A Look Back at This Summer’s Hunts Point Resiliency Collaboration Lab

September 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Collaboration Lab participants discuss social and economic resiliency at The Point CDC.

The following post and pictures appeared recently on the Hunts Point Resiliency website. Since 2015, a team of us at IISC have been working with the New York Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resilience (ORR) to design and facilitate a robust public engagement process around a HUD-funded resiliency planning effort in the Hunts Point community of the South Bronx.

The Hunts Point Resiliency Project builds off of Hunts Point Lifelines, one of six winning proposals from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rebuild by Design competition in 2013. The City has $45 million of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding to advance resiliency in Hunts Point through further study and implementation of a pilot project. In March 2016, the City selected HDR, Inc. to lead two feasibility studies for energy resiliency and flood risk reduction, as well as conceptual design and environmental review for a resilient energy pilot project. IISC has taken the lead in designing an engagement structure and process for community organizations, business owners, elected officials, City agencies, and local residents to identify resiliency priorities, do public eduction outreach, and provide feedback that informs the project.

The Collaboration Lab was designed in partnership with The Point CDC to help deepen these conversations, looking at resiliency in more holistic terms (economic, social, cultural) and also strengthen connections between community members and organizations and City agencies. 

Local businesses leaders, community organizations, and City agencies came together for a day-long Hunts Point Resiliency “Collaboration Lab” on July 27. The morning’s workforce development panel included Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx), Teamsters Local 202, and the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development. The discussion highlighted the role of businesses, the City, and workforce development organizations in building and retaining a skilled workforce. The panel highlighted programs that enable internships to grow into full-time union jobs, training curriculum developed around employer needs, and establishment of internal career pathways.

Hunts Point Resiliency Artist-in-Residence Mariposa Fernandez shares her own work and poetry from the community to open the afternoon of the Collaboration Lab.

Mariposa Fernandez, one of The Point’s three artists in residence, transitioned everyone into a conversation about social resiliency with a spoken word performance highlighting art and its role in community engagement. Lilah Mejia from Good Ole Lower East Side shared lessons on how Lower Manhattan community groups came together around resiliency and emergency preparedness, providing the Hunts Point community with new ideas for advancing community resiliency. We would like to give a special shout out to Cesar [Yoc, from the Hunts Point Resiliency Neighborhood Outreach Team] for DJing the event and for the Artists in Residence, Isabelle, Mariposa, and Roy, who all brought their creative inspiration to the event!

Hunts Point Resiliency Artist-in-Residence Isabelle Garbani at her mobile stand for recycled tile-making.

Read more about the event here!

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