Sean O’Toole – Architectural Solutions To Slums And Earthquakes

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Mail&Guardian. August 2014. Seismic design is not a major theme in local architectural circles, and for good reason: we don’t have many earthquakes. But, in addition to  Tuesday’s 5.5 magnitude quake, there have been some significant incidents in South Africa. A walk through contemporary Tulbagh, a bucolic winelands village nestled beneath the Winterhoek Mountains, now offers few reminders of the devastating 6.5 magnitude earthquake that occurred there in September 1969.

While earthquake readiness is a marginal topic in local debates, where slum settlements and urban sprawl are hot topics, the 25th world congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA), which is currently taking place in Durban, has seen numerous presentations on the subject.
On Monday, Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, a nongovernmental organisation that delivers architectural solutions in disaster and conflict zones, spoke to a capacity audience about earthquake-linked projects in Haiti and Japan.

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