camps in Tindouf (Algeria), the Rafha Mapping Project (Palestine/Egypt) and the School for Bedouin children on the West Bank (Palestine). The latter was the winner and the prize was awarded in Barcelona to the Italian NGO Vento di Terra and the group ARCò - Architettura e Cooperazione.

The unusual feature of these schools is that they were self-built by local people, using simple techniques and mostly recycled materials. They are built based on sustainability criteria, with minimal environmental impact and enable the buildings to be dismantled without generating any waste, and reusing all the materials. Its architectural quality led to the receiving an Honorable Mention from the Renzo Piano Foundation.

The Israeli army has repeatedly called for its destruction to take over the territory, which has received media coverage in numerous international media such as the Washington Post, Haaretz, Al Jazeera and El Mundo. It is to be hoped that this award will ensure the project's continuity.