Resilient Communities Wins American Planning Association Smart City Award

The Resilient Communities team is excited to announce that our “Resilient Networks NYC” project was selected as one of the winners of the American Planning Association’s 2017 Technology Division Smart Cities Awards! These awards recognize projects or plans that that have “realized innovative achievements by utilizing and/or deploying technological tools, applications and methods as part of the planning process”.

We believe that planners have a unique role to play in planning and designing resilient infrastructure in communities. Urban planning as a discipline is concerned with the overlapping areas of social equity, community and economic development, infrastructure, and climate change. Telecommunications and information access are key drivers of social and economic opportunity and equity. By opening up the black box of technology and infrastructure in collaboration with local communities, planners can develop and support the digital and human networks needed in an era of rising seas and dwindling budgets.

This project provides planners with a comprehensive approach, including a set of principles, a set of curriculum modules encompassing the underlying skills for building any community-rooted technology (not just wireless networks), and a multi-stakeholder partnership implementation model that informs six documented case studies currently emerging from our work. Altogether, these tools help planners ensure that the path towards a smart city includes smart and empowered communities.

We are grateful to the APA for its recognition of our “community technology” approach, which is grounded in the belief that healthy communities and stronger human connections make our cities smarter and more resilient.

Watch this space for more news on the intersection of urban planning and community technology as we move into the network construction phase of our Resilient Networks project.


Author:

Houman Saberi is a program manager in the Resilient Communities program for RISE:NYC. In this role, he is helping to build resilient community wireless networks in Sandy-affected areas of the city in partnership with local businesses, civic organizations, and residents.