A Vision for a Resilient East Harlem
- Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners
- New York
A Vision for a Resilient East Harlem is a year-long visioning project with NYC Parks and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency to address the impacts of climate change in a diverse, densely populated, and rapidly developing area of upper Manhattan. The team is studying the impacts of future sea level rise, coastal surge, rain events, and extreme heat on physical assets and socially vulnerable groups with particular attention to waterfront open spaces along the Harlem River. The final vision plan will make recommendations for integrating storm water management and coastal protection with open space planning and social resiliency throughout the neighborhood. Starr Whitehouse is co-leading the East Harlem Resiliency Study with ONE Architecture, and the team includes Langan Engineering, Eric Klinenberg and the Institute of Public Knowledge at NYU, and DREAM Charter School. The team’s findings are expected to be made public soon.
Through an innovative stakeholder outreach strategy, the team partnered with DREAM in order to closely collaborate with community institutions and residents and to offer a curriculum in resiliency planning to DREAM high school students. The resiliency planning curriculum at DREAM exposes students to principles and professional methodologies related to neighborhood mapping, analyzing social vulnerability, and designing green infrastructure. The team’s overall goal with this program was to build a culture of resilience in East Harlem by empowering young scholars at DREAM to be leaders on climate in their communities. At the end of the course’s first year, for example, students worked with Washington Houses to help install a new rain garden on the campus and survey residents about their emergency preparedness needs—resulting in publication of a 30-page, site-specific pocket guide called Washington Houses Ready.