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February 6, 2013   Posted by: Vanessa Leon

Expect the Unexpected (And Plan for It)

When the earthquake struck Haiti three years ago last month, for once in my life, I was without a plan. I knew that I wanted to actively participate (hence the start of Pinchina Consulting) but I also knew that improving communities in Haiti and in countries like it was no simple feat. I ultimately came to terms with the reality that the difficulty of the task is no justification for not making an attempt. Thus, making an attempt is exactly what we have set out to do.

In 2013, we are thrilled to be working with our client, Community2Community (C2C), within Petit Goave, Haiti. C2C has been instrumental in providing clean water to 16,000 people when the reservoir was damaged after the earthquake. Along with efforts to complete the water distribution system, restore the main road, rebuild a school and reforest the mountainside, Pinchina Consulting is working on the ground with C2C  to develop a master plan for the community’s long-term development. To learn more about C2C, watch and be inspired!

Additionally, I am delighted to be joining my urban planning colleagues from the islands at the Caribbean Urban Forum in Trinidad and Tobago next month. China’s growing role in Latin America and the Caribbean – especially in the Central American and Caribbean region – is a budding interest of mine and I will be presenting some of my research findings as well as offering recommendations for how the region engages with China moving forward. Stay tuned!

Lastly, in an unexpected twist, the United States Consulate in Yekaterinburg, Russia approached Pinchina Consulting asking for assistance on their city development needs (I know, right? Russia!) The city of 1.5 million people is a host city for the 2018 World Cup and is looking to make a bid for the 2020 World Expo. As the city expands, I will be working with the Consulate and with local leaders there to explore concepts of equity in planning as they look to address emerging social challenges resulting from this growth.

As you can see, this year is shaping out to be quite the year for us and the reality is, I could not have imagined a single measure of it three years ago. If there is anything that I have learned is to make peace with, and even enjoy, is the uncertainty that is life. I still set my personal and professional goals and benchmarks, but when the unexpected comes along, I am learning – to some extent – to plan for that too.

 

 

Photo credit – Boston Globe

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