|Thursday, June 25|
The Road Back Home: Rethinking and Reflection of Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Taiwan Indigenous Community in the Past Decade
* Yuhsuan Huang, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Japan
The indigenous people of Taiwan are now facing difficulties passing down traditions due to the post-disaster housing reconstruction (PDHR) project. By applying systematic literature review and fieldwork interviews, this research aims to provoke the rethinking and reflection of the dilemma in cultural heritage faced by indigenous communities and the subsequent effects of PDHR in the past decade. A serious typhoon hit southern Taiwan in 2009, causing large communities of people to lose their houses. The government rapidly set standards for PDHR, that was, setting up new communities based post-disaster housing rather than temporary shelters. However, most of the victims were indigenous people living in mountains, who followed the unique lifestyles of ancestor. With little consideration of the indigenous culture, the new community housing creates three main problems. First, the material used in the building and architectural appearance were a sharp contrast to their traditional houses. Secondly, the newly built community housing served no other functions, such as farming, handcrafting, etc., other than just a shelter. More specifically, residences were forbidden to do any commercial activity. Thirdly, the location was far away from where they previously lived. Losing connection with homeland causes a fault line on the culture. In conclusion, although it was priority to provide the victims an immediate safe accommodation, it should be acknowledged that aspects of culture heritage could be lost due to the inconsiderable post-disaster community housing planning. A new and safe place without connection with culture cannot be called a “home”, but just a “house”. Likewise, the reconstruction was just a “re-location”, not a “re-settlement”. Living in the new community may lead to lose the precious culture and to disrupt the path for the future generations to go back home.
Mapping positive change: a case study to simulate a slum-prosperity agenda for inclusive urban development
* Aisha Abubakar, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
The population in slums is currently over 1 billion and set to double by the year 2030. Any attempt to tackle challenges and advance the life they can afford needs to be reframed so that they become contributors to prosperity, in themselves, and their wider urban context. This paper puts forward the Slum Prosperity Framework (SPF) that aims to approach slums as a source of potential for appropriately targeted improvement towards prosperity. Slums are in general a first and many a time, permanent port of call for their inhabitants. Their development and population growth are often tied to wider urban contexts, defining a two-way socio-cultural/economic/political relation. Slums are complex physically, spatially, socially, economically, also often hosting entrepreneurship and capital resources. Any form of intervention on slums should, therefore, start from a comprehensive definition of their character by compiling a slum property map (SPM). The properties will include those that describe the slum’s name, place, physical structure, functions, procedures and agencies, processes, people’s behaviours and personality traits. On this basis, and through network analysis methods, intervention is then planned through a process, which matches resources, needs, and assets (triggers) to chart a progressive path of fulfillment. One that is, however, responsive to patterns of change in time, allowing slums to thrive and henceforth prosper. An application of this process is presented through the case of Garki village, Abuja. The case study proves the SPF with SPM is useful: in building jointly-agreed interrelating facts about slums in a non-exclusive, organised, and dynamic way; in engaging stakeholders to use such knowledge and collaboratively identify strategic paths of engagement relative to slums’ potentials for prosperity, context-specific goals, and incremental action design; and, in enhancing local stakeholder capabilities. This prototype will soon become a workbook for stakeholder implementation in collaboration with experts and local communities.
Housing Redevelopment- A Band-Aid Solution or a Sustainable Practice? : Lessons from Slum Redevelopment Policy in India
* Uchita Vaid, Cornell University, United States
About a billion people in the world are living in slums today, which are characterized by poor housing with crowded conditions, unsafe building structures, and inadequate access to infrastructural services such as water, sanitation, and drainage. Slum redevelopment has been adopted as a strategy to improve these living conditions. This paper examines the assumption that redevelopment of slum settlements results in improved housing quality in short- and the mid-term, by conducting a longitudinal study of an in-situ redevelopment policy in Ahmedabad, India. Under an in-situ redevelopment policy, low-rise apartment-style housing is built on the same site where slum settlements were originally located. I conduct a pre- and post-redevelopment (2.5 years post-redevelopment) assessment of housing quality in a settlement that underwent redevelopment, along with a control group wait-listed for redevelopment. This quasi-experimental study design helps to conduct a “place-based person-centered" evaluation by adding a physical environment lens to existing evaluation lenses which focus largely on socio-economic consequences or implementation processes. I use a mixed-methods protocol that employs a standardized observer-based housing quality assessment tool to identify specific aspects of housing quality that improve/deteriorate post-redevelopment. I also conduct in-depth interviews and focus groups to understand the changes in housing quality. Another key element of this study is not only to evaluate immediate improvement in housing quality but also to investigate its sustainability over time. Thus, it further compares the housing quality of a redeveloped community at two time periods, 2.5 years post-redevelopment and 8.5 years post-redevelopment to explore changes in housing quality in the medium-term. Our analyses reveal an improvement in housing conditions, in the short term, but settlements show higher levels of deterioration in the mid-term, especially in structural quality and maintenance. The paper has important policy implications, as it indicates areas where housing redevelopment is not sustainable and needs further improvement.
Bridging the urban-rural gap in facilitating Local Economic Development: The case study of a district municipality in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
* Ayanda Makhaye, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Cecile Gerwel Proches, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Municipalities are still challenged by issues of poverty, unemployment and inequality, which hinder the realization of growth and development within the country. As mandated by the Constitution, municipalities must promote and facilitate Local Economic Development (LED) within their locality. However, municipalities cannot undertake this function alone, consequently, collaborative effort is needed among all local stakeholders within the municipality to promote LED. The aim of this study was to investigate how to bridge the urban-rural gap in facilitating LED within a district municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and provide an understanding of this phenomenon. The qualitative research method was used to collect data from purposely selected participants through in-depth open-ended interviews. The data collected through interviews was themed and categorized using the thematic approach and then analysed. The results revealed that there were gaps in the understanding of LED planning, facilitation and implementation along with gaps in resource planning and provision within the District. The study also revealed that numerous stakeholders were relevant in facilitating LED within the District. It is recommended that the District improves on service delivery and infrastructure provision, especially in the more rural areas, to enable access of opportunities and create a platform for stakeholder engagement, with the inclusion of traditional leaders to help drive LED facilitation within rural areas.