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'Community Resilience: The Role of Design' explores tools for building local resilience

L to R: Prof. Daniel Aldrich discusses social ties mapping; exploring social vulnerabilities with the Climate Ready Boston Map Explorer; Rashmi Ramaswamy's design engagement toolkit includes games and storytelling.

Image: Dave Hampton

Thanks to everyone who attended the November 21, 2017 workshop ‘Community Resilience: The Role of Design’!

Building on a great conversation started during ‘Community Resilience = National Security: The Role of Design’ at ABX 2017, panelists and attendees explored various toolkits and approaches to testing resilience at the neighborhood level.

The panel featured a mix from academia, design and planning practice, and community leadership:

  • Daniel P. Aldrich, Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs; Director, Masters Program in Security and Resilience, Northeastern University
  • Dumas LaFontant, Executive Director, Lower Roxbury Coalition
  • Rashmi Ramaswamy, Director, SHED Studio
  • Dave Hampton, Principal, re:ground LLC / Co-chair, BSA CORE

Prof. Aldrich highlighted examples of social ties mapping through variable census data and house-to-house interviews. Innovations such as Ithaca Dollars illustrated the strengthening of the ‘virtuous cycle’, through lending between community members and local businesses using an alternative form of community currency, building social cohesion in the process.

Ramaswamy and LaFontant highlighted several examples of participatory design exercises such as games, storytelling, and other arts-based engagement techniques in diverse immigrant communities in Chicago and Boston such as Puerto Rican, Haitian).

Hampton led participants in an exercise to question preconceived ideas of vulnerabilities and strengths using the Climate Ready Boston Map Explorer.  The interaction of risks / hazards was explored by overlapping social vulnerabilty and climate risk layers, testing scenarios and ideas for resilience in Boston's Lower Roxbury neighborhood