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Born of 9/11, an Effort to Rebuild Shattered Haiti, N.Y. Times, March 2, describes a fascinating academic program, one that no one I know in the research community seems to know about. Seems like a great idea to teach those majoring in the development and real estate fields something about planning long-term recovery from disasters. Hopefully, the concept will spread to other universities. Here are some of the details from the article.
Mr. Stuckey, who in 2009 was appointed a dean of the Schack Institute of Real Estate at New York University, *** started to think how he could teach students the lessons he learned after 9/11. The result was a course on postcatastrophe reconstruction, now in its second semester, where students devise building plans, work on environmental and social issues, and create financing models for real-world projects.
The devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, provided an opportunity to put Mr. Stuckey’s theory into practice. Starting last fall, students at the Schack Institute began assisting on three development projects there.
The magnitude of the catastrophe in Haiti is unimaginable,” Mr. Stuckey said. “In that one 30-second earthquake, more people died than in the whole area impacted by the tsunami in Southeast Asia. Its grinding poverty, its proximity to the United States and the ability to get our feet on the ground quickly made it a perfect location for us to put our efforts to work.
Postcatastrophe reconstruction — which Mr. Stuckey defines as the period following a disaster from Week 2 to Year 5 — is an emerging field in development circles, and it gained momentum after the tsunami that shook Indonesia in 2004. While many organizations focus on disaster preparedness and the emergency humanitarian efforts that crop up immediately after the event, “there is a void that occurs in the interim period,” Mr. Stuckey said. “After the humanitarian aid ends, how do you transition to the rebuilding stage?
Unfortunately, the University’s website does not provide any details or any additional information. I guess the reporter dug it out of them!!
Thanks to Bill Cumming for pointing out this article.