Street section and Aerial

U-SoA Students Introduce Sustainable Villages to Haiti

By UM News

U-SoA Students Introduce Sustainable Villages to Haiti

By UM News

After the devastating 2010 earthquake, there was a movement to devise strategies to decentralize a still densely populated Port-au-Prince and develop rural and coastal towns and hamlets such as Akaye, 20 miles north of the capital.

Funded by a grant from the Kellogg Foundation, Fett and Sonia Chao, architecture professor and director of the University’s Center for Urban and Community Design, spent several years traveling to the region to assess the needs of the residents.

They held community forums and tabletop chats where they involved the residents in finding solutions to their communal problems. They wrote a comprehensive report in 2015 issuing recommendations for development in the region. Among the ideas residents and architects came up with was the creation of micro-businesses, schools, a medical clinic, and improvements to attract tourism.

The study caught the attention of the leadership at SUNY who will integrate some of its findings and suggestions on developing the Sustainable Village and Learning Community. The project will employ local Haitian builders and construction personnel, said Fett.