25/10/2011Chaotic urbanisation in a context where public authorities lacked the necessary planning and management capacity, poor people’s houses built in concrete in at-risk locations with inappropriate construction materials and serious defects – all these factors contributed to the terrible impact of the earthquake which took place on 12 January 2010. In order to help rebuild Haiti’s cities, it will be necessary to do away with certain dysfunctional aspects and inequalities which existed before. Building new cities would cost too much and so there is no alternative but to help communities and households to restructure neighbourhoods and rebuild safer houses: they are, and will continue to be, the main actors and funders of the reconstruction. This principle should be at the heart of a strategic and participatory planning process, coordinated at the levels of the neighbourhood, the Municipality and the metropolitan region of Port-au-Prince. This will be used to guide the reconstruction, prioritise projects and begin the necessary institutional reforms. Significant support from the international community will be needed to help the state and the municipalities to implement such a process.