The first prize winner of the International Tropical Architecture Design Competition was an 11-storey marvel featuring hydroponics, water harvesting technology and built using recycled building materials, waste plastic and glass bottles.

Indonesia’s cities are the fastest growing in Asia, but for some of the millions that moved into the expanding metropolises from the countryside, dreams of a better life have turned sour.

Indonesia’s urban land grew by 2,100 square kilometres – thr](/storage/app/media/cropped-images)ee times the size of Singapore – from 2000 to 2010, according to the World Bank. However, Indonesian cities have lagged behind in infrastructure spending, with infrastructure stock growing only 3 per cent, despite average economic growth of 5.8 per cent in the mid to late 2000s.

As Indonesia’s urban population growth outpaces growth in infrastructure and job opportunities, illegal housing has sprung up on river banks, forming slums. Migrants who have been farmers their whole lives found it hard to secure jobs in the city.

Conscious of their plight, two groups of Indonesian architecture students have conceived two infrastructure designs that aim to provide urban farming work for jobless migrant workers in Bandung, the capital city of West Java.

Created over a two-week period, the student designs impressed the judges at the International Tropical Architecture Design Competition, who awarded them the top two prizes during Singapore Green Building Week at the International Green Building Conference (IGBC).

The competition was jointly organised by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC).

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