I’m at the point in my grad-school experience where I have to put together and carry out a supervised research project. The SRP, as it is more simply known, is a sort of ‘thesis lite’, with less writing but more hands-on work. Having worked in disaster relief and reconstruction in the past, I have decided that I will be going to Haiti for several months to work on a research project related to urban planning and disaster relief.
My planned departure date, at this point, is less than two months away and the amount of work which I still have left to do is considerable. I’ve narrowed my potential field of research down to two ideas… The first has to do with how new technologies can be used to facilitate communication on the ground in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster between local planners and emergency responders, area residents and international experts, while the second relates more to how pre-disaster planning can incorporate the identification of sites for refugee camps, relief and aid infrastructure, and temporary supply warehousing. The aid influx which followed this year’s earthquake wound up bogging down quickly in part due to the lack of up-to-date maps of Haitian cities, plans for the removal and disposal of rubble, and a somewhat haphazard and impromptu establishment of scattered ‘tent cities’ throughout much of Port-au-Prince.
Of course I’m also thinking of carrying out a side project on streetart and graffiti in Haiti. I’ve really been starved for time streetart-wise since this semester began, and the idea of documenting and writing about Haitian street art fascinates me. Then there’s the possibility of a collaboration or two…something to help bring attention back to the situation on the ground.
I’m also planning on setting up a bit of a donation drive to cover project expenses (including transportation costs and vaccinations). I’ll likely be producing a limited-edition small-run multicoloured stencil print (possibly a run of 30 or 40) and putting it up for sale. More updates on this project will follow as things unfold.
e: This is why I love Roadsworth…
I’m also hoping for a Posterchild response to Rob Ford’s election