The Great Debate UK

Haiti: Beyond the conventional redevelopment paradigm


Alexander Vollebregt-Alexander Vollebregt is Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology and Head of the Urban Emergencies Programme. The opinions expressed are his own.-

At the request of President Rene Preval’s Strategic Advisory Group, several members of Delft University’s Urban Emergencies Centre are now working with the Haiti authorities to assess how post-disaster urban redevelopment can support the rebuilding process in Port au Prince.

We believe what is now urgently needed is a paradigm shift in current thinking and methods in order to facilitate sustainable reconstruction in the country and indeed similarly disaster effected areas.

Since the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010, international organisations, aid and money have flooded into Haiti; the government itself having little control over the reconstruction efforts.  This disjunction between the local, governmental and international organizations could hamper any significant long-term reconstruction and development, creating a post-disaster transitional environment that never transitions.