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How can housing construction programmes be contextualised?
Carolyn Garcia & Vincent Trabaud

Faced with the many different types of anti-seismic housing built after the earthquake of 12 January 2010 in Haiti, this research looks into the possibilities of promoting and optimising local construction know-how in re-housing programmes. It also argues that the specific characteristics of local architecture can increase ownership and durability in the post-emergency context.

On 12 January 2010, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, officially causing 225 000 deaths and displacing thousands. Buildings and infrastructure were very badly affected. In Port-au-Prince, the capital, the damage was particularly severe due to the density of the buildings, but the impact also extended to provincial towns and rural areas in the Ouest and Sud-Est départements.

Large-scale mobilization by the international aid sector brought emergency relief, helping to remove bodies and distribute basic necessities to the population (water, food and tents). Emergency relief continued for months before the transition to what was referred to as the “post-emergency” phase. Numerous international aid projects with varying degrees of durability and adaptation to the context were launched during this half-way stage between relief and development.