Sonia Chao, associate professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Miami, talks about the potential scale of development and opportunities for Haitians in the Akayè region north of Port-au-Prince.

Founded in the wake of Hurricane Andrew, the University of Miami's Center for Urban and Community Design (CUCD) takes a collaborative approach to preserving and creating resilient, sustainable communities. For years the Center's Director, School of Architecture faculty member and architect Sonia Chao, has worked to build resilience in Haiti, knowing that weather events like Hurricane Matthew were inevitable.

Hear her describe that work in the video below.

Her 'Cane Talk, Building Resilient Neighborhoods in South Florida and Beyond, focused on the center's work to preserve the treasured historic architecture of South Florida's coastal communities.

Chao founded and leads the Resilient Miami Initiative, which engages faculty from several institutions of higher education and government officials to envision resilient design solutions for historic neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County. As as scholar committed to community practice, Professor Chao’s work informed sustainable rebuilding following Hurricane Andrew, and has she drawn on both modern and traditional building practices in a regional plan for the Arcahaie Province and schools and affordable housing in Haiti. Her work has gained the support of major philanthropies and government agencies. Chao will help lead the Resilient Redesign III Charrette for the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, which will gather local government agencies, academics, and professionals to focus on the future of five vulnerable neighborhoods in South Florida.