The Pakistan Floods, Architecture, and Terrorism

By Alexis C. Madrigal

The international community is not responding well to the record flooding in Pakistan, writes Architecture for Humanity head Cameron Sinclair, in the Huffington Post. Without a better response from outsiders, he argues, local groups unfriendly to the U.S. will step up to rebuild the area. That response is largely determined by the fairly random presence of media and media reporting tools. Pakistan has no "hook," so it's getting little attention.

Working in long term reconstruction makes you understand that not all natural disasters are created equally. I've worked in close to a dozen areas affected by earthquake, flooding or hurricanes and it is the most random hooks that spark a massive international response. The 2004 South Asia tsunami was the camcorder disaster as many foreigners were vacationing during the winter holidays, Hurricane Katrina became the 24 hour news channel disaster with endless helicopter footage of stranded homeowners, Haiti was the social media disaster with Twitter relaying information on the ground moments after the horrific earthquake and the oil gusher caught our ire once we saw the underwater smoking gun. Sadly, these media moments make or break a disaster response.

Read the full story at Huffington Post.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/08/the-pakistan-floods-architecture-and-terrorism/61360/