Redefining the Lakou: The Resilience of a Vernacular Settlement Pattern in Post-Disaster Haiti
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The study shows the importance of the lakou, which is a spatial manifestation of the familial social structure in the Haitian culture, through the analysis of post-disaster temporary settlements, showing that through their own devices endogenous inhabitants create the lakou in post-disaster temporary settlements. The methodology was qualitative through interviews, observations, and site mapping, and qualitative coding was used to uncover the emergent themes. This study establishes the importance of the lakou in community vibrancy and demonstrates how the lakou adds to the resilience of the survivors living in such settlements. The unprecedented transformation of the lakou from a kinship based settlement pattern to a more inclusive non-familial pattern points to the importance of the spatial and social manifestation in the development of community in a settlement. It is conjectured that this resiliency factor can be useful in the process of turning a post-disaster settlement into a successful permanent settlement.