FAVACA: Aquin Trip Report

FAVACA: Aquin Trip Report

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Country: Aquin, De Sud, Haiti
Volunteers: Alan J. Woolwich, AICP, Senior Planner, Brevard County Planning Office
Tom Jackson, Seascape Productions and Stars & Stripes Charters
Sheila Mullins, Planning Consultant and Former Mayor of Key West
Dates: December 8, 2002 through December 15, 2002
Recipient Organizations: The Haitian Resource Development Foundation Director & Staff.

U.S. AID, Haiti

Scope of Work:

  • * To provide technical assistance to Haitian Resource Development Foundation in the creation of a Town Master Plan for the Town of Aquin.
  • * Conduct a mapping exercise and inventory of existing conditions, natural resources and other limiting features to determine appropriate development and redevelopment locations.
  • * A comprehensive digital videography of Aquin from the marine ecosystem to the highland areas. The projects will result in data and materials that will be used for further project planning, education, and fundraising activities in the Americas and Europe. For more specifics and background please see the attached Town Master Plan recommendations made by FAVACA planning volunteers in 2000 for Aquin.
  • * To further the planning, design, and renovation efforts of the Town Square and structures in the town center and surrounding neighborhoods. The Town Square known as La Place d’Armes d’Aquin is formally a coastal wetland area with stagnant water and is a source for mosquito proliferation and malaria that kills many children under the age of 5. The urban square needs significant filling and engineered drainage improvements.
  • * Educate public and private development project coordinators about environmental planning, design, and construction methods along with identifying local eco-tourism opportunities.

Results and Impact of Assignment:

The FAVACA project team spent each day in the field with the Haitian Resource Development Foundation (HRDF) in the Town of Aquin becoming familiar with the Town and the director of the HRDF Dr. Aldy Castor and his staff and the Foundation’s programs to date.

The team discussed and evaluated the structure needed for the creation of a town master plan. The planning team provided examples of similar plans in South Florida and identified additional professional contacts in the areas of environmental protection and planning available in South Florida. The team also provided information on known local environmental contacts and potential project funding sources that the HRDF can also work with in Haiti.

Collected mapping and video data of the town and surrounding rural and natural areas for the creation of the Aquin Town Plan and other communication and marketing projects for use in Haiti and the United States.

The Team Recommends that the HRDF Should:

  • * Create a detailed budget and implementation strategy for the Town of Aquin Plan.
  • * Acquire the equipment and technical assistance to necessary to effectively complete and execute the complete plan and proposed projects.
  • * Acquire additional consistent funding from local, national, and international sources.
  • * Begin to create strong local partnerships with successful and respected international environmental nature tour and adventure tourism organizations and professionals and bring them to Town of Aquin the de Sud region.

Follow Up Required:

Additional FAVACA missions with trained planning, civil engineering and construction team members should be assembled to provide technical assistance to the HRDF for the completion of the Town of Aquin Master Plan and priority projects. These include the Town Square Improvements, Urban Drainage Repairs and Roadway Corridor Improvements.

Individual Town Master Plans du Sud Region

Data and Analysis Development for

Town of Aquin Plan

The final planning process should result in a complete individual Town Master Plan for Aquin giving direction for future land uses that minimally include, Residential, Mixed Uses, Commercial, Industrial, Institutions, and Public Facilities. This would be the basis for the creating of potential zoning districts and zoning codes if so desired.

It is critical that the data analysis section of the town master plan clearly identify current ground water resources, aquifers, acquifer recharge areas, springs, well fields, floodplains, floodways, storm surge and coastal high hazard areas, steep slopes, freshwater and marine wetlands and watercourses, and any existing or potential brownfield sites recently mapped and video tapped. These items will be the leading determining factors in the safe and sustainable siting and design of major public and private infrastructure and future industrial uses.

The Town of Aquin Master Plan can then be used to complement a regional plan created to deal with joint community interests and needs on Transportation, Ports and Airports, Public and Private Utilities, Environmental Protection, Disaster Prevention, and Economic Development.

The final individual town master plan should follow these basic principles:

  • * Develop a very graphic, clear, and visually oriented master plan with broad-based citizen and business leader involvement and support;
  • * Create zoning, building, and reasonable historic preservation codes;
  • * Establish, beautify, soften, make safe and maintain a diversity of public spaces;
  • * Make and enhance great streets, boulevards, and lanes that have a comfortable balance between the auto, buildings, and pedestrians;
  • * Fill the village or town center with buildings and active uses. Eliminate or improve derelict buildings, abandoned uses, and debris;
  • * Build and redevelop at a human scale;
  • * Continue to build housing in the village and town center concept, including mixed uses. Choose industries carefully and locate future industrial areas within reasonable walking and bicycling distance from the town center;
  • * Establish a friendly and identifiable presence and feeling of security on all streets;
  • * Create continual funding for infrastructure construction and long-term maintenance.

These are fundamental design principles for future private buildings that town building and zoning codes should encourage and require:

  • * Buildings are aligned and close to the street;
  • * Buildings form and protect private open space;
  • * Buildings have front porches and balconies;
  • * Buildings are designed for towns and villages;
  • * Property lines are physically defined by fences, hedges, and garden walls;
  • * Vehicle storage, garbage, and mechanical equipment is away from the street;
  • * Building architecture responds to and reflects the regional climate and culture;

Daily Activities Summary:

All Activities in Port-Au-Prince and Aquin-Les Cayes vicinities.

Day 1 AM: Travel to Haiti. PM: HRDF Introductions & Meetings.Day 2 AM: HRDF Staff Meetings. PM: HRDF Research and Meetings.

Day 3 AM: HRDF Staff Meetings. PM: HRFD Site Visits.

Day 4 AM: Field Research and Notes.

Day 5 AM: Field Research. PM: Field Research.

Day 6 AM: Report writing PM: Travel Home.

Day 7 AM: Travel Home. PM: Travel Home.

Persons Consulted With:

Aldy Castor MD, Foundation Staff, and Residents

1492 Sandpiper Circle

Weston, Florida, 33327

Phone: (954) 659-7953

Fax: (954) 659-7957

Robert Anglade of Sogeci S.A. 509-255-7436

Glenn R Smucker, Ph.D. Antropology 414-483-7504

Roger Dunwell, Villa Creole

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The Haitian Resource Development Foundation prioritizes programs that enable and empower various Haitian locales to further personal and collective independence. Engaging in a range of programs over 20 years, the HRDF continues a commitment to providing measurable results for program beneficiaries and program benefactors. Working with multiple international partners from North America and Europe, the HRDF is committed to fundamental improvements in Haitian villages to ensure greater economic vitality in the near future.