“Starchitects” and urban planners see the Haitian earthquake as a chance to “make it right.”
By Dayo Olopade (*)
Source: theroot.com, January 19, 2010 at 7:01 AM
Three days after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that sent Haiti from a developing nation to a flattened one, President Barack Obama addressed a statement directly to the people of Haiti: “You will not be forsaken, you will not be forgotten.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who cut short a trip to Southeast Asia and traveled to Haiti over the weekend, appeared with Haitian President René Préval to declare: “We will be here today, tomorrow and for the time ahead.” But one week after the earthquake that claimed up to 200,000 lives and destroyed the backbone of Haiti’s infrastructure, talk is turning from destruction and rescue to mourning and, inevitably, reconstruction.
Rebuilding Haiti will be a tough haul. Major institutions—the national cathedral, the presidential palace—lie toppled. Countless other homes, stores, office buildings and more churches have been reduced to rubble. Debris will need to be cleared before new structures can take their place. Those buildings still standing will need to be tested for safety. Making things worse, Haiti has a notoriously weak state—the sort that couldn’t enforce building codes, or prevent the deforestation that has left the soil unable to deflect routine flooding. Indeed, two-thirds of the buildings in Port-au-Prince were unsafe before the Jan. 12 earthquake. “The challenge for Haiti as compared to New York after 9/11, for example, is the institutional context,” says Diane Davis, a professor of urban planning at MIT who has worked on post-disaster reconstruction in several Latin American cities. “It’s very hard to project a timeline for rebuilding because the situation is so unstable.”
Yet many urban planners, architects and developers are seeing a silver lining in the near-total destruction of a major Haitian city. “It would be a small silver lining if in three years, we see a more sustainable Haiti, with energy efficient, healthy, disaster resistant buildings that makes the nation more resilient to future electricity shortages, public health crises and disasters,” says Matthew Peterson, CEO of Global Green, a sustainable development consulting firm with strong ties to the New Orleans recovery effort. Victoria Harris, CEO of Article 25, a nonprofit architectural consulting firm whose name derives from the United Nations charter naming the built environment as a human right, discussed the opportunity for Haiti to build a truly modern city on the ruins of what came before. “Buildings will affect what people need, want, do—and we want to ensure that they are technically serving their purpose,” she said. But “there is also a chance to build something that is valuable to the community.”
Haiti’s best chance lies in the lessons of history. After the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, recent mudslides in Columbia, earthquakes in Mexico, in rural China and in Nicaragua—not to mention the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast of the United States—a template for rebuilding in poor countries has begun to take shape.
Near the fourth anniversary of Katrina, President Obama asked Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan to convene a Long-term Disaster Recovery Working Group. Their interagency mandate, says Fred Tamar, senior HUD adviser and lead staffer for the group, was “to look at disaster recovery and what the federal government could do, working with state and local governments, think tanks and faith-based organizations to help communities impacted by disaster recover more fully and recover faster.”
The group, which reports to domestic policy chief Melody Barnes, is slated to deliver a report to Obama’s desk by April 1—and it has not limited its discovery process to domestic disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In fact, the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan—which, like Haiti, sits on a geological fault line—has been one of the major templates for determining “how to help communities wherever they are recovering from disaster,” says Tamar. “We are learning that … there is an opportunity in the building that Haiti is going to do to be resilient to those climate factors, to the hazards that are natural to that area.” Vice President Joe Biden, visiting New Orleans last week, promoted an innovative loan forgiveness program for Gulf Coast municipalities that were badly affected by the 2005 disaster.
These best practices could be critical to supporting Haiti’s redevelopment. But the bureaucratic silos that plagued the immediate efforts to save lives in New Orleans appear to be present in the Haitian relief effort as well. While the U.S. Department of State, particularly USAID, has been providing ‘round the clock food and water and rescue resources, and the Department of Defense has sent 10,000 American troops to help with logistics and security in Haiti, HUD must wait until it is explicitly asked to participate in that effort. (The State Department has yet to reach out). White House national security adviser Denis McDonough, who has been a point person in Port-au-Prince, says “that's just not an issue that we've been working with at the moment.”
Given the short-term chaos on the ground in Haiti, such dismissal might be understandable. But experts in the field of urban planning are already thinking about ways to build a better Port-au-Prince. Architecture for Humanity has begun fundraising for long-term rebuilding efforts centered on their “Rebuilding 101” plan for New Orleans. Habitat for Humanity will soon be on the ground, and Earthspark, a company promoting solar power in developing countries, plans to send over 50,000 solar lamps, mobile chargers, and flashlights to help in the rescue effort and lay tracks for a renewable energy revolution in Haiti. Peterson, of Global Green, would like to see an effort at reforestation accompany the new city blueprint. Davis believes urban planners must focus on social factors as well. “It’s an opportunity to rethink the city as a whole, how all the pieces go together,” she says. “The important thing is not just to focus on the physicality of the built environment but [on] Haiti’s poverty as well.”
