Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 765–771 | Cite as

The Haitian housing dilemma: can sustainability and hazard-resilience be achieved?

  • Tracy Kijewski-Correa
  • Alexandros A. TaflanidisEmail author
Original Research Paper


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.


Haiti Rebuilding Hazard-resilience Sustainability 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Eberhard MO, Baldridge S, Marshall J, Mooney W, Rix GJ (2010) The MW 7.0 Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010; USGS/EERI Advance Reconnaissance Team report: US Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1048Google Scholar
  2. Farmer P (2011) Haiti after the earthquake. PublicAffairs, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Frankel A, Harmsen S, Mueller C, Calais E, Haase J (2010) Documentation for initial seismic hazad maps for Haiti, Open-File Report 2010–1067. USGSGoogle Scholar
  4. Government of the Republic of Haiti (2010) Action plan for national recovery and development of Haiti.
  5. Hausler E (2010) Building earthquake-resistant houses in Haiti; The homeowner-driven model. Innov Technol Gov Glob 5(4): 91–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. International Organization for Migration (2011)
  7. Jain SK, Lettis WR, Murty CVR, Bardet J-P (2002) Bhuj, India earthquake of January 26, 2001: reconnaissance report. Earthq Spectra 18:198–398Google Scholar
  8. Kerr RA (2010) Foreshadowing Haiti’s catastrophe. Science 237: 398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kidder T (2003) Mountains beyond mountains. Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Lindell MK (2010) Buit-in resilience. Nat Geosci 3: 739–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Macdonald I (2011) Disaster capitalism in Haiti leaves displaced with few good choices. ColorlinesGoogle Scholar
  12. Mix D, Kijewski-Correa T, Taflanidis AA (2011) Assessment of residential housing in Léogâne, Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake and identification of needs for rebuilding Earthquake Spectra. 27(S1):S299-S322Google Scholar
  13. Moyo D (2009) Dead aid: why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa Publishers: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First American editionGoogle Scholar
  14. Munich Re Group (2004) Megacities—megarisks, trends and challenges for insurance and risk managementGoogle Scholar
  15. Phillips N (2011) Haiti’s housing crisis: results of a household survey on the progress of president Michel Martelly’s 100-day plan to close six IDP camps. Institute for justice and democracy in Haiti.
  16. Rebuild Léogâne (2011) Community Planning Workshop Report, Notre Dame Haiti Program, 15–18 March 2011Google Scholar
  17. Shedlock KK (1999) Seismic hazard map of North Central America and the Caribbean. Annali Di Geofisica 42: 977–997Google Scholar
  18. Urzarski J, Arnold C (2001) Chi-Chi, Taiwan, earthquake of September 21, 1999: Reconnaissance Report Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, EERI no. 2001–02Google Scholar
  19. Youd TL, Bardet J-P, Bray J (2000) Kocaeli, Turkey, Earthquake of August 17, 1999: Reconnaissance Report. Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, EERI no. 2000–03Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracy Kijewski-Correa
    • 1
  • Alexandros A. Taflanidis
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering and Geological SciencesUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

Personalised recommendations