The fourth UK Shelter Forum PechaKucha, hosted by University College London, was held in London on the 24th April 2015. To apply for a place to present at the PechaKucha participants submitted posters. Using the PechaKucha format of 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds, ten speakers then presented their research into different aspects of shelter, settlements and disasters. Photos, posters and videos from the event will be available soon…
The third UK Shelter Forum PechaKucha, hosted by University College London, was held in London on the 12th March 2014. To apply for a place to present at the PechaKucha participants submitted posters. Using the PechaKucha format of 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds, ten speakers then presented their research into different aspects of shelter, settlements and disasters. Spot yourself in the photos here or watch the videos here.
Ana Gatóo, Cambridge University
The Philippines Sheltering Response: three months after typhoon Haiyan
This presentation focuses on a fieldwork conducted on the Philippines in February 2014. During the fieldtrip, different actors involved in the humanitarian shelter response (government, NGOs and communities) were reached. The aim of those encounters was to find out the main issues that the organisations are facing and how ‘ReFocus’ (a group of researchers from the University of Cambridge) could assist them in their sheltering programme process. The findings that will be shown in this presentation are part of a longer report, which will be available here.
Elizabeth Wagemann, Cambridge University
Implementing academic research: a pathway for impact
This talk focuses on the implementation of academic research relying on my research group’s experience. Academic research, driven by the generation of knowledge and innovative solutions, often do not share the aims and timelines of organisations involved in the reconstruction. Technical language does not harness the potential of research and outcomes stay in hands of specialists and libraries. Building on our report from the Phillipines after the Typhoon Haiyan, we draw examples of how to change the standard research model to enable a better flow of information and enhancement of the impact through partnerships with communities, governments and non-governmental organisations.
Catherine Crawford, UCL, and Alice Samson, Cambridge University
Dialogue between archaeology and humanitarian shelter: resilience in pre-Columbian house-building and repair
This analysis of a “Caribbean architectural mode” – recurring house features, evidenced through excavations across the Caribbean (1400 BP- 450 BP) suggested that fundamental change in houses were less frequent but renewal and repair more frequent and more curious than humanitarian conceptions allow. Dialogue meant going beyond details of individual house objects – isolated (archaeologists) or designed/uniform (humanitarians) – to modes, shared across time, between people, constituting and catalysing wider change; and to house trajectories relating to processes and scales, eg regional environmental change, that are in train before and continue after “humanitarian history” begins at the moment of disaster.
Josh Macabuag, UCL
Seismic Retrofitting in Rural Communities
One of the greatest causes of casualties in major earthquakes around the world is the collapse of non-engineered masonry buildings (those built without engineering input). A barrier to realising research in this field is the significant social and economic challenge of implementation in low-income communities, where non-engineered housing is prevalent. The aim of this presentation is to give an overview of some of the technical, financial and social aspects of development and implementation of seismic retrofitting techniques in rural communities. The presentation describes: 1) The development (testing and analysis) of a particular seismic retrofitting technique 2) A pilot-project for implementation of that retrofitting technique in rural Nepal 3) A field investigation in rural Peru into the successes and failures of previous programmes for the dissemination of retrofitting techniques/skills to rural communities. Further details are available here and here.
Julia Hansen, UCL
Capabilities in post-disaster housing
My research questions the capabilities of disaster survivors to participate in the recovery processes. The capability approach, developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, can recalibrate the post-disaster focus away from disaster survivors’ vulnerabilities and towards what they are capable of achieving. By looking at what people (as individuals and in communities) value about their homes, and the freedoms they have to achieve those things and ways of being, we can discern a “design capability” among disaster survivors that determines how well the housing recovery satisfies their needs.
Ryan Sommerville, Westminster
Preparing for post-disaster recovery: Open Data, Community and Built Environment Professionals
This presentation is a brief summary of current work by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, The World Bank, UN-HABITAT and others. It highlights the use of OpenStreetMap as an open source, crowd sourced platform to geo-reference data; at tool for participatory mapping. The presentation then suggests that there is a role for Built Environment Professionals to use (or assist in the use of) this methodology for participatory mapping of critical infrastructure. The data gathered will then inform emergency response following a disaster. This presentation also suggests there is potential to expand this methodology for use in early recovery. It is noted that further research is necessary to determine the current level of use (particularly by UN-HABITAT) and specifically identify areas of involvement for Built Environment Professionals to assist in pre- and post-disaster decision-making.