The money problem may well be the largest obstacle to long-term sustainable redevelopment. While the Jolie-Pitt Foundation and celebrities from Wyclef Jean to Sandra Bullock have earmarked large sums of money for immediate relief efforts, state-of-the-art architecture and the “smart growth” blueprints embraced by visionary urban developers may be out of reach in aid-dependent Haiti. “I expect on an emotional level most people to just want back what they had before,” says Harris. “What’s key is that they don’t build it to the same quality.”
Yélé, Jean’s charitable and community development nonprofit, which has come under fire since the earthquake for its past accounting practices, had sought to invest in the type of 21st-century infrastructure discussed by urban planners before the Jan. 12 disaster. In partnership with the Royal Institute for British Architecture, Yélé was soliciting designs for a music studio and community center to be located in Cité Soleil, the poorest part of Port-au-Prince. John McAslan, a partner for the architecture firm sponsoring the competition, said: “My ambition is that young architects from around the world will be inspired to create some fantastic designs for the music studio and by doing so, help build a better future for the young people of Cité Soleil.” (The competition has not yet been put on hold.)
Similarly, the “Make it Right” program is building hypermodern, disaster-resistant affordable homes in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. Despite enjoying celebrity architects and A-list backing from the Jolie-Pitts, the “Brad Pitt houses,” as residents call them, have been criticized as overly ambitious and unevenly distributed. Pitt defends his model as exportable—able to “work in any climate, any condition, any culture around the world.”
Haiti’s government will have to toe this line between public and private collaboration, and balance the growing desire to build the lasting, disaster-proof infrastructure of the future with the urgent humanitarian needs of today. “This is an opportunity to rethink major urban development problems and national development problems,” says Davis. “I don’t mean to say the physical is not important, but it’s not everything.”
(*) Dayo Olopade is Washington reporter for The Root. Follow her on Twitter.
dimanche 21 février 2010
samedi 20 février 2010
jeudi 18 février 2010
jeudi 11 février 2010
Voici un document qui ne manquera pas de vous intéresser. Il fait 735 pages. La taille du fichier pdf est de 58 Meg.
International Building Code/IBC.
Voici un documents qui ne manquera pas de vous intéresser:
Travaux Publics et services gouvernementaux/tremblement de terre.
Il y a aussi de bons ouvrages. par exemple:
1) Éléments de génie parasismique et de calcul dynamique des structures, par André Filiatrault, éditions École Polytechnique de Montréal, 1996
2) Dynamique des structures - Application aux ouvrages de génie civil, par Patrick Paultre, éditions Hermes, 2004
WTC-911 photos NYPD/ABCnews.
mercredi 10 février 2010
10 février 2010
Il semble que les tentes ne soient pas la solution que voudraient retenir les amis d'Haïti car elles ne résisteront pas aux vents à la prochaine saison cyclonique et la saison pluvieuse qui la précède, approche à grands pas.
Par conséquent, il me paraît évident qu'une solution possible soit entre les mains des ingénieurs en génie militaire (donc les ingénieurs militaires américains et autres...) qui savent construire rapidement ponts, abris, ouvrages de protection, etc. quand ils sont en guerre...
Ces abris solides pourraient recevoir chacun, je l'imagine, plusieurs dizaines de familles....
Ces abris seraient construits en dehors des zones détruites, mais dans des endroits sécuritaires ou sécurisés (contre les intempéries de tous genres).
Les populations ainsi déplacées devraient s'attendre à vivre sous ces abris pendant de longs mois, voire une année à deux...Il faudraient alors que des écoles de fortune (provisoires) soient mises sur pied pour recevoir les enfants de ces familles déplacées; il faudrait aussi équiper ces zones refuges provisoires d'un certains nombre de choses pour rendre la vie des déplacés plus facile: ramassage des déchets, leur offrir des soins de santé physique et mentale adéquats, leur donner l'opportunité de se divertir, etc., et surtout, les informer des solutions à long terme qui seront envisagées pour eux (préférablement avec eux), dans les zones détruites à reconstruire ou à reconfigurer...ou hors de ces zones...
