In 2009, the UN Refugee Agency reported that more than 42 million people had been uprooted and considered refugees, meaning that these citizens no longer had a place to call home. This is due to many factors – mainly conflict, persecution and wars. The main problem to solve when it comes to refugees is finding places to house these millions of people. Many organizations seek to help, but finding areas that are not only safe, but cost effective, can be incredibly difficult.
Luckily, new ways of making efficient portable shelters and temporary buildings are being developed, especially due to the natural disasters that have been present all over the world. For instance, an article from Gadgets and Gizmos discusses how one designer is working towards making a portable shelter that is easy to transport:
“When a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit central Italy in 2009, more than 250 people died and around 65,000 people were left homeless. The tragedy inspired a group of designers to create a concept portable shelter that would be useful in emergency situations like this. Cyprian designer Letymbiotis Konstantinos made a concept portable shelter called the ‘Home-Economic Capsule,’ designed to provide basic needs for the refugees and a shelter that is easy to transport.”
Made primarily from plastic, this shelter provides maximum function for small spaces. The walls are entirely detachable to increase room and the roof itself is made of solar panels for energy storage. The ease of transport for this shelter is the main feature that excites rescue groups however – this makes it simple for many of these shelters to be delivered to those who need them.
More and more, portable shelters and other temporary buildings are becoming essential to the survival of those left without homes. By providing funding to groups seeking to build these structures, at least some of the swelling number of refugees can be relieved.