Post disaster reconstruction, 1755 – 2014:
Have we really learned any lessons?

Reconstrucción post-desastre 1755-2014: ¿Realmente hemos aprendido algo?

Are there lessons to be learnt from past disaster reconstruction? This paper looks at two historical events and tries to make bridges to the situation 250 years later. It focuses on two very different events both of which created new ways of dealing with catastrophes, an earthquake that destroyed a world capital and a fire that destroyed a small rural town. While it is difficult to draw lessons from one historical period to another and from one situation to the next, it is disturbing to see that today we seem to be unable to live up to the proclaimed goals “sustainability” and “build back better”whenever a catastrophe hits.

 

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In 2005, SofoNic has started a dual education program for masons in Nicaragua, using its house-building programs as a base. Teaming up with the local technical school in Jinotepe they are graduating about ten masons every year since. Most f them have found jobs in construction or have started a business on their own. SofoNic has contracted several of them as master masons in the reconstruction programs in Haiti.