by Kevin Allman
You just knew he couldn't keep his nose out of this...
Dr. Edward Blakely, former Executive Directory for Recovery Management for New Orleans, lectured on urban disaster recovery strategies and crisis leadership to about 20 people in a discussion hosted by the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Blakely used examples from Hurricane Katrina to demonstrate how a society should recover from such disastrous occurrences, now including the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, if they want to be prepared for and alleviate future consequences.
Blakely first emphasized the importance of engineering. He said political figures often make promises of rebuilding without really understanding how the rebuilding process works.
We need to delay building in the present in order to obtain long-term goals for the future, he said. Recovery is very different from emergency assistance.
And if anyone knows about delaying building....
Blakely said the main goal should be to start with the future, not the past. He suggested that Haiti take its time coming up with a long-term plan, instead of just a quick fix that is likely to fail in the short term and cause future issues.
Why, Blakely, why? What did Haiti ever do to you? If you can't help those poor people, can't you just leave them alone?