Re: [carfree_cities] Haiti
- 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
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.
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
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
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