Alors que le gouvernement actuel (Préval-Bellerive) demande à Bill Clinton et à l'armée américaine sur le terrain de lui proposer une solution de ce genre qui satisfasse les critères de sécurité et qui présente un minimum de confort à chacune des familles déplacées.
Si la solution ci-dessus ne peut être implémentée pour une raison ou une autre, alors, il faudra que chaque famille prenne la décision de se rendre en province, chez des parents ou amis dans des régions qui n'ont pas été touchées par le séisme du 12 janvier 2010.
Il me semble que l'on doive oublier toute solution où les gens seraient restées sur ou près des décombres. Il faut quitter les zones détruites ! Quand ? Le plus vite. Comment ? Pour allez où ? Moi, j'ai proposé ci-dessus deux alternatives.
dimanche 7 février 2010
Voici comment les élèves de Cine Institute de Jacmel ont vu le séisme et l'après séisme.
Cliquez sur: Haïti-après séisme/Jacmel - Cine Institute.
Si vous voulez allez droit au but, cliquez sur: vimeo.com.
jeudi 4 février 2010
Photo: Le Soleil, Erick Labbé, 4 février 2010
(Québec) L'industrie forestière veut expédier à Haïti 2000 maisons préfabriquées, en bois, pour y aménager des quartiers pouvant résister aux séismes et même aux ouragans.
En conférence de presse, jeudi matin, à Québec, le Conseil de l'industrie forestière, le Bureau de promotion des produits forestiers et le centre de recherche privée FPInnovations ont dévoilé le projet, sans que tous les feux verts ne soient acquis, y compris le nécessaire financement par les gouvernements.
Les partenaires dans cette aventure ont pris soin de souligner qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une opération pour faire de l'argent. Comme le rapportait Le Soleil, mercredi, le bois sera fourni gratuitement; les usines fabriquant les modules le feront sans prélever un sou de profit; Ottawa et Québec seront appelés à financer l'acheminement du matériel et l'assemblage des unités en bois.
Selon les porte-parole, cela signifie que les industriels allongeraient 5 ou 6 millions $. Pour que le projet vive, les gouvernements québécois et canadien devront se partager une facture d'une dizaine de millions de dollars.
Il faudra probablement patienter pendant plusieurs mois avant que les constructions ne démarrent. La rencontre internationale prévue pour le mois de mars, à New York, sera déterminante.
Cette idée pour aider à la reconstruction a commencé à germer, au lendemain du séisme qui a dévasté Haïti, le 12 janvier. Au départ, il était question de concevoir une nouvelle génération d'abris d'urgence avec le bois. Ce matériau a la propriété d'absorber l'énergie, comme celle d'un tremblement de terre. Sa résistance est alors beaucoup plus grande que celles de l'acier et du ciment.
Au terme des échanges entre les industriels, c'est l'option logement qui a été privilégiée. Ce seront des maisonnettes, de superficie variable, pouvant servir à des fins communautaires.
Le pdg du Conseil de l'industrie forestière, Guy Chevrette, a fait valoir que le but est de former «des communautés locales», rassemblant les citoyens «à une échelle humaine».
Le directeur général du Bureau de promotion des produits forestiers - connu sous l'acronyme Q-WEB, pour Québec Wood Exportation Bureau - a insisté sur le caractère spontané du mouvement de secours qui s'est dessiné.
«L'industrie forestière (d'ici) va mal, a expliqué Sylvain Labbé. J'ai été surpris que les gens veuillent aider. Mais ils nous disaient, c'est pire chez eux!»
L'aide proposée peut apparaître marginale. Les 2000 maisons sont destinées à un peuple qui compte maintenant 1 million de sans-abri. Hervé Deschênes, le vice-président de FPInnovations, a plaidé qu'il faut briser des habitudes qui rendent les habitations vulnérables et font en sorte qu'Haïti n'arrive pas à briser le cercle de la pauvreté.
Le bois utilisé conviendra à la Perle des Caraïbes, a-t-on insisté. Il sera à l'épreuve du feu, des termites, de l'humidité, se sont fait dire les médias. Au sujet des ouragans, qui balaient fréquemment ces latitudes, Sylvain Labbé a assuré Le Soleil que, «si s'est conçu correctement, si les ?connecteurs? des armatures sont bien ancrés dans les dalles de béton, il n'y a pas de problème».
Le total de maisons pourrait être augmenté, ont signalé les porte-parole. Des contacts ont débuté avec les représentants des autres provinces pour participer à l'effort de reconstruction.
Guy Chevrette a vaguement évoqué la possibilité que l'initiative intéresse les grands producteurs de bois de la planète, comme les États-Unis, la Russie ou les pays scandinaves.
mardi 2 février 2010
Source: The New York Times
To scientists who study seismic hazards in the Caribbean, there was no surprise in the magnitude 7 earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, two weeks ago.
