More Rehousing Options from Readers

The Diva got lots of useful examples and citations from readers, such as:

  • Ikea brings flatpack innovation to emergency refugee shelters
    Swedish furniture giant has teamed up with the UN Refugee Agency to develop a longer-lasting flatpack shelter. [Thanks to Mary Tyszkiewicz for the link.]
  • Probably worth noting that these are used in Alaska for all sorts of housing. For example, the motels seen in “Ice Road Truckers” are made from shipping containers. [Thanks to John Plodinec.]
  • The link is to a short video on how Christchurch, NZ used shipping containers to reestablish retail quickly after their earthquake. [ Thanks to Thom Rounds.]

3 thoughts on “More Rehousing Options from Readers

  1. Shipping containers can be recycled in a variety of useful ways, and its great that’s started happening, and is now even “cool” to do – but they’re really not feasible for housing in extreme climates (like Haiti), or almost anywhere else, without mentionable modifications, retrofitting and additions, internal and external – with no small expense (or degree of expertise) attached. Shipping containers are shaped, sized and constructed for moving freight, not housing people, and human beings have very different spacial needs than material goods do.

    This hasn’t kept people from experimenting or having fun with them privately, or for unique “projects,” but that doesn’t make them suitable for disaster housing, and everywhere I’ve heard of it being looked into, it’s fairly quickly abandoned on any meaningful scale – which is why New York City Office of Emergency Management abandoned them in favor of a more modular concept. A lot of people were pushing the idea after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, but few places or climates are less hospitable or appropriate for them than Haiti, especially on the scale that was needed, and there were a variety of other options that were certainly more cost effective and potentially much more sustainable as well as desirable long-term. My favorite option is the Safe T Homes, but I’m sure there are others.

    Either way, they all tend to represent the kind of top-down, externally imposed solutions that almost never work in disaster relief and recovery – as compared to the bottom up, community and people-driven solutions that are much more likely to result in sustainable, long-term recovery and improved resilience.

  2. I know I’ve commented on this before, but I keep thinking about my recommendation for shipping container housing for Haiti following the earthquake there. The recommendation received no recognition from the Department of State, who could have made it happen.

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