Viewpoint of Post-Sandy: The Effect of the Urban

July 12, 2013

NJIT on Tuesday, July 9th hosted a unique event Post-Sandy.  Attendee Mindy Thompson Fullilove wrote the following recap for Rooflines: The Shelterforce Blog.

Below is excerpts from her writing, click on link to read the full article.


Where’s the Map for Social Inequity?

I spent the day at a workshop on July 9 called, “Post-Sandy: The Effect on the Urban,” held at New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture. This rare meeting of the Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey sections of the American Institute of Architects was the first time architects from this large a region assembled to work on a problem.

What I got from this day of rich discussion and problem-investigation was that Sandy has awakened new willingness to collaborate across lines. This is a great breakthrough because the problems of water can only be solved through big discussions. Architects will be playing a key role in those conversations and their willingness to gather as a tri-state area will be of great import. Henk Ovink, from the Netherlands, joked that Americans know everything about security, but, he said, “When it comes to water, you don’t care.” Everyone laughed, but the point hit home and the group assembled was keenly aware that we have to care, and we have to work together.

But water isn’t the hardest part to tackle. The social equity issues that Damon Rich urged us to examine are barely considered. There is no system for thinking about the resolution of inequity. Having a map of a flood zone is an excellent tool for discussion, but there is no map of social inequity to help us visualize how those issued played in the cities of New Jersey. And it is at play, to the detriment of us all. Becoming able to see this, in practical ways that help us integrate it into better planning, is an urgent task for this Post-Sandy era.

Read full article …

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