If the president of Senegal has his way, the West African nation could one day be home to a model eco-town that mitigates the problems caused by both poverty and environmental degradation. The project is the brainchild of architect Nader Khalili, who pioneered a construction method known as “Superadobe,” in which sand and barbed wire are used to build beehive-shaped homes. The houses are flood-, hurricane-, and earthquake-proof, take advantage of solar and wind energy, and do not rely on timber for structural support — a critical factor for developing nations facing severe deforestation. Senegal, which was hit hard by floods in January, plans to approach the World Bank or the European Union to help fund the innovative eco-town.

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