Bonneau is an isolated rural town located along the northwest coast of Haiti, the poorest region of the country. The approximately 8,000 residents live with poor infrastructure, precarious housing structures, and little access to formal education or skills-based training. Only half of Bonneau children attend school, as the cost of tuition is prohibitively high. Residents rely on small-scale subsistence agriculture and construction and domestic service work for income generation.
Although there is abundant land and good soil, lack of access to seeds and little knowledge of agricultural growing practices, compounded by poor infrastructure and no refrigeration, means that serious food insecurity exists. Existing public spaces are in poor condition and inadequate for safe recreation or efficient economic use.
In 2010, KDI began a series of investigations and workshops with residents from the Bonneau community group Tête Ensemble, meaning Heads Together. The town’s existing open-air market was selected for a Productive Public Space (PPS) to provide a solution to priority community needs. The current market is small with little fresh produce and few outside vendors. The Bonneau PPS will revitalize the existing market space by improving the physical infrastructure, adding income-generating opportunities, and designing new areas for recreation. A thriving market place will not only be good for the residents of Bonneau, but will stimulate economic activity in the region and position Bonneau as a new regional commerce hub. The land survey is complete and permission to use the existing market land has been granted by the local government. The community design process was completed in March 2012. Construction will begin in Fall 2012.