Earlier this month, Architecture for Humanity, and various groups and individuals - from Former President Jimmy Carter, to architecture graduate students Amanda Pederson, Brent Suski and Emerson Stepp - celebrated around the globe an important moment in the reconstruction of Haiti. The Santo Community Development, a new planned community near Léogâne, the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake, officially broke ground on September 15, 2011.
Pederson, Suski and Stepp all significantly contributed to this project through their work with Architecture for Humanity in developing the master plan for Santo. Suski continued to participate in the effort through the summer with his work with SODADE, a Haitian planning firm.
"Working on the project at Santo has been an incredible experience," said Suski. "Having the opportunity to help expose and facilitate the vision of the community was both enlightening and rewarding. It will truly be a neighborhood made by the people that will be living there."
The Santo community will ultimately include 500 single family homes, two schools, a public marketplace, and a community sports center. By the end of November, 150 of the homes should be complete. Those residents hope to move in to their new homes before Christmas.
"The collaboration and community involvement process behind the Santo project was the most exciting aspect of our work in Haiti," said Stepp. "It was refreshing to see such collaboration and integration happening in such a productive way."
For more information, check out the write-up and video on the groundbreaking from Architecture for Humanity. You can also watch Suski and fellow grad student Abby Kurlinkus talk about Santo in cuts from the upcoming documentary Shelter.