[Disclaimer] This is an area where a lot of rental units were destroyed. The grants allocated by Cordaid / Build Change to rebuild will not be sufficient to replace the same number of units as were there previously. AfH proposed a reconfiguration that would replace the same number of units, with the assumption that they will either be constructed incrementally or that additional money will be found through financing schemes with MFIs or materials suppliers. AfH is currently looking into various options for this.
Matthew Johnston, Frédérique Siegel, Laneau Jean Carmel, Jean Étienne Boisvert
(1) Reconstruction of 114C, 13A and 10A more or less in the same location with minor terracing.
Reaction: Owners agree with proposal.
(2) Reconstruction of 35A and 114A as attached buildings with 11A on second storey of 35A and 34A on 2nd storey of 114A. Free up space of 11A for children's playing area.
Reaction: owners 34A, 35A, and 114A were not present. Owner 11A was tentative about moving to second storey of another building. Long discussion ensued about whether it is legally possible for different people to own different storeys of same building. He finally agreed that in theory, he was ok with the idea, as long as his footprint was used as a play area and as long as the ownership issue is resolved.
(3) Proposed reconstruction of rental units in 115A. Depends on funding, not going to be supported by Build Change / Cordaid.
Reaction: Owner not present.
Mari Krakenes, Frédérique Siegel, Jean Étienne Boisvert
(1) rebuilding houses 86A and 98A as a two-storey building in order to get an internal courtyard;
(2) moving 75E onto the 2nd floor of 81B in order to free up some open space for them both;
(3) to extend the path that goes alongside the school through the lot of 82A so that residents inside the block can have acess from both main paths.
(1) 86A and 98A: Positive reaction. Mr. Jeanty was happy to share the building and the additional open space with his brother.
(2) 75E: Cordaid/ Build Change already release the money for this house and it has been completely repaired but fitted with a tin roof, because it is not built to a standard to support a 2nd storey. What happened here? Aren't all buildings supposed to be retrofitted to withstand a second storey?
(3) 82A: The residents agreed on the placement of the extra few meters of connective pathway as long as it would be closed at night to all except the residents who live along it. We told them it was up to them - they could decide amongst themselves to put a gate in front of it if they wished, but that would not be included in the Cordaid/ Build Change reconstruction grant. They were also in agreement about moving their house over a few meters so it would back onto the new path and free up the corner space for a garden.
Frédérique Siegel and Mari Krakenes, with the support of Cordaid CDC Laneau Jean Carmel, held a Micro Planning Validation for Zones 8 and 9 on Thursday November 17. This is the final step of the Charrette process, which is iterative, in other words it entails working with the community, stepping back and designing in the studio, and then returning to discuss ideas with the community repeatedly as the plans become more concrete. The Validation session entails presenting the plans and designs that have evolved over the course of that back and forth dialogue to the residents of each Zone in question.
Proposed House Designs
In these Zones, 5 houses are planned to be rebuilt: 54A, 112C, 87C in Zone 9 and 4A and 2A in Zone 8. Proposed designs for the latter 3 were well-received. The first 2 require further discussion, due to the larger issue of the creation of a new pathway, which the residents were categorically opposed to (see below).
In Zone 9, the design that Architecture for Humanity proposed involved the creation of a new connecting pathway from the main path located to the North of the Initial Phase (IP) area with the one that runs North-South along the Eastern edge of the IP area (see map attached). Currently there is a cul de sac in Zone 9. There is also a considerable grade change between Zones 8-9 and Zone 7. AfH proposed building a staircase at that point, and improving the staircase leading down alongside houses 146A and 145A. In order to ensure that the residents in that cul de sac would continue to enjoy the privacy of their courtyard in light of the new foot-traffic, AfH designed their house to have its back to the new path and an internal courtyard with a protective wall.
This was all presented and described to the residents of the two Zones, and it was well-received by most residents, in particular Mme Edith, who owns 53A, which is straddling the grade change, and would derive great benefit from that staircase. However, the two sisters who own houses 54A and 112C were categorically opposed to the through-way. They vehemently insisted that the new path would attract criminals and that their children and they would be under drastically increased threat of being robbed and held at gunpoint. Mme Aline noted that her husband was killed during the earthquake and that it was just the women and children, which put them in a particularly precarious position.
Laneau and Frédérique explained the many benefits of the pathway. Laneau pointed out that improving evacuation routes would increase their safety in case of another earthquake. Frédérique described how the house and its courtyard would be even safer and more protected than they are currently. Mari drew a perspective of the house and path, to give an idea of how the area would look. No amount of discussion would dissuade Mme Aline from the conviction that the new plans posed a security threat.
