Tagged: Country City Service

Three New Essays

I have been running around so much the last month or so that I neglected to post links to three essays that were recently published.

First is this meditation on the immediate aftermath of January 12th’s earthquake in Haiti that appeared in Next American City

Moving forward from Tuesday’s earthquake will not be easy, but is not impossible. After all, while it may seem that progress is a distant relative to most Haitians, it is a relative nonetheless.

Second is an essay that was part of a forum initiated by the Social Science Research Council where I explored the significance of public service in Haiti’s upcoming recovery:

In Katrina’s aftermath, New Orleans became a virtual laboratory for a broad array of social service initiatives, resulting in unparalleled reforms of the city’s educational and housing infrastructures. It is not clear what the future holds for Haiti. Haiti has long been ahead of New Orleans as far as the number of non-governmental organizations operating locally, and after the earthquake this number will increase exponentially. However, what cannot be understated is that the desire of Haitian Americans and international allies to get “on the ground” is second only to the desire of Haitians to rescue their relatives and neighbors from the rubble and figure out ways to survive this latest catastrophe.

Finally this post for Social Text’s Periscope blog analyzes the earthquake within the here & there paradigm that I have been investigating for the past year:

Now, having been reduced to its capital city, which recently crumbled into itself, Haiti is neither here nor there. Political maneuvering that once made life here treacherous and progress elusive has come to a grinding halt. With countless members of Haiti’s parliament presumed dead in the earthquake and its capital city in ruins there is barely anyone around and anyplace to carry out the political maneuvering that for many years had made public service a life-threatening occupation, the long-standing political ills that Haiti had once been synonymous with are no longer here nor there as everyone squarely focuses their attention on earthquake recovery and survival. There go the immediate hopes of the island’s tourism board, retiring baby boomers, real-estate developers and investors who had elected to cast their buckets on this island.