Rebuilding for a better urban future

The official blog of UN-Habitat's response to Typhoon Haiyan


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A step towards recovery for Guiuan

Working Group during the Charette (c) UN-Habitat Lara De Castro

The municipality of Guiuan, assisted by UN-Habitat and UNDP, conducted its first major recovery and rehabilitation planning charette, paving the way for one of the hardest hit municipalities to chart its overall direction and specific strategies towards post-Haiyan development.

See related story: Guiuan: First struck by Typhoon Haiyan…

The charette was a blend of brainstorming, workshops, and technical inputs based on local knowledge and community action. More than 75 participants—from the local government, business sector, civil society, academia and people’s organizations—tackled four “key result areas” (KRAs) that were tagged as possible entry points towards rehabilitation and recovery. The KRAs, namely Social Development, Economy, Environment, and Infrastructure, stem from UN-Habitat’s Emergency Response-Recovery-Sustainable Development Continuum. The said framework was recently named by the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Recovery and Rehabilitation (OPARR) as the preferred approach in Haiyan-affected areas.

The charette participants laid out Guiuan’s pre- and post-disaster scenarios for each KRA, drawing from existing plans as well as post-disaster assessments. The context-setting exercise also built on previous activities that Guiuan and UN-Habitat jointly conducted, such as climate change and disaster risk vulnerability assessment, community action planning, and other technical inputs. It allowed the municipality to assess their present situation from the combined lens of land and water use, sectoral development, and existing and potential hazards.

Guiuan - limited self recovery adjacent to city hall (c) UN-Habitat, Bernhard Barth

Immediately after the charette, the stakeholders organized themselves into the Guiuan Recovery, Rehabilitation and Sustainable Development Group (GRRSDG). The GRRSDG works to align current Haiyan responses with the municipality’s recovery and rehabilitation goals and targets. It aims to direct resources towards the most rational and appropriate activities, both sectorally and spatially. The municipal government leads the GRRSDG, with the local chief executive, legislative council, and UN-Habitat acting as the steering committee.

The GRRSDG generally follows the institutional structure used in the mandated local planning process. This ensures a seamless transition from rehabilitation to regular planning and development at the local level. UN-Habitat continues to support the municipality through process facilitation and technical advice, under its joint programme with UNDP.

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Second planning charette held for Tacloban’s recovery and rehabilitation Plan

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The local government of Tacloban City with support from UN-Habitat and UNDP held a second planning charette to brainstorm and discuss strategies for the spatial development of Tacloban in order to address emergency, recovery, and long term rehabilitation needs. It was the second in a series of charettes (referring to an intense period of design of planning) intended to inform the formulation of the Tacloban Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan (TRRP) after Typhoon Haiyan. It was attended by roughly 50 representatives from the city government, national agencies, local and international humanitarian organizations operating in Tacloban, as well as urban planners and other technical professionals.

The results of the charette will serve as inputs to the development of spatial strategies and plans for key areas of the city. UN-Habitat has partnered with the Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Reconstruction (ASSURE), a local group of volunteer urban planners and other technical professionals, and ARCADIS, a leading global design and engineering firm (through SHELTER – the firm’s partnership programme with UN-Habitat), to provide technical assistance to the city in the development of these plans.

See related news article: Only 11 mayors submitted ‘Yolanda’ rehab plans–Lacson