The recent devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy is a reminder of the importance of resiliency in communities in preparation for future disasters. The unpredictability of natural hazards urges non-profits and the public and private sectors to join forces in building a resiliency network.
Architecture for Humanity is committed to building resilient cites, and provides opportunities for communities to get involved.
The following are a few examples:
- In 2008, Architecture for Humanity participated in "What If New York...," a design competition sponsored by the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) that invited architects, designers, and planners to design temporary housing that could serve dense urban spaces in the wake of a catastrophic hurricane. This program allowed us to get a better understanding on how to frame the issue of reconstruction in a dense urban environment like New York. The team behind it continued the work and was hired by city and regional OEM offices. Many of them have gone on to build their careers around this work, and have been playing key roles in the Sandy recovery response.
- Earlier this year, Architecture for Humanity in partnership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) created architectsrebuild.org and the disaster resilience grants to engage chapters and AIA components in promoting safer and more resilient communities. Grants were awarded to Washington D.C., Seattle, New York City, Baltimore, and Chicago. You can find descriptions of the project here. We look forward to expanding opportunities to other chapter and component cities.
- In November, Architecture for Humanity hosted a disaster panel at our annual Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! Event. The panel, "Key Practices for Success in Disaster Reconstruction,” featured former Mayor Art Agnos past AIA President Clark Manus, Greensburg Greenstown Director Daniel Wallach and Program Manager Diego Collazos. Speakers discussed how to identify key players in disaster reconstruction, collaborate across sectors, and execute strategies for successful reconstruction. They shared insight into best practices so that others would not have to "wish they would've known" when disaster strikes. Watch the panel discussion here.
As more opportunities come up, we will be posting them here. Stay tuned.
Don't forget to follow us on twitter @AFHDisasterTeam!