Haiti Update: Reshaping Ravines

Haiti has seen improvements since the 2010 earthquake. However, persistent challenges remain. Dave Hampton, architect and international development consultant for natural and built environment integration, writes about one in particular: ravines.

Compelled to action by the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti in 2010, architect Dave Hampton joined Architecture for Humanity and J/P Haitian Relief Organization. He lived and worked in Haiti from 2010 - 2012 helping to reconstruct the country. He recently returned to Haiti and writes ". . . after having left Haiti to return to the United States, travel a bit in South America, and now back in Haiti, I see some notable changes in Haiti’s capital city: a (more) modern airport arrival experience greets the visitor. More public spaces are either accessible or are being improved. ‘Tent cities’, for better or worse for the residents, have been removed from their former and very prominent locations near the now-demolished Presidential Palace, the formal axes of the Champ de Mars – a vestige of colonial French planning – and other public spaces."

"Ravines, however, despite some cosmetic efforts at community-led cleanups and municipal trash pickups, can still be counted on to belie both specific challenges and the broader challenges still facing Haiti: deep, (infra)structural, inherently tied to environment and ecology, and inextricably linked to the communities around them and the people who live there."

"The ravine is both a set of specific challenges in an urban environment and a perfect analogy for what has occurred and still occurs in this country where people and environment intersect. . . ."

Full Story: Haiti Update: Reshaping Ravines

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