In Memory of Bryans: It is with deep sorrow that we share the tragic news that Bryans Mukasa, an alumnus of our 2015 Global Environments Summer Academy, passed away on 14 July 2016 in the Amazon, where he was pursuing his dream of a just and sustainable world. Farewell, Bryans. You have now left us to build paradise.
I am currently studying for a Masters degree in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm under the Swedish Institute Scholarship programme. Prior to joining KTH, I obtained an education to be an Architect, a study experience which exposed me to the entire gamut of buildings and the environment, and the need to work towards a socio-ecological symbiotic future. My brief architectural work experience is characterised by architectural responses to human crises, which includes design strategies and slum regeneration. For instance, I had the opportunity of working with proposals for improving mobility within informal settlements with Shelter and Settlements Alternatives: Uganda Human Settlements Network (SSA: UHSNET), a local NGO working to empower urban dwellers living in the slums of Uganda.
My research interests are inclined towards “African Cities of Tomorrow”. This is informed by the need to create ways of making African cities more liveable amidst rapid urbanisation and threats from climate change. Specifically, I am interested in working with socio-ecological and resilience theories to explore how urban agriculture can be used as a tool for community resilience and food security among the urban poor. Additionally, through research, participatory design interventions and partnerships with grassroot movements, I hope to contribute to the possibility of using urban agriculture to create community cohesion and networks around which marginalised groups in slums can be organised and gain negotiation power within chaotic urban governance structures.
In regard to my aspirations towards forging desirable futures for the urban poor, I intend to undertake PHD studies in this research area. The potential of urban agriculture to catalyse community revitalisation and provide adequate food for the urbanite is an issue that requires investigation of the opportunities it presents to rapidly growing cities. However, of even greater importance to me is the belief that I can make a significant contribution to humanity. Through a combination of research, training, and participatory design, I intend to explore alternative ways of making African cities more liveable amidst climate change and rapid urbanisation.