June 22, 2013
by Canadian Architect
Samuel Oboh, FRAIC, RAIC Regional Director for Alberta & NorthWest Territories, has issued the following statement regarding the current situation in Southern Alberta:
The RAIC Board, Alberta Chapter and its executives continue to monitor the situation regarding the flooding in Calgary and Southern Alberta. Our thoughts and prayers are with our members, families, friends and all residents of the communities affected by the floods.
While the latest reports from the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) indicate improvement, the RAIC Alberta Chapter would like to encourage architects and the architectural community at large in Alberta to continue to volunteer /assist wherever needed by utilizing their unique skills to help affected communities in these challenging times to recover from the disaster.
How Can the RAIC and its Members Help?
The RAIC recognizes the important role that architects and the architectural community in Alberta can play in disaster response. To this end, all RAIC members in the province are encouraged to plug into and work with the various disaster response community/government agencies coordinating disaster response – including the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA), CEMA, RCMP etc., to assist affected communities during the various response stages of emergency, relief and recovery.
Architects can help by using their skills and expertise in: assessing the safety of buildings, properties and assets affected by the floods; working to reconstruct damaged buildings, properties and assets; facilitating long-term comprehensive planning to enhance the physical fabric of the community; exploring the standards that guarantee built safety/identifying regulatory changes that may be necessary to mitigate the effect of future disasters; and facilitating the long-term recovery of the affected communities/neighbourhoods.
The RAIC encourages architects to use their skills to assist wherever needed and in so doing, position the architect as a civic leader whose capacities are vital to the recovery/redevelopment efforts of the devastated communities.
Envisioning a Positive and Imaginative Recovery Opportunity
As Calgary and the various Southern Alberta communities affected by the floods move from emergency/relief mode to recovery, RAIC members are encouraged to support/participate/take leadership role in the reconstruction/redevelopment of the devastated communities by championing and envisioning a positive and imaginative recovery opportunity.
With the recent appointment of three new regional recovery and reconstruction ministers by Premier Redford to oversee rebuilding efforts, the RAIC encourages members in the province to be active in the recovery efforts by visually and verbally articulating a positive opportunity to remedy underperforming aspects of the city/communities through measures such as comprehensive neighbourhood redesign, urban redesign, landscape redesign, preservation, appreciation of little-known assets, and where necessary, utility relocation.
To avoid duplication of recovery efforts, the RAIC will be reaching out to the allied professions and community leaders in the province (and beyond) to collectively support a post-disaster recovery effort resulting in the development of more sustainable and liveable communities in Alberta.
In conclusion, while thanking our members in the region for their continued support, we remind everyone in the affected communities to monitor local media for the latest information and emergency instructions. Please stay safe as the RAIC Alberta Chapter continues to advocate for responsible architecture and high quality design for better health and quality lifestyle for the public.
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