Liu Kang Marcus
The Carbon Collective: Decarbonising with Social Equity

Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Zhang Ye

With runaway climate change seen as inevitable in the foreseeable future, researchers warn that if the current trend of CO2 emission growth continues, we are too close for comfort to a climate tipping point. However, climate change and many of its mitigation measures tend to adversely impact poor communities, making them increasingly vulnerable. Slums are often located in high risk, unwanted and polluted spaces, facing the brunt of pollution alongside disruptions from climate change. With these issues in mind, the thesis explores embracing negative emissions by recycling CO2 as a potential measure harnessed both as a force to help the poor and as an effective measure against emissions.

Diving deep into a social perspective, the potential of carbon capture as a public good to build community resilience is explored. With rapidly growing populations and economies, Southeast Asia has been identified as one of the fastest growing carbon emitting regions in the world. Looking specifically at sequestration potential of slums in Southeast Asia, the thesis focuses on a slum in Jakarta - the region's most dense and polluted megacity, as the case study for the project. Through inserting nodes tapping on waste and carbon in left-over space in slum communes, residents are encouraged to participate in communal endeavours stemming from negative emissions; recycling carbon and waste for social good.

Strategy and Masterplan


The Penjaringan slum in North Jakarta is used as a case study in developing a phased intervention. Nodes are laid out in left-over spaces to link communities with resources. As these spill-over, they grow and impact more people over time. Existing waste allow the siting of algae farming and waste management for recycling and compost, allowing mussel farming in areas with less resources in the second phase. Such allows income distribution from initial resource-rich nodes, enabling different parts of the program to flourish. Centrally located and close to waste resources, Penjaringan and others are envisioned to be hubs of carbon reuse,  developing an ecosystem around carbon and the lives of the residents to empower communities while reducing emission

Collaborative Strategies
Tripartite Collaboration

Working together with governments and industries, alongside credit sharing, slums assume environmental stewardship, forming a closed loop economy stemming from CO2 reuse.

Governance Structure

Ground up intervention, with government recognition and funding and private industry investment and technology provision in exchange for carbon credits or offsets.

Systems Planning

Carbon capture together with the upgrading of slums can be envisioned as a phased development, triangulating on opportunities presented by the site for carbon re-use.


Most slum dwellers are concerned with baseline needs, relying on agriculture, aquaculture, or leaning on local markets as a cottage industry.


A series of four nodes serve as the focus of the case study; forming the framework and basis of the phased development and expansion of the slum's community across the site. Each intervention node taps on existing opportunities and resources found within the site, while value-adding to currently under-utilised or wasted spaces to better serve the community around it better.

Out of reach from the city’s waste disposal services, Penjaringan has to manage its own waste. Besides composting waste to emit CO2 to be absorbed by filters, recyclable waste can also be used productively. Passive sequestration using cost effective operable pulleys builds a foundation of communal participation. By addressing the waste pile between two sides of the community, it reclaims wasted spatial and social potential. 


The hub is a bridge, connecting the community while increasing the visibility of waste picking work and empowering them in their contributions to the community.  A double-volume work space for waste sorting serves as the central space of the hub, where interactions occur between sorters and the community that deposits waste, while allowing waste sorters a hygienic and safer place to work in.




Collective farming taps communal resources, allowing economies of scale for food security to inculcate mutual reliance and a sense of community. As the site is to flood by the next decade, living space is reduced, making communal housing necessary. By putting farms and housing together, algae farming is linked to routines of collecting water and waste disposal. 


Along a linear spine, the corridor is divided into 3 - a public social corridor, semi public spaces and private housing, demarcated through algae bottles, creating visibility and privacy by varying their density. In threshold areas, closer to houses, these serve as buffers for privacy and as spillover space for residential activity and public use.



Tapping on existing way of living, the node consolidates activities into one platform for leftover produce and food from produce markets nearby, while allowing hawkers and grocers in the community to sell to visitors - serving in bringing communities together. Green and open spaces alongside the carpark as a weekend bazaar creates an inviting space for visitors.

Hanging produce on beams also borrows from traditional market culture, reflecting a commonality embraced between communities through its typology. A community garden serves as a green commoning space for residents of the slum, linking produce market with composting, allowing for social bonding while functioning as a supplement food source 



Waste is recycled to produce textiles and materials to be sold, alongside local crafts. In the production space, the dock serves as a collection area for recyclables collected from river clean-up, leading to a central workshop space. The workshop provides equipment to be used to produce crafts and materials, with training of craft making skills.

The marketplace adjacent provides sheltered, open spaces for vendors; where commuters can observe both the production process while viewing the products. This emphasises the carbon-neutral approach of the community. In preparation for flooding, the marketplace is projected to expand, moving an existing grocery market on ground level to expand southwards on the deck