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Re: [carfree_cities] Haiti

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  • 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 1 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?
      >
      >
      >


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