The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has awarded 52 teams of civic and academic partners $50,000 to support refinement of their civic concepts for ready-to-implement, research-based pilot projects addressing “Communities and Mobility” or “Resilience to Natural Disaster”. At the end of Stage 1, NSF and its federal partners will select, through a merit-review process, a number of Stage-2 awardees who will each receive up to $1 million each to carry out their civic concepts over a 1 year period.

Mobility2

Communities and Mobility:

Offering Better Mobility Options to Solve the Spatial Mismatch Between Housing Affordability and Jobs

Click on a project title for a brief description of planned activities and for an individual link to the NSF award abstract. The full list of NSF awards abstracts can be found here.

Filter by State:

Austin, TX – Community Hub for Smart Mobility

Junfeng Jiao, University of Texas at Austin


We are seeking transportation equity and mobility justice in under-resourced transit deserts. Our City of Austin and University of Texas at Austin Team is working with the Georgian Acres Neighborhood to build a low-cost community hub for smart mobility. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Baltimore, MD – Community Based Ride-Hail Pilot: One Car, Multiple Opportunities

Anne Brown, University of Oregon


Cars greatly expand access to employment and opportunities, yet car subsidy programs face limited capacity and run counter to transportation policies aimed at reducing driving. This pilot expands the scope of an existing car subsidy program by creating a Community Based Ride-hail program to multiply the effect of each subsidized car; instead of benefiting a single household, each car will connect multiple residents to jobs, healthcare, and educational opportunities. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Boston, MA – Flexible Mobility-as-a-Service to Improve Post-Pandemic Regional Sustainability

Joseph Ferreira, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Our project tests strategies for addressing the mobility challenges faced by transit-dependent individuals by providing affordable multi-modal mobility packages via a mobile app that can improve access to opportunity despite COVID-induced transit service disruptions. We also intend to examine how such mobility packages might increase transit use by being a competitive alternative to vehicle ownership and use for auto-dependent individuals and ‘choice’ transit riders. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Champagne, IL – Jitney+: Redesign of a Legacy Mobility Service for Lower-income Communities in the Post-COVID Digital Age

Hadi Meidani, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


This project intends to increase the upward mobility of low-income and marginalized communities by addressing individual transportation needs associated with employment opportunities and access to social services. Working with civic partners from the local Housing Authority and a youth development program, we will introduce a community-driven email/SMS-accessible networking system and examine how it can (1) provide safe access to shared transportation resources, (2) connect neighbors within a trusted community, and (3) leverage non-monetary incentives and diverse forms of social capital to collectively fill gaps of existing transportation infrastructure and enhance community accessibility, safety and trust. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Chicago, IL – Overcoming Mobility Inequity With New Open-Access Tools for Analyzing Spatial Accessibility

Anne Dodge, University of Chicago


The University of Chicago, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), and the Brookings Institution are creating a new set of indicators to redefine researchers’ and policymakers’ understanding of “spatial mismatch.”  Historically, these questions have been considered primarily in terms of jobs and housing; this new suite of indicators will ask bigger questions, partnering with local communities to understand and integrate the full range of ways in which people need to move around their community for a good quality of life. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Cleveland, OH – MICOPP: Mobility Improvements to achieve transportation equity in Communities through joint Optimization of Public and Private community-based resources

Pan Li, Case Western Reserve University


We aim to advance transportation equity in Greater Cleveland with a hybrid transportation system that will optimize existing and new transportation options. Working in partnership with Cleveland State University, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA), Cuyahoga County, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), The Paradox Prize, The Centers for Families and Children, Manufacturing Works, and The Cleveland Clergy Coalition, we seek to harness the region’s assets to address this critical issue. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Cobb County, GA; Gwinnett County, GA – Piloting On-Demand Multimodal Transit in Atlanta

Pascal VanHentenryck, Georgia Tech


Georgia Tech researchers, in collaboration with several Metro Atlanta transit services, are piloting a next-generation on-demand transit system in Gwinnett County and the city of Smyrna, fundamentally transforming accessibility to jobs, healthcare, education, and quality food. By solving the infamous first/last mile problem in a sustainable way, the pilot program hopes to fundamentally transform public transit into a flexible, scalable, and affordable system that meets the needs of all residents regardless of where they live in the service area. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Denver, CO – Undesigning the redline and reimagining mobility investments to equitably link jobs, affordable housing, and services

Carrie Makarewicz, University of Colorado Denver


How can we undo redlining and reimagine mobility investments to equitably build community health and wealth? United by this question, a diverse team of Denver regional partners – Regional Transportation District, Denver Regional Council of Governments, City and County of Denver, University of Colorado Denver, University of Denver, Center for Community Wealth Building, Valverde Neighborhood Association, and others – is collaborating in pursuit of NSF-funding to co-design and pilot an accessible, resilient, multi-modal mobility system to support community-rooted development and connection.  Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Detroit, MI – Leveraging AI-assist Microtransit to Ameliorate Spatiotemporal Mismatch between Housing and Employment

