Help Envision Resilience at the Tech Zone

Exactly how would you envision a resilient community of the near future?

If that community had recently been struck by a natural disaster, what would most help community members and city staff to make wise decisions about the nature and shape of the rebuilding that would follow?

At this year’s National Planning Conference in Phoenix, the APA Hazards Planning Center will provide visitors an opportunity in the Tech Zone to help answer those questions and guide a new FEMA-funded project in which both the University of California, San Diego, and the National Charrette Institute (NCI) are partners.

Titled Innovations in Planning and Public Engagement for Community Resilience, the project aims to develop a set of web-based resources to help guide planners through the process of engaging their communities in such discussions with the aid of visualization and scenario planning tools. The approach will also lean heavily on the public engagement expertise of NCI in developing its approach.

The project grows out of a felt need to make it easier for communities and planners to develop viable, visible, and imaginable alternatives to rebuilding the vulnerable neighborhoods and business districts that existed before a disaster and instead create communities that are stronger and safer in the face of natural hazards, particularly flooding.

At the Tech Zone, project staff and partners will be available to present and discuss the tools and resources under development and to record feedback from potential users. The aim is to have a complete set of initial resources available on the APA website, with links from other participants in the project, by September. The more input the project team can solicit from potential users of the resulting resources and methodology, the more effective the end product is likely to be.

Come see us and tell us what you think.

About the Author

Jim Schwab is manager of APA’s Hazards Planning Center and project manager for Innovations in Planning and Public Engagement for Community Resilience

Image: Visualization tool screen capture from Scenario Planning and Smart Growth for Superstorm Sandy Recovery on Long Island. Image courtesy Placeways.

March 20, 2016

By James Schwab, FAICP