Conference paper

On fast transition between shelters and housing after natural disasters in developing regions

This paper presents the findings from an international workshop that brought together various NGOs, rebuilding coordinators, private sector leaders, engineers, and academics to discuss methods and issues related to fast reconstruction in developing regions affected by natural disasters. Natural disasters in developing regions often destroy homes and, together with economic conditions, force people to live in temporary shelters such as tents. Experience shows that rebuilding is often a long process because of issues related to land rights, evacuation of debris, standing building safety, coordination between local authorities, government organizations and NGO’s, etc. In order to debate on the matter, the following themes were selected for the workshop: • Stimulating local economies, involving the local unskilled workforce • Meeting basic needs, fast and safe rebuilding with appropriate materials; particularly considering the use of steel as a building material. • Adaptable construction, ways between affordable transitional shelters and sustainable long-term housing. Discussions on these three themes led to consider the particular problematic of rebuilding in urban settings. Fast rebuilding technologies suitable for high density urban environments are needed, as well as strategies for implementing such technologies in environments where construction methods are tied to habit. In this context, the idea of promoting a multi-story, multifamily, locally fabricated shelter concept for fast rebuilding in urban environments is explained.

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