Dongxiao Zhu, Wayne State University


More than 50 years after the concept of spatial mismatch was formalized, Detroit’s low-wage workers are still more likely to suffer from spatial-temporal jobs-housing mismatch. To increase regional transit accessibility to employment and directly address the problem of jobs-housing mismatch, we collaborate with civic and community partners to develop Artificial Intelligence-driven mobility solutions that can support the design and operations of more reliable and effective regional Microtransit services. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Fort Smith, AR – Shared MicromobIlity for affordabLe-accessIblE houSing (SMILIES)

Suman Mitra, University of Arkansas


This project presents SMILIES (Shared MicromobIlity for affordabLe-accessIblE houSing): a community-engaged pilot project that brings diverse and often unheard voices together to improve the accessibility to jobs and essential activities for affordable housing communities in small- and mid-sized cities and rural areas by leveraging the explosive growth of shared micromobility (SMM) services such as e-bikes and e-scooters. The project will deploy SMMs in high-risk communities in Fort Smith, Arkansas to estimate the impact of SMM services on household transportation costs, job access, energy consumption, and more. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Kansas City, KS – Connecting Underrepresented Youths with Employment Opportunities

Alexandra Kondyli, University of Kansas


Out-of-school-time (OST) opportunities support youth in developing workforce readiness and cultivating occupational identities; however, underrepresented youth face inequitable access to these opportunities. Community partners – Kansas City (KC) Public Libraries, KC Digital Drive, Wyandotte County Economic Development Council, Cityfi, KC Area Transportation Authority, University of Kansas, and others – will develop and implement innovative mobility services in the Kansas City area that help the youth discover, access, and participate in OST opportunities, create shared-mobility identities, and cultivate environmental-friendly travel behaviors. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Los Angeles, CA – Enabling Safe, Community-wide Bike-to-Work Strategies via Participatory Sensing

Fabian Wagmister, University of California, Los Angeles


University of California, Los Angeles REMAP, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and neighborhood organizations will work to reimagine bicycle commuting in Los Angeles by enabling, supporting, and celebrating community bike-to-work flows. Prioritizing transportation satisfaction and safety over efficiency, the project will integrate ride data and riders’ input to generate digital media exhibitions of the emerging collective mobility identity. The use of participatory mobile technologies will allow assembling and guiding groups of bicyclists and encourage lasting cycling communities of practice and city-wide attention to economical, healthy, and sustainable approaches to commuting. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Marysville, OH – Planning a Shared Autonomous Vehicle Mobility Pilot for Linking Affordable Housing and Jobs

Levent Guvenc, Ohio State University


The City of Marysville and Union County in Ohio have teamed up with the Ohio State University and Ford Mobility Research to plan a shared autonomous vehicle ride hailing pilot deployment that will offer the residents of Marysville, Ohio a flexible, on-demand mobility choice for connecting them to jobs and other locations of opportunity and interest. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Milwaukee, WI – User-Centered Mobility Solutions (UCMS): A New Vision to Connect Jobs and the Labor Force

Lingqian Hu, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee


A long-standing spatial mismatch between predominantly African American neighborhoods in the central city of Milwaukee and large suburban employment centers 12 miles northwest continues to challenge decision makers. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and SEWRPC are partnering on worker- and employer-led process to develop solutions integrating new mobility technologies that directly address daily commute needs of workers in Milwaukee and employers in the suburbs. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

New York City, NY – The Lily Pad Neighborhood Mobility Hub Planning and Feasibility Study

Illya Azaroff, New York City College of Technology


This project is designed to study the feasibility of, and create a conceptual plan for, a resilient neighborhood-based mobility hub in the Rockaways Peninsula, New York City. With the New York City Housing Authority, we will provide lower cost transportation choices, bridge connections to high-speed transit and jobs, and provide support for vulnerable residents by building resilient capacity to disasters.  Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Newark, NJ – Building Neighborhood Density, Mobility, and Affordability Through Regulatory Reform: An Action Plan for Newark, NJ

Shlomo Angel, New York University


Newark, NJ is a mid-sized city near the heart of the New York Metro Area that struggles with poverty, housing affordability, and access to jobs. Working closely with the city government and civil partners, this project will support the Newark 2030 masterplanning process with data and recommendations about regulations, zoning, transportation, and density, to facilitate the creation of an abundant supply of affordable housing in neighborhoods that are well-served by transit. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

OH; CO; PA – Data-driven and Community Engaged Planning Tools For Addressing Spatial Mismatch

Megan Ryerson, University of Pennsylvania


Affordable access to jobs, transportation, and housing has become an increasing challenge for people across the U.S. only made worse by the current pandemic. This project provides innovative and collaborative solutions to address these critical issues. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Pittsburgh, PA – City of Bridges: Using New Transportation Options to Drive Low-Income Mothers to Greater Success in Pittsburgh

