Disaster Relief

Content about disaster relief

Make it wrong, get it right

On the 10-year anniversary of New Orleans's disaster, Brad Pitt's Make it Right project takes a pounding from critics. But there's a better way.

Transit-oriented development resistant to Sandy

Arverne-by-the-Sea, on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, surprised many residents by its resilience to Superstorm Sandy. While many nearby neighborhoods were heavily damaged or destroyed, the new urban Arverne, one of the largest current developments in New York City, was little damaged. Conservation of protective dunes and a heavy-duty drainage system were design factors in resilience of the project, designed by Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn, now called EE&K, a Perkins Eastman Company. See the article in the January-February 2013 issue of Better! Cities & Towns.

Queens development hangs tough in hurricane

The new urban Arverne-by-the-Sea, one of the largest current residential developments in New York City, surprised many residents by its resilience to Hurricane Sandy.

Safety and community: a tale of two neighborhoods

More than 700 people in Chicago died during an extreme heat wave in July, 1995. Two adjacent neighborhoods, both poor and predominantly black with the same microclimate, demonstrate how social connections can save lives, according to a report in The New Yorker by sociologist Eric Klinenberg. The Englewood death rate was 33/100,000 population, among the highest in the city. In Auburn-Gresham, where a "viable social infrastructure" survives with small commercial establishments that draw the elderly out of their homes into public life, the death rate was 3/100,000 — among the lowest in the city. Public discussion focuses on physical infrastructure to protect us from natural threats like climate change, Klinenberg says, but social systems are just as important in times of crisis and everyday life. The average life expectency is five years higher in Auburn-Gresham than Englewood, which suffered severe abandonment in the latter part of the 20th Century.

Five green community stories to watch in 2013

In my final article of 2012, I looked back at the year in review, to honor important recent work worth celebrating.  For my first one of 2013, let’s look ahead.

A wake-up call from Sandy

Hurricane Sandy tore into the East Coast in late October, and North America’s most densely populated island proved resilient. Despite a direct hit from a 14-foot storm surge, Manhattan suffered minimal loss of life. Seven flooded subway tunnels were operating within a week and much of the island never lost power.

Vigorous cultures

How the built enviornment influences a resilient community response to natural disasters.

Finally thinkin’ small: But can we build on what we’ve learned?

When the clean-up from Hurricane Sandy gets underway, could this be an opportunity for the Eastern Seaboard states to apply some of the rebuilding lessons of the Gulf after Katrina?

Las Vegas to demolish casinos in major redevelopment

Responding to the growing threat of global warming, the City of Las Vegas announced today that it will return to what Mayor Carolyn Goodman called “a true desert condition.”

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