Subject: Hard year re-planning a city in the wake of 'war'

The Advertiser

April 9, 2003 Wednesday

Hard year re-planning a city in the wake of 'war'


A PROJECT in the war-ravaged East Timorese capital of Dili became more than just work for Adelaide architect Angela Hazebroek.

The World Bank contract to develop a plan to rebuild the city turned into a personal crusade.

The 12-month project brought in many facets of urban, strategic and community planning and a range of social issues, including a new legal and administrative framework.

"The people of Dili really wanted us to think not just about rebuilding their city, *ut about rebuilding their community," project leader Ms Hazebroek said.

"These sorts of issues might not normally be part of an urban planning document but we focused on the context and experience of the East Timorese."

Ms Hazebroek, Adelaide planning, architecture and design firm Hassell's principal planner, even spent her holidays back in Dili helping two community planners prepare to come to South Australia.

They were in Adelaide last week for the Planning Institute of Australia's national conference where the Dili project won the institute's annual President's Award.

It was cited for its collaborative approach with local authorities and its use of world's best practice.

During the project, Hassell's team trained and employed eight planners and administrators who are now involved in East Timor's housing, planning, investment and infrastructure sectors.

"Conflict doesn't just destroy homes and buildings, it can also destroy the social fabric of a nation or people," Ms Hazebroek said.

Dili was extensively damaged by pro-Indonesian militia after its people voted for independence in 1999's UN-administered referendum.

"Freedom to the East Timorese is still so precious," Ms Hazebroek said. "I've never been anywhere where the community involvement was as genuine and strong."

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