Organized in collaboration with the AIANY Puerto Rico Taskforce , AIANY Planning and Urban Design Committee and AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee.
This interactive forum will bring together voices from various front-line community groups, design professionals, and more to present and discuss a comprehensive view of the post-disaster challenges that architects and planners can help address in Puerto Rico and the region. Presentations will be made on best practices and lessons learned Post Hurricane Maria, where the need to rebuild has become an opportunity to build in higher levels of resilience and sustainability. Participants will discuss and propose strategies to reshape infrastructure that may ultimately result in new planning and design principles that can be translated to the Caribbean, New York City, and beyond.
This page is to register for the first workshop component of the symposium from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. To register for the follow-up panel discussion, please click here.
The agenda for the workshop session will start with attendees participating in one of the five breakout activites focusing on different challenges to recovery Post Maria:
Energy and Infrastructure Systems
As cutting edge, environmentally sustainable and regenerative energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, and other infrastructural solutions are implemented at a growing rate globally, our technical ability to mitigate risks posed by climate and natural disaster continues to expand. Yet inequitable and insufficient networks of public services prevalent in disaster-prone locations such as Puerto Rico continue to be stressed to their limits by hurricanes, earthquakes, and droughts. How can we maximize the potential of innovative systems, empower communities, and build stronger networks?
Institutions and Governance
Responsible for the welfare of their citizens, governments and other institutions leverage their mandate, operational capacity, capital, and resources to provide disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and reconstruction to constituents. In Puerto Rico, these efforts have been hampered by a debt crisis, lack of support from the US government, and an unelected Fiscal Board. Such gaps in governance, institutional inertia, and reduced capacity are roadblocks to the execution of recovery plans. How can we advocate for and enact institutional change in disaster planning to provide proactive resilience and recovery programs that are inclusive, effective, transparent, proactive, and responsive to ever-evolving risks and hazards?
Communities in the Front Lines
Populations most disproportionately affected by climate disasters are also at the forefront of innovation in equitable and resilient planning, organizing, policy-making, design, and recovery. However, their contributions, health, welfare, and livelihoods are often overlooked, in some cases exacerbating existing inequities and prejudices, as has been the case in Puerto Rico since Maria. How can we more effectively learn from these front-line communities, collaborate to expand the impact of grassroots power, and support community-led just transitions?
Designers and Resilience
Before, during, and after disaster strikes, architects, engineers, planners, and related professionals, educators, and students are called upon to assess risks, inspect damages, design, rebuild, improve upon existing technologies, and develop policies to mitigate risks and adapt to evolving climate and natural hazards. Despite these efforts, communities in the Caribbean and around the world continue to be threatened, damaged, and destroyed by these events. How can the designer’s role evolve and expand to more effectively and proactively enhance resilience?
Home and Shelter
We often think of disasters as statistical matters; their severity is measured in wind speeds, seismic forces, financial costs, and human mortality. What is not as visible, due to the scale of the events and their aftermath, is the physical, health, psychological, and emotional toll of disasters and their recovery on individuals and families. The reconstruction of a house, a home, and a life cannot be addressed purely by statistics, and represents the bedrock of resilient communities. How can we best leverage our skills to understand the personal and human impact of disasters and the recovery process, and ensure that physical reconstruction is also helping rebuild and strengthen lives?
*Note: This symposium is the first in a series of Power to the People! workshops, through which we hope to provide support to existing and emerging initiatives for just recovery in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
As a reminder, AIA National policy requires participants to attend the entire educational portion of an event to receive continuing education credits. We encourage all participants to arrive on time to comply with this policy.
AIA New York Puerto Rico Taskforce