UN-Habitat holds a collaborative planning session on the future of Haiti suburbPort-au-Prince, 19 November 2015 – UN-Habitat this week held the first of a series of charrettes – an intensive collaborative planning session involving citizens and other stakeholders – to discuss the current situation and the future vision for the suburb of Cannan.

Located on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Cannan experienced a surge in its population following the 2010 earthquake. The neighbourhood, which developed informally without sufficient infrastructure, now hosts a population of 200,000.

The rapid growth of the area coupled with the lack of a common vision for development presents a threat to accessibility, provision of housing and infrastructure, economic development, safety and the quality of life of the residents.

The charrete involved different National and Local Government institutions, private sector, community groups, NGOs, planning professionals and academia. It provided a forum for the participants to reflect on the current situation and present their ideas and needs for the development of the area. A “learning by doing” methodology was applied to map the main social, spatial, economic and environmental characteristics of the area.

This enabled the multidisciplinary working groups to draft a strategic vision and an urban structure for Cannan. The charrette, which was organized by the UN-Habitat Office in Haiti and the Urban Planning and Design Lab and hosted by the L'Unité de Construction de Logements et de Bâtiments Publics (UCLBP), also brought together many of the key international organization’s that work in Cannan, such as the American Red Cross, Global Communities and USAID.

These organizations work directly with the community and enhance the participative dimension of the planning exercise. The charrette has opened a floor for discussion that aims to foster the cooperation and dialog of different actors toward a negotiated vison for the future of Cannan. The second charrette will discuss the main issues and lessons learnt from the first charrette, and will result in the drafting of possible strategic and urban scenarios.