UN-HABITAT is joining hands with the Institute for Urban Design in New York to carry live a debate on the Haiti crisis which promises to give new insights into how the country is recovering following the deadliest earthquake in living memory and the need for urban planning in disaster recovery. The debate will be streamed live on this website starting 1.00 pm, New York time.
The experts are going to press home the fact that, despite emergency shelter needs, Haiti’s long-term economic and social welfare depends on a comprehensive approach to planning for a more sustainable future.
In a statement, they said it is imperative that the rebuilding process must seek to transform the country’s built environment, not just replace it. With the help of many countries, NGOs, and its own rich diaspora community, the Haitian government has developed the outlines of a post-earthquake action plan, the Action Plan for the Reconstruction and National Development of Haiti.
Using this plan and its corollary, the Post Disaster Needs Assessment as a starting point for discussion, the Institute for Urban Design and UN-HABITAT are planning a major conference on June 4 focused on long-term and sustainable rebuilding in Haiti.
The earthquake measure 7.0 magnitude struck Haiti on 12 January claiming more than 100,000 lives, flattening buildings, neighbourhoods and much of the country’s infrastructure.
The Institute for Urban Design and UN-HABITAT will convene architects, planners, public health specialists, representatives from NGOs, and government officials from both Haiti and the United States to identify specific needs, and develop an action plan to address them. The conference is designed to leverage the incredible experience of the design and planning community to help build back better in Haiti.
Leading this important discussion is Leslie Voltaire, the planner heading the Haitian government’s Reconstruction Team and others including experts who have worked in similar disaster zones. They are:
- Ami Desai, Foreign Policy Advisor, Clinton Foundation
- Patrice Nevil, Director of Infrastructure, Partners in Health
- Chris Williams, Washington DC Representative, UN-HABITAT
- Louis Herns Marcelin, Director, Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development Haiti (INURED)
- David Mulet, Project Coordinator, Organization of American States (OAS)
- David Evans, Chief Technical Advisor, UN-HABITAT Sri Lanka
- R. Steven Lewis, President, National Organization of Minority Architects
- Garry Pierre-Pierre, Editor and Publisher, Haitian Times
- Deborah Gans, Principal, Gans Studio
- James Dart, Principal, DARCH
- Toni L. Griffin, Adjunct Associate Professor, Harvard University Graduate School of Design