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Sustainability 2014, 6(8), 4931-4948; doi:10.3390/su6084931

A Sustainable and Resilient Housing Model for Indigenous Populations of the Mosquitia Region (Honduras)

1
CIRPS, Interuniversity Research Center on Sustainable Development, University of Rome, Via Cavour 256, 00184 Roma, Italy
2
CSD, Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, CB2 1PZ Cambridge, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 April 2014 / Revised: 15 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 4 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

This study develops a sustainable housing model for the Mosquitia region of Honduras, aimed at improving the living conditions of indigenous communities and reducing their vulnerability to the effects of climate change. The improved housing efficiency and resilience will contribute to strengthen sanitation and hygiene, improve the living comfort and reduce environmental impact, particularly focusing on preserving the forest biodiversity. The project was developed following the criteria of environmental, technical, social and economic sustainability to propose a shared model, reproducible by the beneficiaries living in different kinds of Mosquitian ecosystems. Increased building efficiency is obtained through optimization of construction techniques and improvement of materials’ performances. The main material of the proposed dwelling is wood, coherently with the “Miskita” tradition; the increase of its durability, which is obtained by proper seasoning and protection from atmospheric agents and parasites, contributes to the optimization of the use of this natural resource and to reducing the impact on deforestation, which threatens forest biodiversity. The data collection campaign, conducted before developing the housing model design and which has aimed at obtaining information on technical and social aspects related to residences’ welfare and health conditions, has highlighted the great importance of improving the construction model. Despite the advance in sanitary conditions and the economic level, the data collection campaign revealed that even the most developed communities amongst those visited have been perpetrating substantial construction errors, which reduce the resilience of structures to extreme natural phenomena, such as tropical storms and hurricanes, which frequently affect the Mosquitia region. This unexpected discovery increased the importance of housing model design in order to correct these improper construction techniques and avoid their application in the newly-started village growth. View Full-Text
Keywords: housing model; Mosquitia; Honduras; vulnerability; sustainable; resilient; indigenous; wood housing model; Mosquitia; Honduras; vulnerability; sustainable; resilient; indigenous; wood
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gambino, V.; Micangeli, A.; Naso, V.; Michelangeli, E.; Mario, L.D. A Sustainable and Resilient Housing Model for Indigenous Populations of the Mosquitia Region (Honduras). Sustainability 2014, 6, 4931-4948.

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