Frédérique wrote to Jean-Étienne Boisvert and to Gubert Saint Fleury in order to ascertain whether there is data on security problems in Villa Rosa. Key information that would help in planning, going forward, would be:
• Types of criminal activity predominant in Villa Rosa: Are women particularly vulnerable? How can we address this, perhaps by joining together the all-female households into physical clusters (gated courtyards?) with others that have trusted men who are able to act as an informal protection?
• Locations of areas with particularly high crime rates: This way we can analyze what the physical characteristics of those places are and find mitigating solutions, e.g. lampposts, “eyes on the street.”
In addition, Cordaid and Architecture for Humanity, together with the Comité, need to decide on an approach for dealing with situations in which there is a negative reaction to a plan that has been developed over the course of this participatory approach, and therefore reflects the priorities and needs of the community as a whole. Key questions to address:
• How can we relate with families that are reacting negatively to change in their environment, due to prior trauma (earthquake, violent crime…). Should we involve counseling?
• How to proceed in situations where one or two residents are blocking a proposal that benefits the entire community? Should the Comité be brought in to decide whether the proposal is important enough to override the wishes of a local resident?
Annotated map of proposals discussed during Validation session
On Thursday October 26, Mari Krakenes and Frédérique Siegel went to Villa Rosa for the 5th Micro Planning session with the residents, for Zones 2, 3, and 6. She went into each home and located the latrine and cistern, as well as asking whether there was a rainwater catchment system. She identified social clusters and instances of shared infrastructure. She also looked at rental units and the number of split units in the houses.
The Micro Planning revealed some discrepancies between the number of units being counted in the enumeration and the number on the ground. There were two lots in Zone 6, both belonging to collapsed buildings, that were not listed in the Cordaid files. Houses 24A in Zone 3 and 44A in Zone 2 were found to have 3 units instead of just 1. The unit breakdown for these zones are as follows:
The population of the area was found to have been 177 owners and 26 renters – 203 in total. Zone 2 is the area with the highest proportion of renters out of the 3, with 30% of the residents renting a unit and 36% of the units being rentals. The other two zones have fairly low renter percentages, hovering around 7% of the population and 10% of units. The average population density across the 3 zones is 5 persons per unit (a unit is usually a single room), which about average for the Initial Phase area.
Infrastructure and Social Clusters
Out of 40 units, only 16 latrines were found, 6 rainwater collection systems and 8 cisterns. That amounts to 1 latrine per 16 people, 1 rainwater collection system per approx 46 people, and 1 cistern per 44 people.
There are several instances of shared infrastructure. In Zone 2, the two units on the corner belong to an extended family and share a latrine and a cistern, which is broken. The occupants of the 3 units within 44A share a latrine, and their neighbors also use it currently (46A). In Zone 3, 76E and 41A are cousins and share a latrine with a third household (103A), which is of no relation. A third cousin, who lives next door, and her household (102A) share a latrine with the residents of the P-shelter (40A). Finally, in Zone 6, the owners of 27A and 104C, who are siblings, share the toilet of the T-shelter occupants (22A) who are of no relation. There is an instance where 5 houses used to share a latrine, however most of those are now collapsed and the latrine itself is no longer functional (49A, 108A, N6A, N6B, and 106A).
Zone 2 has mostly yellow houses in need of repair, with only 1 collapsed house (45A) and a yellow that was cleared (46A). In contrast, Zones 3 and 6 each have only remaining 2 yellow structures, and all the rest are either cleared or heavily damaged except for a single green structure in Zone 3 (77E). Most of the collapsed buildings in Zone 3 are located towards the inside of the block and nearer to Zone 7. Most of the buildings facing the main pathway (leading down from the basketball court to the water fountain) are still standing.
One building, one of the 3 units in 24A, has been rebuilt in Zone 3. In Zone 2, 139A is currently being repaired, as it has no roof. In Zone 6, 37A is under construction.
Due to the size of the 3 zones, instead of meeting with all of the residents together at the end, Frédérique met with each zone separately. In all three zones, the predominant issue was water. There is simply not enough water within the zone, and water storage is insufficient. Residents of Zone 2 also complained of the waste / flooding/ drainage problem along the border with Ste Marie.
In addition, in Zone 3, the owner of 102A asked about how Cordaid would be helping the many renters in the community who had lost their home, pointing to the people living in Golgota, which included relatives of hers. She also questioned why houses were being targeted for repair before collapsed houses would be rebuilt. She noted that she and others living in yellow houses could wait a bit longer but people living in precarious living conditions under tents (particularly when it rains) should be helped as soon as possible.
On Thursday October 20, Frédérique Siegel and Mari Krakenes went to Villa Rosa for the 4th Microplanning session with the residents, this time for Zones 4 and 5. She went into each home and located the latrine and cistern, as well as asking whether there was a rainwater catchment system. She identified social clusters and instances of shared infrastructure. She also looked at rental units and the number of split units in the houses.
