Since January’s earthquake in Haiti, the lack of stable shelter has been a serious problem for people in and around Port-au-Prince. Miami-based architect and urban planner Andrés Duany ’71 has designed one solution. According to a recent Miami Herald story, Duany has created a simple, inexpensive, and sturdy “Hatian Cabin” that could provide long-term housing for tens of thousands of Haitians. Made with lightweight and fireproof composite panels, the cabins provide sleeping space for up to eight people and can withstand an earthquake or a Category 5 hurricane, Duany told the newspaper. InnoVida Holdings, a Florida-based company, said it will donate 1,000 of the prefabricated homes to Haiti. The company also has raised $15 million in investment capital to build a factory in Haiti and produce 10,000 houses per year.
Duany and his wife, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk ’72, have been pioneers of New Urbanism, an international movement that seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment. In addition to his Haitian Cabin, Duany designed and built affordable housing for New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood in 2008, aiding the area’s reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina.
(Photo courtesy Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.)
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