Except, perhaps, in where on the island of Hispaniola it occurred.
“If I had had to make a bet, I would have bet that the first earthquake would have taken place in the northern Dominican Republic, not Haiti,” said Eric Calais, a geophysicist at Purdue University who has conducted research in the area for years.
The fault that ruptured violently on Jan. 12 had been building up strain since the last major earthquake in Port-au-Prince, 240 years ago. Dr. Calais and others had warned in 2008 that a quake could occur along that segment, part of what is called the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone, although they could not predict when.
But about 100 miles to the northeast is a long segment of a similar fault, the Septentrional, that has not had a quake in 800 years. Researchers have estimated that a rupture along that segment — and again, they have no idea when one might occur — could result in a magnitude 7.5 quake that could cause severe damage in the Dominican Republic’s second-largest city, Santiago, and the surrounding Cibao Valley, together home to several million people.
“You can imagine the strain that has accumulated there,” said Paul Mann, a senior research scientist at the University of Texas, referring to the Septentrional fault. “It’s been going on for longer and accumulating faster. Therefore it’s going to produce a stronger earthquake.”
The recent quake on the Enriquillo fault and the forecast for the Septentrional are bleak reminders that the Caribbean is an active seismic zone, one with many hazards. Major earthquakes have regularly devastated the region’s cities, including the Jamaican capital, Kingston, which was destroyed twice in three centuries. An eruption of Mount Pelée killed 30,000 people in Martinique in the Lesser Antilles in 1902, and it and other volcanoes are currently active along that island arc on the Caribbean’s north and eastern reaches. Earthquakes and landslides along the Puerto Rico Trench, an undersea fault zone, have the potential to cause tsunamis.
The Haitian quake itself might have added to the risks, researchers say. Dr. Calais and colleagues and a team including Ross Stein of the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., have each calculated the stress changes on the Enriquillo fault that occurred when a 30-mile segment, centered in Léogâne about 18 miles west of Port-au-Prince, gave way this month. Although the results are preliminary, the work shows that stresses have increased just west of the segment and just east, within three miles of Port-au-Prince.
“This earthquake has increased the risk on other segments of that fault and perhaps on other faults as well,” Dr. Calais said. “The numbers are well within the range of stress changes that have triggered earthquakes on other faults.” But he said the quake probably did not increase the likelihood of a major tremor on the Septentrional fault.
The Haitian quake has produced a large number of aftershocks, about three times as many as quakes of similar magnitude in California and elsewhere, Dr. Stein said. But the intensity and frequency of those aftershocks have followed the patterns of other earthquakes, he said. Last Thursday, the geological survey issued a statement estimating that there was a 3 percent likelihood of a 7 magnitude aftershock in the next 30 days, and a 25 percent chance of one of magnitude 6. (On Wednesday, the area experienced a strong aftershock that was initially rated at 6.1 but was revised to 5.8.)
Of some concern, researchers said, was that none of the aftershocks have occurred in the area of increased stress nearer to Port-au-Prince, where ordinarily some might have been expected.
“One possibility is that these are simply calculations, and they may be wrong,” Dr. Stein said. “The other possibility is, O.K., this fault is fundamentally locked in some fashion, on pretty much all scales, and might be capable of popping off something large.”
In its statement, the geological survey cautioned that near the capital, “the fault still stores sufficient strain to be released as a large, damaging earthquake during the lifetime of structures built during the reconstruction effort.”
The region’s seismic activity is due to the movement of the Caribbean tectonic plate, which can be likened to a finger pushing its way against two larger plates, the North American and South American. Along the boundaries, the relative eastward movement of the Caribbean plate, at the rate of less than an inch a year, creates strike-slip faults, shallow fissures whose sides slide in relation to one another in an earthquake.
On the island of Hispaniola, which comprises the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Caribbean-North American boundary stresses are expressed in numerous strike-slip faults, including the Enriquillo and Septentrional, which are relatively long and roughly parallel.
“It’s a bit unusual to have two parallel faults like that,” said Uri S. ten Brink, a geophysicist with the geological survey in Woods Hole, Mass. “It may simply be that for some reason there was already a weakened area further south.”
Dr. ten Brink’s main area of research is the Puerto Rico Trench, north of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. This is a subduction zone — where the North American plate is sliding under the Caribbean, creating the potential for earthquakes and undersea landslides that can set off tsunamis.