Though the Cordaid enumeration found 21 units, the micro-planning revealed at least 29 units, of which 9 were rentals and 20 were lived-in by the owner. Some of the rental units are rooms within the owner’s house that are leased to another family. The population of the area was found to have been 87 owners and 33 renters – 120 in total, although some of those people are currently living elsewhere pending the reconstruction of their house. The average population density is 4,2 persons per unit (a unit is usually a single room), which is lower than the general average for the area, which hovers at around 5 persons per unit (it is updated with each micro-planning as the data is refined).
Out of 24 units, only 13,5 latrines were found, 11 rainwater collection systems and 5 cisterns. That amounts to 1 latrine per 8 people, 1 rainwater collection system per approx 10 people, and 1 cistern per 20 people. There are several instances of shared infrastructure. Houses 130A, 82D, and 49D share a cistern. 130A and 82D share a toilet, as do 32A and 81A, despite having no family relation with one another. Units 88A and 163A will be sharing a latrine once it is finished.
These two zones sustained relatively little damage. Only 4 buildings are red: 86A, 98A, 82A in Zone 5, and 115A in Zone 4. The latter is actually a compound that had 6 units, 5 of which have been cleared and one is still standing but damaged. Units 86A and 89A are owned by two brothers, Rilo and Frisnel Jeanty. They share a toilet and the use of the rainwater collected off the roof of the elementary school.
Two buildings are currently under construction: 33A, which was coded as red, and N4D in Zone 4, which was yellow. The residents of N4D have not been enumerated by Cordaid and could not be found for the micro-planning session. The residents of 33A have relatives in Zone 6 (aunt living in the plywood T-shelter and father living in 15A.
A high proportion of residents are (or were) renters. Some of them are no longer living in the area because the unit they rented has collapsed or been cleared. In these two zones, 31% of the units are rented out and 27,5% of the population are renters. All of the rental units are either red or yellow, in other words in need of repair or reconstruction. These data once again reinforce the need for a coherent policy aimed at renter, or aimed at encouraging and facilitation the repair and reconstruction of rental housing.
A group of most of the residents that participating in the micro-planning met up at the end of the session to discuss some of the overarching issues. Two issues were touched on in particular.
The first was the dearth of clean water and the possibility for a more widespread availability of rainwater collection systems and cisterns. Frédérique and Jean Étienne explained that Architecture for Humanity would be calculating the needs of each zone based on the population, as different size families would require different quantities. They also emphasized the need for people to come together and share infrastructure, and highlighted some of the complexities in managing and maintaining shared services.
The second was the lack of open space, particularly in Zone 5. As the area has very few red buildings, and the buildings on the inside of the block are for the most part yellow or green, there will be few opportunities for creating internal shared courtyards.
Nancy Doran and Frédérique Siegel went to Villa Rosa for the 3rd Microplanning session with the residents, this time for Zones 8 and 9, on Thursday October 13. We went into each home and located the latrine and cistern, as well as asking whether there was a rainwater catchment system. These areas sustained relatively little damage. In particular, 3 houses in Zone 9 require little to no intervention, and 3 green buildings in Zone 8 were not even enumerated.
The main changes proposed to the residents of these zones were the creation of two new paths:
(1) Connecting the NE corner of the Initial Phase area with the delimiting path to the East. This would require building a staircase, as there is a considerable grade change. The residents of houses 54A and 112C were not very happy about this proposal, as their courtyard would become open to the whole neighborhood. However those houses are red, so they could be reconfigured to have an internal courtyard, with the houses facing the new path.
(2) Connecting the Eastern and Western delimiting paths by going through the properties of 2A in Zone 8 and 145A, 54A and 112C in Zone 9. Again, they were concerned about people walking through their courtyards. But all of these houses are red so a new design for this cluster of houses could easily resolve this.
See "Microplanning Data" excel spreadsheet for all relevant data.
Natalie Desrosiers and Frédérique Siegel went to Villa Rosa for the 4th Microplanning session with the residents, this time for Zone 10, on Friday October 14. We went into each home and located the latrine and cistern, as well as asking whether there was a rainwater catchment system. The findings are collected in "Microplanning Data" excel spreadsheet located here:
Zone 10 was heavily damaged. There is only 1 yellow building that has remained standing since the earthquake: 10A. It is also currently home to 24 people, 18 of which are renters. One of the units is actually a tin shack, although on the CAD file it is represented as part of the structure. This discovery raises the ethical question of whether demolishing this building and rebuilding it with a Cordaid grant, which will yield only 1 unit for 1 family, is better than retrofitting the whole structure which currently houses 4 families.
In addition, 3 buildings are already being rebuilt, 2 of which are nearly complete: 23A (in construction), 73E (1st floor complete), and 114A (complete). This underscores the rate at which the neighborhood is changing already. It also shows that some of the owners have the means to rebuild themselves. The first two are sisters who have purchased the two plots from the former owners. This change of ownership needs to be reflected in the database.
