Semester-long U-Serve Tackles Resilience in the Bahamas

UM News, 02-21-2020

Bahamas Resiliency


During the Fall semester and again more recently, Dean el-Khoury and other faculty members met with their University of the Bahamas counterparts, engaging in conversations on how to collaborate most effectively in the reconstruction process. As a product of those conversations, rather than a one day of service, the School has undertaken a semester long U-Serveinitiative, with the goal of producing ‘user-friendly building design sets’ to be submitted to Bahamian leaders, non-profits and families. The designs by SoA students will provide simple templates for different building types and their uses. Over half of SoA’s students are involved. Professors leading these initiatives include Jaime Correa, Edgar Sarli and Eric Firley in the undergraduate core design courses, and Professors Teofilo Victoria, Ricardo Lopez and Visiting Professors Manuel Clavel and Terrence Riley in upper level design studios. The courses are or will tackle an array of topics and sites, including housing options, the introduction of resilience hubs/emergency shelters, and a masterplan for an existing historic community. These efforts are expected to culminate with tangible outcomes and efforts to facilitate sustainable and resilient building methods in the reconstruction efforts.

University of Bahamas Architecture faculty and students have been invited to participate in the end of semester final presentations and beforehand to interact with SoA students. In addition, these efforts have been coordinated with the UM Office of Hemispheric and Global Initiatives as well as with colleagues from across the campus, including the School of Engineering, School of Communications, and the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and the university-wide Faculty Adhoc Group focused on Post-Hurricane Dorian Reconstruction.