As we mourn the loss of so many lives from COVID-19 and violent systemic racism, it’s hard to think about what’s next. But environmental injustice will not pause for our exhaustion. Last summer was the hottest on record and meteorologists forecast an active hurricane season. Communities of color, seniors, and essential workers are disproportionately impacted by both COVID-19 and heat-related illnesses.
How can we combine the resources and skills of designers directly with the imagination and needs of communities to create safe public spaces with those who need it most.
This summer along with Resilient Cities Catalyst, we are partnering with community based organizations on a new project: Resilience Design Corps. This effort aims to support the design and building of prototypes for cooling in the public realm directly with local community organizations. To begin this effort, we hope you will join us in a conversation about how we can create space that allows for social distancing and is safe and cool for everyone to walk, play, grow, make art, organize, protest, or just rest. Our aim is to start with a reckoning that the design professions have played a role in enforcing racial injustice so that we can move together towards a more just public realm.
During the call, we will hear perspectives on design in the current moment and will discuss the co-creation of design values to guide the work ahead.
We will be joined by:
Daphne Lundi from the Mayor's Office of Resiliency working on the City's urban heat plans and co-founder ofBlackSpace
Illya Azaroff, the State Disaster Coordinator for the New York American Institute of Architects
If you are a creative person interested in volunteering time for this effort, please let us know here. If you are a community member interested in collaborating, please let us know through our Community Partners page.