The Economic Corridors project seeks to identify targeted areas for small business reconstruction in Port-au-Prince. Every city has within it smaller communities that drive the economic life of the city–and every community has anchors that attract commerce and activity. Earthquake damage has shifted the economic landscape and new businesses, both formal and informal, are returning to life. As reconstruction funds are limited, the Rebuilding Center seeks to maximize impact by identifying those businesses most likely to facilitate a larger community recovery and helping them rebuild. By identifying a small group of economic drivers, we’re building an armature around which a community can grow back.
The Rebuilding Center is currently investigating six sites. The sites were selected to represent a mix of formal and informal economies and reflect not only historic conditions but the potential for future growth. Within these sites, small specific corridors were identified for full mapping: Route de Freres, Petionville, Kenscoff, Delmas 32-60, Canape Vert and Champ de Mars.
Mapping specifically identifies businesses (both pre-quake and post-quake), as well as varying rates of pedestrian & vehicular traffic. The demographics of each kind of traffic are broken out by age, type, time, etc.
Architecture for Humanity teams look specifically at the balance between formal and informal economies, as well as how far businesses encroach upon the public space of the street. Many economic corridors suffer from extreme congestion which is paradoxically the result of economic activity that becomes a barrier to future growth.
As the data is collected and analyzed, community level engagement will begin and targeted small business owners will be invited to apply for reconstruction services.
Frontline/The World June 2008