- Ministry of Urban Development and Housing
On April 16, 2016 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake (Richter scale) struck the coastal cities of Ecuador; the coastal cities of the provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas suffered the worst devastation after the event. In response to this disaster, the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MIDUVI) of Ecuador began reconstruction efforts to set up a medium and long-term urban planning recovery strategy under the framework of existing relevant planning instruments and legislation, and set up a roadmap to begin reconstruction of the affected housing stock and infrastructure.
As part of these efforts, 17 Comprehensive Urban Development Plans (PIDUs) (PIDU in spanish for Plan Indicativo de Desarrollo Urbano) were developed for the most affected urban settlements. These plans, developed based on a proposed UN-Habitat methodology, became the main planning instrument used for the reconstruction efforts in the affected cities. The main objective for generating the PIDUs was to provide inputs for the municipalities to help them plan their cities under a framework of resiliency and disaster risk reduction with a medium and long term urban and regional planning vision.
During this planning process, the PIDU served as a planning instrument that was used as a mean to plan for the immediate and future needs of the affected cities and to view emerging problems with a holistic perspective, especially on how the earthquake affected the coastal areas in north-west Ecuador. This perspective, allowed not only to consider how the earthquake affected physical infrastructure and housing stock, but also the direct impact it had on its population, especially vulnerable groups.
As the scope of the work evolved, concepts from the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) (especially #11) were included in the reconstruction strategies and objectives of the plan.
In this context, the Side Event will present the challenges faced in the planning process in response to the earthquake and the opportunities that urban planning offers when responding to a natural disaster. Presenting this case study opens the opportunity to showcase an experience that will be valuable to other regions that may face similar challenge in the future. The event will be very beneficial for the Ecuadorian government as a mean to receive feedback from experts regarding the implementation of comprehensive housing projects in the framework of Disaster Risk Reduction, as the government of Ecuador is currently embarking on the ambitious national housing Program Casa Para Todos, under the National Government Plan Toda una vida.
The event is contributing to the implementation of the NUA by presenting a case study of the use of a planning instrument defined as the PIDU. This instrument allows the planning and design process redevelop or reshape formal and informal urban spaces that were affected by a natural disaster and create cities that are socially just, sustainable, inclusive, well-connected, resilient and adapted to climate change.
The topics discussed in the event are relevant to SDG#11 'Make cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable