PechaKucha 2014a

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
VideoEmail I Website I LinkedIn I Twitter
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
VideoEmail I WebsiteLinkedIn I Twitter
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
VideoEmail I Website I LinkedIn I Twitter
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
VideoEmail I Website I LinkedIn I Twitter

Poster Final 101104

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
VideoEmail I Website I LinkedIn I Twitter


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
VideoEmail I Website I LinkedIn I Twitter


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
VideoEmail I Website I LinkedIn I Twitter


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
VideoEmail I WebsiteLinkedIn I Twitter


‘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
VideoEmail I Website I LinkedIn I Twitter


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
VideoEmail I Website I LinkedIn I Twitter


 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
VideoEmail I Website I LinkedIn I Twitter


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.

Australian (ACFID) Shelter Reference Group’s Annual Shelter Forum 2013

The first ACFID SRG Shelter Forum was hosted by Habitat for Humanity Australia on Friday 21st June 2013.  A pdf report summarizing the forum is available here while the agenda and audio recordings of each of the sessions are below.

Keynote presentation
  • Graham Saunders, IFRC: Current trends in shelter programming
Case studies
  • Dr Esther Charlesworth and Dr Ifte Ahmed, RMIT University: Scoping study – shelter and disaster risk reduction in the Asia-Pacific Region
  • James Schell, HFHA and Dr Ifte Ahmed, RMIT University: Building resilience of urban slum settlements – a multi-sectoral approach to capacity building in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Brett Moore, WorldVision: Culture, conflict and climate change: housing, land and property issues in stateless Somalia.
  • Rod Johnston, Partner Housing Australia: Resilience of shelter – minimum structural design for cyclonic wind, earthquake and tsunami resistance.
  • Kirsten McDonald, Arup: Urban climate change resilience (UCCR)
Breakout sessions
  • Tessa Kelly, IFRC: Regulatory barriers to shelter – housing, land and property issues, land use planning and building code enforcement after a disaster.
  • Graham Saunders, IFRC: What are the components that make up a resilient built environment?
  • Dr Ifte Ahmed, RMIT University: Community engagement driven processes to improve conditions in urban slums.
1. Welcome
2. Opening Remarks
3. Importance of Shelter
4.  Importance of Shelter (part 2)
5. Shelter and DRR
6. Regulatory Barriers
7. Community Engagement
8. Built Environment
9. Resilience of Shelter 
10. Resilience of Shelter (part 2)
11. Resilience of Shelter (part 3)
12. Conflict and Climate Change

PechaKucha 2009

On Thursday 5 February 2009 Arup and Oxfam hosted an evening of presentations and discussions focusing on the relationship between the built environment and development sectors.

  • 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.

1st UK Shelter Forum

The first UK Shelter Forum was hosted by Oxfam GB on 11.12.06.  The topic of this forum was Rising to the Challenge: NGO-Led Shelter Construction.  Speakers included:

  • Tom White, CHF: A Catalyst Approach to Housing
  • Vicki Wooding, Habitat for Humanity GB: Using Contractors
  • Elizabeth Babister, Oxfam: Beneficiary Led Reconstruction
  • Jo da Silva, Arup: Seismic Issues