195don_Donga Town

Australia has been shielded from the global recession due to the frantic demand from a fast-industrialising China for commodities. Australia is the world’s leading producer of bauxite and iron ore; the second largest producer of alumina, lead and manganese; the third largest producer of brown coal, gold, nickel, zinc and uranium; the fourth largest producer of aluminium, black coal and silver; and the fifth largest producer of tin. When times got tough, Aussies “just dig deeper”.  Mines are found in isolated contexts, a long way from the city stock exchanges and so mining companies claim to make huge efforts to keep workers comfortable and happy when living five weeks out of seven, thousands of kilometres away from their families. These efforts are seemingly manifest in the ‘donga’: a transportable modular building (read bedsit) that has its own air-conditioning system, ensuite bathroom, television, desk, wardrobe, chair, telephone and internet connection.

Listen to citizen Trent talking Donga

Of course, Australia is not alone in its pop-up urbanism. Corporación GEO, a leading affordable housing builder in Mexico, makes homeowning dreams a go for low-to middle-income families and workers in 33 cities across 19 states.  GEO designs, constructs, and sells horizontal planned communities…


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