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Yesterday’s Internet Isn’t Good Enough for Tomorrow’s Cities

The Resilient Communities program was profiled in a Next City article.

Katherine Ortiz sat at her kitchen window in Red Hook, Brooklyn, watching the rain and wind build the evening of October 29, 2012. Then, around 8 p.m., almost exactly as Hurricane Sandy made landfall, block by block, the lights turned off. Across coastal New York and New Jersey, power went out for millions, including residents of the Red Hook Houses, one of New York City Housing Authority’s largest public housing developments. Elevators stopped working, as did phones, once batteries ran down. To leave or get to her apartment in the following days, Ortiz walked 14 flights, until NYCHA restored power two weeks later. But where she worked, at local community organization Red Hook Initiative, power was still on — and the wireless internet network still worked, because RHI had built it themselves.