The resident of 34A is related to a household in Zone 6, and her house faces that way, so it might be more logical to rebuild her house together with some from Zone 6.
On Friday September 30th, Frédérique Siegel and Natalie Desrosiers from Architecture for Humanity presented the outcomes of the Vision Charrette to the Villa Rosa community. The presentation took place in the École Bon Berger, which is located just outside the Initial Phase area. There was very good turnout. We presented 3 maps:
(1) a map of the key proposed pathways,
(2) a maps of the services, both built and social, that the group had shown on the map prior using stickers.
(3) a map of just the infrastructure services such as water, waste, energy (see below).
The community was in agreement about the location of the proposed pathways, in theory (it may not have been clear because of a lack of map literacy in the community). However several people expressed about homes or lots that would have to be altered in order to widen the pathways. A man at the back of the room stood up and said that these paths would make the neighborhood better for all residents, and that some people would have to make small sacrifices in order for all to benefit. He pointed out that it was unfair for some people to have large courtyards while the rest squeeze and climb through narrow and dark paths “like rats”. Many in the group nodded in agreement, and there was a noticeable change in tone amongst the audience.
For the services, we emphasized that many of the stickers had been placed outside of the initial phase, which (a) highlighted that the residents perceived the neighborhood to be too dense for many necessary services, and (b) that many of the residents did not perceive a boundary to exist so were hard pressed to locate services exclusively in the Initial Phase. We explained that the stickers would be used as a basis for the AfH team to program out the services for the area.
Several residents asked why nothing had begun being built yet, and why the process was going so slowly. Jean Étienne Boisvert of Cordaid helped us to explain that construction could not begin until the planning process had been concluded. We reiterated the risks and problems that had been identified in the Mapping Charrette and highlighted that we did not want to rebuild the same way as before, in so doing bringing back all those same problems. Rather we wanted to take the opportunity of rebuilding to improve the infrastructure for everyone. As the infrastructure is often physically located below the houses, it needs to be planned with the whole community, as a network, before the individual houses can be rebuilt. Again, people nodded revealing that the approach is beginning to gain acceptability among residents, as they understand the reasoning behind it.
Note: there was relatively little new information or progress to share with the community. For the next community presentation, we should bring much more material, particularly in the form of sketches, which illustrate how the changes will look. It is not easy for the residents to read maps of their community.
• Minimum house size is 18 square meters, living space. By the 3,5 meter grid.
• Every retrofit will accomodate for building a second storey.
• Keep at least 3 sides of a house free for the sake of natural ventilation.
• Keep in mind that depths of more than 5 meters (in this context), will not let air flow through buildings (natural ventilation)
• When households are proposed to move to floors located on top of each other they should belong to an established social cluster.
• Staircases should be located within the enclosed courtyards.
• Every house should have some private outdoor space. Even a small space is better than no space at all. It should be enclosed for security reasons.
• Smaller, private court yards is better than large shared ones, also in order to prevent new structures to pop up in places that should be dedicated open space. Should there be a minimum size for court yards?
• Thea ideal number of households attached to a court yard is 1 or 2.
• New latrines will be located within the court yards.
• 2 latrines for 3 households (?)
• All new built structures should come with a new underground concrete cistern. 2 households could share 1 cistern. Volume size of the cistern should be according to the number of occupants of each household. Estimated size based on: 60 L per person per day, with a 1-month buffer to account for droughts and heavy rain.
• Existing house structures could get new overground plastic cisterns, where there is less than 2 (?) meters to a latrine. No underground cisterns should be built next to pit latrines.
• There will be an overall improvement of pathways.
• Easy access to the houses must be emphasized. Think evacuation routes.
• People prefer dead-ends/ cul-de-sac paths to connective paths. Connective paths tend to be perceived as a potential threat. This is based on dialogue with the community. Keep peoples privacy in mind.
• Pathways should follow straight lines where possible, in order to avoid creating bewildering (and potentially dodgy) areas.
Solid Waste Management:
• SWM is just as much a management issue as a planning issue. Is training, awareness building and mobilization provided to the community? More info needed.
• Collection bins should be located next to major pathways with future municipal waste management in mind.
• There should be two different collection bins: organic waste (to composting) and general waste (to burning), sized according to number of residents in each zone.
• We assume plastic bottles and metal (that are recycled and generate income) to be collected and stored at household level.
• Incinerators should be planned into the services. More investigation needed regarding numbers of ovens and their location.
• Leftover-space in between buildings are ideal for collection points, but make sure there is space enough to maneuver.
• Collection bins could create the physical divider to enclosed court yards.
Water Collection System:
• More info needed.