NSF INTERN Award: Building community and flood resilience through environmental stewardship and green infrastructure in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Through an award I received from the National Science Foundation, I am interning at the International Institute of Tropical Forestry. My primary project is building an online transitions toolkit to help communities and decision-makers in San Juan, Puerto Rico to learn from and be inspired by participatory visions of the future in 2080 to transition to a more resilient, connected, food & energy secure, just, and livable San Juan. In other words, to turn this valuable knowledge into action and on-the-ground projects. Above is a screenshot of the Story Map we are developing to allow communities and decision-makers to interact with the knowledge products from multiple sources including the work of the UREx SRN, the San Juan ULTRA, and others. The Story Map is a synthesis of many information sources and types including key challenges the region faces, participatory visions of the future, image renderings of those visions, stories or narratives of the future, key strategies that participants would like to use to achieve that future, strategies that other cities are using, and other resources. Once the Story Map is complete in late Spring 2020, I will post it here.
I helped lead a project to document case studies of climate adaptation, resilience, and transformation projects from around the United States, Canada, Central America, South American and the Caribbean to showcase exemplary projects that build social value in their communities. Adaptation projects are those that mitigate vulnerability to climate risks while preserving existing systems and paradigms. Resilience projects build a community’s assets to improve the community’s ability to cope with and bounce back from a disturbance while preserving existing systems and paradigms. Lastly, transformation projects constitute a regime change that addresses underlying social, political, and cultural root causes of vulnerability. This project took place during the summer of 2018 and an online database was created later that fall. The database acts as a resources for city practitioners to learn best practices from other cities that might be able to be employed in their own cities. To view the database, follow this link: https://sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience/social-value-of-adaptation-and-resilience-projects/