STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Wenchuan Earthquake 10 Years on Sustainability in Jintal Village

CNC
Added On May 13, 2018

It's been ten years since southwest China's Sichuan Province was hit by a deadly 8.0 magnitude earthquake on May 12, 2008. 
 
Tens of thousands of people died in the disaster.
 
Ten years on, Jintai Village, which was badly damaged in the disaster, is rebuilding itself in new ways.
 
The disaster in 2008 left nearly 5 million people homeless, and destroyed 80 percent of buildings.
 
Reconstruction efforts were quickly begun but were stopped again in 2011 when a new catastrophe hit the region. Heavy rainfall and a landslide destroyed many of the newly built homes.
 
But today in Jintai Village,  22 sustainable houses with rooftop farms have been constructed thanks to the local government and NGOs.
 
Fruit and vegetables can be seen growing the rooftop farms, which the families can consume.
 
And open spaces on the ground level mean residents can run family-owned workshops.
 
While the space in the houses is economical, a community center provides the locals with entertainment. 
 
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE) Huang Rong, Local villager
"The houses are completely different from those we used to live in. We can grow food on the rooftop, which is enough for the whole family to live on. Bedrooms on the second floor have windows on both sides, so the ventilation is very good. The design of the sitting room incorporates natural light, which help us get sunshine without going outside in winter."
 
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE) Zhang Maojun, Local villager
"The best part for me is ventilation and natural light. It's warm in winter and cool in summer."
 
Aside from its functionality, the hollow structure of the houses makes them stronger. If an earthquake strikes this region again, the village will have a better chance of surviving.
 
John Lin, one of the project's designers, is particularly familiar with the needs of the local rural population. 
 
Since the reconstruction started, his team have been to the village over 30 times. They've worked hard to ensure the design help address the locals' problems.
 
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE) JOHN LIN, Architect & Assistant professor at HKU
"You have to learn the daily needs of locals, then comes a good design. We exchanged a lot with the villagers and worked together to address problems."