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Reconstruction Plan Could Dramatically Reshape Haiti

With the country is full recovery mode, urban planners in Haiti are releasing a strategy document that seeks to redistribute the population of damaged Port-au-Prince and to create a series of smaller urban centers throughout the country.
March 31, 2010, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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The set of guidelines seek to pull people out of earthquake prone areas such as the nation's capital. Its far-reaching goals could dramatically reshape the country, according to New York Times Architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff.

"Prepared by a group of urban planners from the Haitian government agency responsible for the country's development, the plan is built around a bold central idea: to redistribute large parts of the population of Port-au-Prince to smaller Haitian cities, many of them at a safe distance from areas most vulnerable to natural disaster. In the process the plan would completely transform Haiti from a country dominated by a single metropolis to what the planners call a network of smaller urban 'growth poles.'"

The guidelines are still in a nascent stage, and Haiti's fate will ultimately have a lot to do with economic and political developments beyond the scope of planners."

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Published on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 in The New York Times
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