Across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United States, groundbreaking work is being done by small teams of outstanding professionals who are helping communities to recover from disaster and rebuild, bridging the gap that separates short-term emergency needs from long-term sustainable recovery.
Questions about the role and responsibility of architects in disaster recovery have been circulating since the Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in 2004. In the last decade, 200 million people have been affected by natural disasters and hazards. Ninety-eight percent of these victims are in the developing world, where billions of dollars in aid are absorbed annually by climatic and geologic crises. Those in the developed world are not immune, as extreme temperatures, intense heat waves, increased flooding and droughts expose vast numbers of people to the experience of the eco-refugee.
Beyond Shelter is a call to action. It features 20 generously illustrated reports from the field, written by the founders of some of the world's most provocative architecture and engineering firms and studios (Arup, Estudio Teddy Cruz, Urban Think Tank); accomplished nonprofits and research centers (Architectes de l'Urgence, Article 25 Development and Disaster Relief, the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University, Development Workshop France); and leaders of such prominent organizations as the Red Cross, UN-Habitat and the World Wildlife Fund. All of these people are on the frontlines of disaster prevention and recovery, in rural and urban areas alike.
Beyond Shelter presents projects in such diverse locales as Manila, New Orleans, Gujarat, São Paulo, rural Vietnam, Kashmir, the Gola Forest in Sierra Leone, Greensburg, Kansas and the village of Soba, outside Khartoum. Together they illustrate the reality that evolving risk requires new ways of thinking, and that architects have a leading role to play.
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