The Haitian housing dilemma: can sustainability and hazard-resilience be achieved?
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The present danger in the Haitian rebuilding efforts, outside of the extreme level of need that often encourages temporary solutions at the expense of long-term capacity building, centers on the assumption that sustainability and resilience are mutually exclusive. They cannot be if this rare opportunity to achieve meaningful long-term change within a country that has suffered for far too long is to be fully seized. This change can be realized only with appropriate policies and incentives that do not simply fund the re-implementation of vulnerable construction modes in an effort to meet immediate needs, but that foster the introduction of alternative structural systems with the requirement that they build genuine local capacity to deliver sustainable and resilient homes that meet Haiti’s cultural and economic constraints. This short communication reviews the important housing dilemma Haiti now faces, a dilemma with international extensions since researchers and construction firms from all over the world (including France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Japan, Canada, US) are involved, and presents thoughts for the importance of offering solutions that serve both ends of the economic spectrum, are hazard-resilient and truly sustainable.
KeywordsHaiti Rebuilding Hazard-resilience Sustainability
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