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Haiti

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  • chbuckeye
    From what I ve heard about the destruction in Haiti, substantial rebuilding will be required. Are there people in Haiti interested in building a carfree city?
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 15, 2010
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      From what I've heard about the destruction in Haiti, substantial rebuilding will be required. Are there people in Haiti interested in building a carfree city?
    • Jason Meggs
      I hope relief efforts will include help with planning. I don t have a lot of data on Haiti, including levels of traffic in cities/towns, but know it is very
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 15, 2010
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        I hope relief efforts will include help with planning. I don't have a lot
        of data on Haiti, including levels of traffic in cities/towns, but know it
        is very poor and many buildings were improvised or poorly constructed, which
        is part of why they fell down.

        Perhaps urban design programs will do special studio classes on such a
        sustainability-minded rebuild. Well worth approaching professors with the
        idea.

        In the larger picture, disasters are crisis opportunities, the main venue
        for radical changes.

        As we grapple with the maddening social/economic resistance to survival,
        sustainability, good sense, it comes clear that only in crisis are the
        masses fully mobilized. Unfortunately, poor decisions such as Billions for
        Biofuels or the Patriot Act are often the result. Levies breaking

        Preparation for crisis opportunities, including putting plans and laws in
        place in advance, as well as preparing a political response, is key.

        Crises include:

        Climate change
        Peak oil
        Earthquakes
        Urban wildfires
        Tsunamis
        Economic collapse
        Floods
        Water shortages

        Here in the East Bay, San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA, the next
        major earthquake is expected to destroy 40,000 units of affordable housing
        due to, ironically, mandatory parking minimums. They're called soft
        buildings: propped on stilts over houses, they have no shear strength and
        topple over more readily than solid buildings. Attempts to bolster the
        buildings, or allow conversion of parking to housing, are slow at best.
        When these topple, what will happen? Real estate speculation,
        gentrification, etc. are possible outcomes, as well as overnight mass
        homelessness for the survivors. Just one of many upcoming disasters which
        could be planned around.

        Earlier this century I proposed a "Plan B Project" around issues of energy
        and resources; a laundry list of legal and policy barriers to sustainability
        practices which should be fixed which have been barriers, from gray water
        and prohibition of wind energy to restrictive covenances prohibiting drying
        laundry using sun and wind.

        Think if a truly helpful omnibus package were passed, allowing revolutionary
        improvements in our lives, just because we prepared in advance (since
        society is not effectively preparing to stave off threats like climate
        change, let alone protect public health and the environment in every day
        life).

        Jason




        On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 8:35 AM, chbuckeye <coleridge3150@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        > From what I've heard about the destruction in Haiti, substantial rebuilding
        > will be required. Are there people in Haiti interested in building a carfree
        > city?
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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