Small communities formed through the chaos of Climate Change.

Images of houses consumed by flood after the recent flooding in India

The recent floods in Andhra Pradesh, India, was the result of a cyclone triggering a downpour of torrential rain, which highlights the growing concern surrounding the issue of flooding in densely populated areas. In addition, we are seeing a significant change in the ocean’s sea levels rising about 7 inches after 2,000 years of relatively little change, and can eventually reach 10 to 23 inches by 2100 if the current warming patterns continue. As cities constantly grow, whether in London or New Delhi, we need to start addressing the real issue of family homes having to adapt to our changing global climate.

Overview of how flooding can change the landscapes of which we occupy.

The results where the same after Katrina hit the Gulf region of New Orleans

In America, roughly 100 million people live within the coastal flood regions alone, so it is safe to say that death and loss of property will continue to play a role in the way we live in the future.  Therefore, when these forms of disasters occur, the aftermath tends to result in families being unable to quickly rebuild due to lack of appropriate insurance coverage. Usually, victims of such loss are left to fend for themselves and are only given tents and caravans as suitable accommodations until permanent forms of compensation can be produced. The question we have to ask ourselves as designers is what will be beneficial to mankind’s survival after a disaster strikes? It is common knowledge that even though tent cities are only meant to be a temporary solution, they end up becoming the permanent shelter for most communities situated in some third world nations. Although it is cheaper to provide tents, these structures provide little to no security for the fragile victims caused by these disasters. Consequently, today we are hearing about the atrocities that occur after such disasters. For example, thief, shortage of food, lack of hygienic facilities and worst of all rape which is a constant danger happening in these communities.

Tent City in Haiti two years after the devastation rocked that country.

In conclusion, as these communities grow and become more permanent, the families residing within these camps will continue to suffer under these inhumane conditions. Thus, for my first blog post I will like to share the harsh reality of what is happening across every known continent today and experienced by millions of people. We all have a duty as neighbours to help others if we can, but more importantly, as architects, to understand that we should encourage the development of affordable yet sustainable means of providing shelter after any future catastrophe that may occur as a result of climate change.

Bird’s eye view of the tent city in Haiti 2010


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