Vicente Sandoval, UCL
Questioning disaster risk and reconstruction: A multi-scalar inquiry
Disaster and vulnerability studies are often conceived within single-scale units, self-enclosed and delimited into specific spatial foci –urban studies, metropolitan research–, hence studies tend to neglect the geographical complexity of socio-economic and political processes involved in the production of vulnerability and risk at multiple scales. On the contrary, relief and reconstruction processes tend to be interpreted within a wider perspective, often as national or international concern. One of the hypotheses of this difference of approaches lies on the idea that post-disaster contexts set the opportunity for structural transformation; ‘disaster capitalism’ versus ‘building back better’.
Avery Doninger, Oxford Brookes University
‘Transition to What?’Evaluating the transitional shelterprocess in Leogane, Haiti
It is a critical time for transitional shelter (t-shelter) occupants in Haiti. Three and a half years (now 4) since the 2010 earthquake represents a critical juncture as typical t-shelters are only designed to last 3-5 years. As the structures erode, they will become increasingly unsafe for the occupants. This study evaluated the progress of the t-shelter process in Leogane, Haiti. Given the tremendous difficulties humanitarian agencies had in delivering shelter assistance in Haiti and given ongoing debates on whether or not t-shelters are an effective sheltering solution or detrimental to long-term recovery, an evaluation assisted in understanding current progress, challenges, and how the humanitarian community can immediately adapt efforts to improve the process and learn from this shelter response.
Martin Dolan, Oxford Brookes University
How was the ‘social urbanism’ of Medellin made possible?
The social urbanism of Medellin is being hailed as a miracle of urban design and slum upgrade. The city which was infamous as the most violent city in the world until the dramatic change of the last ten years under the progressive mayor Sergio Fajardo. Crime rates are no only 10% of what they used to be and the quality of life has risen dramatically. This presentation examines the physical, political and economic ways this was made possible, not all of them very conventional or ethical.
Pedro Clarke, Oxford Brookes University
Learning from Disasters: Lisbon 1755
How the 1755 triple earthquake, tsunami and fire devastated Lisbon and how the city (slowly) but surely reinvented itself.
Aditya Aachi, Architectural Association
Haiti: Simbi Hubs, IDP camps and Bamboo
Theoretical proposal for water and sanitation infrastructure in post earthquake Port-au-Prince. Exploration of the IDP camp situation. Architectural bamboo workshop in Port-au-Prince which took place in January 2014.
This event was organised by Victoria Maynard, Bernadette Devilat and Chris Sinclair with funding from the Public Engagement Unit at University College London.
The second UK Shelter Forum PechaKucha, hosted by University College London, brought together practitioners and researchers in order to share learning and develop networks for future collaboration. To apply for a place to present at the PechaKucha participants submitted posters. Using the PechaKucha format of 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds, ten speakers then presented their research into different aspects of shelter, settlements and disasters.
Caroline Brown, Cambridge University
Incremental Upgrading of Existing Shelters in South African Informal Settlements
As a result of Apartheid, there are millions of displaced communities living in South African informal settlements. Although Government launched the ‘In-situ Upgrading of Informal Settlements’ scheme in 2010, to date only a couple of prototype transitional designs have been developed – none of which address all the housing issues expressed by residents (i.e. extreme indoor temperatures, winter flooding, risk of fires spreading). Therefore, this research focused on assessing sustainable incremental upgrade options for the existing housing stock in these settlements – with the aim of substantially improving living conditions without employing the classical ‘eviction, destruction and rebuilding’ strategy normally used for slum-upgrading schemes
Elizabeth Wagemann, Cambridge University
Why have our designs not had an impact in practice?
Architectural practices, engineering firms, and manufacturers have been ingenuous when designing shelters without repercussion in the field. Why have these innovative solutions been widely published but not used? It is argued here that because they are trying to answer the wrong questions. This presentation will show a comparison of T-shelters developed in the past ten years in order to start a debate about the differences between used and not used designs. Based on my own experience I will discuss possible reasons for the gap between academia and practice, and will elaborate some ideas for a better collaboration and dialogue.
Julia King, London Metropolitan University
A house is a Machine for Shitting in
Housing and sanitation are often approached as two separate problems. With much debate surrounding the equitable and inclusive design and procurement of housing this often falls short of addressing how this connects with infrastructure. Schemes often represent sanitation as a dotted line assuming this will magically come. Little research looks at the existing housing economy through the lens of the provision of services. This presentation will present two projects addressing the role of sewerage and water in relation to the self-built informal and incremental housing stock which has come to define the mega-cities of the global south.
