RAMON CANAL. The contemporary Haiti was born in the eighteenth century as a slave-based agrarian colony monoculture sugar. Once removed this production system, Haitian field has maintained a minor proportion engaged in the export crops (sugar, cacau, coffee…), in an underdeveloped agricultural sector and mainly focused on the domestic market. Since the 80 the cultivation of rice, aliment essencial in the Haitian diet, has been greatly affected by trade liberalization and increasingly massive import subsidized rice Miami [1]. For the other part, also rural ecosystem has been degraded by uncontrolled deforestation and excessive intensification of crops. If instead of subsidizing farmers in richer countries Haiti helps reduce energy dependency compared to charcoal, It helps regenerate the natural resources and productive capacity of the country.

All this has impoverished Haiti's fragile rural economy, to the point of forcing mass migration. The output common for people who can not absorb the field, apart from browsing to risky coasts of Florida, have been the cities, and particularly the capital. Creada l’any 1749, Port-au-Prince ended up beating the former colonial capital of Cap Français (now Cap Haitien), to become, Throughout the twentieth century, an agglomeration of more than 3 million. A huge and uncontrollable spread of slums finished gobbling cities around, Pétionville with Carrefour.

Haitian coastal cities are often separated from each other by mountain ranges hinder terrestrial connection. The lack of effective communication adds to the precarious existence of institutions that make up a modern state (such as the judicial system, the system Tributari, etc.), to limit the effectiveness of policies that might be considered essential for the development and welfare, such as health, safety and waste management. And talk education, the very young Haitian schools are omnipresent, but low quality, and universities until recently existed only in the capital.

In fact, arguably only Port-au-Prince is known twentieth century modernity, if we understand buildings over two floors, more than one lane streets, commercial airport, hospitals, libraries, etc.. Virtually all public bodies located there, and political dynamics moves around its neighborhoods and its suburbs noble. In this sense, the problem of the territorial organization of Haiti has not been excessive control and drowning the periphery by the center, but pure and simple neglect. We coined the concept "Republique de Port-au-Prince" to characterize a state in which the elites controlling capital flows with foreign trade for its sole and exclusive benefit.

These elites have so far had no interest in a real and effective decentralization, the same way that they have not had in a democratic system that might question their privileges and Western interests put into an industrial labor baratíssima. The enthusiastic democracy emerged in 1986 the fall of the dictator Jean Claude Duvalier, was not able to overcome the chasm that divides social and territorial Haiti. Terrorism extreme right and very sharp political fragmentation kept the country almost ungovernable until the year 2004 l’ONU, commissioned and supported by the US, Canada and France, occupied Haiti to expel the elected President Aristide, suppress the masses more politicized and ensure some stability [2].

The constitution in force, approved el 1987, provides a powerful decentralization, based on 10 Department, 140 municipalities and 568 communal sections, perfectly comparable with a system of local democracy [3]. Its policy development, but, did not become effective until after 20 years. They were exactly the mayors and the teams emerged from the first democratic elections that had to face on the ground the effects of the earthquake 2010 [4]. In fact, despite the shortage of resources, councils were the only institutions in the country and they wanted to find some kind of answer in a situation of extreme necessity. However, shortly after the mandate of these mayors expires, and rather than call new elections President Martelly chose to dismiss them and appoint their substitutes finger, placing municipalities under effective protection of Interior Ministry.

For now, after so many disappointments, the Haitian population clamoring for decentralization and local democracy coexists with an almost complete discredit of politics and all that it represents. Economic elites, national and international, rely on anti-political feeling to maintain a purely technical approach to development. But this tour has a very limited, because without speech and without a project based on shared values, away the possibility of articulating something that goes beyond the private interests of millions of Haitians, many of them simply struggling to survive day to day. Haiti is really shocking contrast between the dignity of the particular space, starting with the attitude and image of persons, indignity and public space, from the ubiquitous problem of debris malfunctioning public institutions.

But despite the enormous difficulties, a fact that Haitian society has not collapsed. The rich community life has many shortcomings supplemented, and international cooperation, despite its mistakes, has provided resources and expertise necessary. In a bull Haiti there is no lack ideas to advance the country, but these can not be brought without ever practicing institutions that respond to the will of the people. And we are increasingly aware that without local governments capable of guaranteeing a set of basic services there will be no development or improvement of quality of life [5]. In this sense it would be particularly necessary to consolidate a network of intermediate cities [6], reasonably dense and well equipped, Dust that offered development and alternative employment opportunities in the supersaturated Port-au-Prince.

One of these cities, capital província del Southeast, és Jacmel (170.000 habs.) [7]. While Spanish is the official cooperation promotes the restoration of a historic center devastated by earthquake, Catalan Association of Public Universities [8] are carried out a cooperation project that combines training in planning and urban policy -adreçada technicians and local activists- the practice field. It defined how to develop the city, given the high population growth present and future valuing its assets and cultural landscape. It, secondly, arrange and carry out urban improvements that have a significant impact on the quality of people's lives. It, definitely, l'to strengthen local public sphere, understanding and interaction between the actors who are called to be protagonists of the future of Jacmel, the service of a country which nevertheless does not lose hope.
[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11472874

[2] http://newleftreview.org/II/37/justin-podur-kofi-annan-s-Haití

[3] http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADN818.pdf

[4] Among those over 300.000 dead, a similar number of wounded 1,2 million homeless http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremblement_de_terre_d'Haïti_de_2010.

[5] This presupposes the availability of an effective tax system, that allows municipalities and departments to provide financing capacity. Currently public expenditure made by local represents only 3% del total, with extremely low levels of per capita spending virtually the entire territory.

[6] Intermediate Cities in the sense of dimension, but functional, intermediary between local and global; to deepen see: http://www.unesco.org/most/ciudades.pdf

[7] http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacmel

[8] With involvement UAB (Dept. d’Antropologia i IGOP), the UDL and UPC.