“We’re trying to see if it’s a similar situation to the Sumatra fault,” Dr. ten Brink said, referring to the Indonesian subduction zone where a large earthquake in December 2004 created a tsunami that killed a quarter of a million people. Scientists have not yet found evidence of large subduction earthquakes on the Puerto Rican Trench, he said, “but that’s the $64,000 question.”
Because of the proximity of the trench to American territory, Dr. ten Brink and others have been able to obtain financing for their studies. But in other places around the Caribbean, research money has been hard to come by.
Haiti, for example, has no seismometers, meaning there has been no way to measure all the small tremors that might help characterize the Enriquillo fault. Researchers have relied on a network of 35 benchmarks to measure fault movement. Last week Dr. Calais, Dr. Mann and others were planning a trip to Haiti to make more accurate measurements for their stress calculations, and to install devices to monitor the fault zone continuously for a year or more.
Much of what is known about the seismic activity around Port-au-Prince has been gleaned from historical accounts of previous quakes. While far from precise, these accounts suggest a century-long, westward-marching sequence of quakes along the fault, beginning with one in 1751 in the Dominican Republic at the fault’s eastern end and including the 1770 earthquake that destroyed Port-au-Prince.
That raises the possibility that the Jan. 12 earthquake could be the beginning of a new sequence occurring over decades, with each successive quake redistributing stresses along the fault. “It’s certainly possible and it’s really something we’re very concerned about,” said Carol S. Prentice, a geologist with the geological survey in Menlo Park. Such sequences have been observed on other faults, including the North Anatolian in Turkey.
The Septentrional fault’s history is better known, largely because Dr. Prentice and others have done basic research on a segment in the Dominican Republic. The study involved digging trenches across the fault and looking for rupture lines in the sediments. By finding higher sediments that are unruptured, the dates of quakes can be determined.
Researchers said that more study was needed on the Septentrional and Enriquillo faults and elsewhere in the Caribbean, and that governments needed to prepare better for the inevitable.
There are already signs that the Haitian quake has prompted concern elsewhere in the region, at least among the general population. Dr. Mann said he was on Jamaican radio programs in the past two weeks to discuss the hazards.
“They know they’ve been destroyed twice,” he said. “They know their construction is not the best. All those things have put the whole country on edge.”
“The whole region is fearful.”
Note from the author.- This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: January 27, 2010 An article on Tuesday about seismic hazards in the Caribbean referred incorrectly to the Septentrional fault, where some experts had thought an earthquake might first occur on the island of Hispaniola. A long segment in the Dominican Republic, not the entire fault, has gone without a quake for 800 years.
lundi 1 février 2010
2.- Palais national - 2
«A large IDP camp sits directly across the street from the Presidential Palace.»
Partial collapse of rear of building and interior floors and ceilings, and damage to the roof. »
6.- Ministère de la Justice
«The Ministry of Justice has completely collapsed, crews began demolition.»
- Sight surveys of the structural integrity of 22 GOH office building were undertaken on January 20 & 21, 2010.
- They were alternately conducted by Mess. Lionel Grand Pierre, Chief Engineer for the Ministry of Planning, US Army Corps of Engineers’, Mr. Don Smith, Mr. Greg Hall, and SGT. Jason Jacot, USAID/Haiti Engineer, Mario Nicoleau, and OTI Senior Advisor Patrick Fn’Piere.
- The following bureaus, offices, and ministries were surveyed: Planning, Finance, Health, Public Works, Interior, Bureau of Tax, Palace of Justice (Supreme Court), Commerce, Tourism, Women’s Affairs, Justice, Haitians Living Abroad, Social Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Culture/Information, Agriculture, Environment, Education, Youth & Sports, Parliament, the Presidential Palace, and the Office of the Prime Minister. See Pictorial Inventory.
- Summary Findings: Of the 22 structures surveyed: 21 buildings sustained significant observable structural damage to walls, roofs, joints, or floors. 18 buildings had partially collapsed sections (including three buildings, the Ministry of Justice, Foreign Affairs, and Education had totally collapsed). 3 buildings, the Ministry of Tourism, Agriculture, and the Office of the Prime Minister are largely intact; however, they showed signs of severe exterior cracking and stress. And one building, the Ministry for Youth and Sport appeared to have suffered only minimal damages.
Le Coin de Pierre - Génie civil remercie l'internaute Réginald Joseph ( reginaldcompucas@yahoo ) de lui avoir transmis les images ci-dessus. Il reste quelque doutes sur l'identifiction d'un bâtiment, la DGI et d'une partie d'un bâtiment: le Ministère des travaux publics ou celui de la santé publique (l'une des deux photos).