Bo Tang, London Metropolitan University
Negotiating Shared Spaces
Bo presented a classroom building project in a stone quarry worker settlement in Navi Mumbai, India as a case study for demonstrating the notion of architectural collaboration as a catalyst for civic empowerment and social change. At stake is a more concrete and nuanced understanding of the nature and settings of what is too-often generalised as ‘public space’. The provision of amenity buildings and post-hoc infrastructure creates situations of negotiation with constituents, who in turn develop a civic commitment and solidarity in the course of the work. These negotiations depend upon subtle and rich cultural contexts, which become evident during the course of the project, and which properly characterise ‘public’ in this non-Western culture. In this way the project is a vehicle of research and understanding, not an application of a theoretical approach divorced from the concrete conditions.
Rachel O’Grady, London Metropolitan University
Reconstructing Identity: Architectural Conservation for Civic Renewal
My research is relevant to any reconstruction or upgrading scheme working with an existing neighbourhood. Working within a ‘slum upgrading’ scheme in Agra, ‘cultural heritage preservation’ has been defined as one of six project goals by government. In terms of planning, monuments become the focus, but what is the real relationship between heritage and the physical environment? Rather than treating conservation separately to the other goals, looking at the whole project in terms of continuity and change could start a discussion with communities about what their environment means to them, which aspects of it support ‘community’, and which elements increase vulnerability.
Bernadette Devilat, University College London
Impact of emergency actions on heritage areas after earthquakes in Chile
Chilean heritage areas were the most affected after the 2010 earthquake (8.8 in Richter scale), mainly due to poor maintenance and scarce funding, but also because of applied reconstruction approaches. Among the decisions that produce more impact in them and in the long-term re-construction, are the emergency actions made just after the disaster, such as indiscriminate demolition and the application of money vouchers given directly to the inhabitants. This will be shown through the cases of Chanco and Paredones, in order to explore how it is possible to improve these actions by offering technical support in the right timing.
Francisco Vergara Perucich, University College London
Political Risk Reduction Before Mega Seismic Events
This presentation exposes the relevance of disaster management by governments in order to preserve their representativeness with people. The lack of reconstruction policies and aid in disaster cases becomes the first step towards the change of political party heading the nation. This statement is supported comparing the mega-seismic events occurred in Chile and the political consequences of those events.
Fatemeh Farnaz Arefian, University College London
Organising Housing ‘Re-Construction + X’
At present there is a gap in theory in that it lacks of a conceptual model or analytical framework for understanding and analyzing the reality of organising post-disaster reconstruction programmes, which are complex and usually encounter problematic practicalities. The research addresses this gap by investigating organisation design and management for post disaster reconstruction programmes which are participatory and aim to contribute to the future disaster risk reduction. The focus is on urban housing reconstruction programmes. The presentation will share some of the research findings alongside with some empirical examples from housing reconstruction in Bam which the researcher was a participant observer.
Katie Shute, Oxford Brookes University
Tradition and culture in post-disaster reconstruction:
A case study of the ‘lost’ fishing villages of Tamil Nadu
My research examines the relevance of tradition and culture in post-disaster reconstruction, through the use of a detailed case study: the fishing communities of Tamil Nadu, India. Meeting the cultural and social needs of an affected population are essential considerations to their wellbeing, and can have long-lasting and wide ranging implications upon their lives. The conclusions from the case study show that in many cases, the post-tsunami reconstruction was not suited to the livelihood, culture and environment of the fishing communities, and as a result they are now suffering from psychological effects, social tensions and permanent changes to their lifestyles.
Pedro Clarke, Oxford Brookes University
Walk, listen… Learn!
Sometimes you fall upon things. The talk will focus on the observation (and the findings) of a (short) 10 day initial research trip to Parque S. Bartolomeu in Salvador da Bahia, Brasil where we are working with a local organization on upgrading their current facilities and assisting as well as providing support on the programmatic side. The purpose of the trip was not to (formally or informally) evaluate anything, but knowing that I was going to be in an area where a large World Bank funded scheme was about to be completed I asked (and was allowed) to go and visit the project. The stories I was told and evidence I collected are obviously anecdotal, but the experience was eye opening!
This event was organised by Victoria Maynard, Laura Heykoop, Bernadette Devilat and Chris Sinclair with funding from the Public Engagement Unit at University College London.
- What can individuals in the built environment offer the development and humanitarian sectors?
- What can commercial organisations learn from NGOs, charities and volunteers?
- How do these worlds relate?
Using the Pecha Kucha format of 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds, 12 speakers shared their designs, thoughts and experiences of shelter. The event was attended by a mix of academics, humanitarian practitioners, policy makers and construction professionals and is thought to be the first of its kind in Europe. Money raised by the Pecha Kucha evening was donated to the UK homeless charity shelter.
The 12 presentations are summarised here.