Lee Branstetter, Carnegie Mellon University


Using GPS capabilities embedded in modern smartphones to measure the quantity and nature of increased mobility that low-cost access to new transportation options provide to low-income mothers, our project will confront the spatial mismatch problem in Allegheny County by expanding the geographic and socioeconomic mobility of our treatment groups. Our research will provide immediate guidance for policymakers seeking to fund practical policy and engineering solutions to spatial mismatch and also support fundamental breakthroughs in the modeling of regional transportation systems. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Portland, OR – Meeting COVID and Household Affordability Challenges through Flex Streets and Dynamic Bicycle Transportation Infrastructure

Marc Schlossberg, University of Oregon


While the street is a public place, it is dominated by the movement and storage of private vehicles. This project will empower those who (a) cannot afford to own and operate a vehicle, (b) are looking to lower their carbon footprint, and (c) are simply seeking a greater choice in their daily transportation behaviors. The project will bring more democracy to the use of our streets by creating a ‘smart’ corridor that targets low carbon, space-efficient, affordable micromobility transport. Micromobility users will be tightly integrated with the signals on the corridor giving them agency, both supplying information to and acting on information from the transportation infrastructure. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Providence, RI – Co-Creating Context-Sensitive Mobility Strategies for Advancing the Social and Economic Goals of Low-Income Communities

Susan Buchan, E4TheFuture


E4TheFuture and University of California Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center are working with the Providence and Blackstone River Valley, Rhode Island communities to help address the spatial mismatch between low-to-moderate income (LMI) housing and jobs, understand how LMI households define mobility challenges, and identify strategies to overcome them. A major outcome of this project is creating a community-designed mobility hub and developing a replicable process that is adaptable to the characteristics and needs of future sites. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

San Diego, CA – Human-centered, integrated mobility for disadvantaged communities in the San Diego region

Todd Hylton, University of California, San Diego


University of California San Diego, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), and a network of community based organizations known as the Social Equity Working Group have partnered to understand how mobility fits into the lives of our region’s vulnerable populations and to implement a mobility solution with and for the people who really need it. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Resilience2

Resilience to Natural Disasters:

Equipping Communities for Greater Preparedness and Resilience to Natural Disasters

Click on a project title for a brief description of planned activities and for an individual link to the NSF award abstract. The full list of NSF awards abstracts can be found here.

Filter by State:

Bolinas, CA ; Oakland, CA – Rehearsing Natural Disasters through Games and Simulations

Thomas Maiorana, University of California, Davis


Evacuations from wildfires are life threatening events that require effective decision making by a diverse set of participants under intense pressure. We are using games and simulations to help the the Oakland Firesafe Council and Bolinas Fire Protection District activate community members to conduct repeated “rehearsals” of evacuations so they will be more prepared during an actual event. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Bryan, TX; Galveston, TX; Houston, TX – Community-Centric Pre-Disaster Mitigation with Unmanned Aerial and Marine Systems

Robin Murphy, Texas Engineering Experiment Station


Each year floods, hurricanes, and wildfires in the US cost hundreds of lives and $125B in economic losses, with disproportionate impacts on people of color and low-income communities. Texas A&M and its civic, government, and research partners are engaging at-risk high school students from three vulnerable urban and rural communities in Texas to use drones, robot boats, and the latest in artificial intelligence and geospatial software to gather data and build their communities’ preparedness capacity. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

CA – CaReDeX: Enabling Disaster Resilience in Aging Communities via a Secure Data Exchange

Nalini Venkatasubramanian, University of California, Irvine


This project aims to enhance and transform the resilience of older adults in our communities during disasters – this population group is often severely impacted during large events due to the lack of effective triage, comfort, and care.  Through the use of a smart-space platform called CAREDEX, this effort will enable the assimilation and exchange of customized care information rapidly between first responders,  caregivers in senior housing facilities, and older adults in a secure manner. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Calhoun County, FL – Rural Resiliency Hubs: A Planning Approach to Addressing the Resiliency Divide

Marcia Mardis, Florida State University


Florida State University and Calhoun County Public Libraries are working with county and regional leaders to explore community disaster resiliency to better position the public libraries as recognized hubs of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. This project will identify opportunities to expand and strengthen community collaborations and detail needed information flows to address the resiliency divide rural citizens often experience during and in the aftermath of disasters. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Charleston, SC – Community Resilience Micro-Bonds to Balance Cost and Social Equity among Stakeholders

Grace Yan, Missouri University of Science & Technology


Climate change and the increasing intensity and frequency of floods and coastal storms call for a proactive and equitable approach to finance mitigation for homes, infrastructure, and institutions benefiting all citizens of Charleston South Carolina Region. Resilience Micro-Bonds may provide the flexible resources to fund such projects and, when combined with advanced engineering and scientific prediction, can help Charleston collectively reach its resilience planning goals. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

CO; AZ – Enhancing Communities Preparedness and Resilience to Post-Wildfire Hydrology in Mountainous Areas

Pierre-Emmanuel Kirstetter, University of Oklahoma


University of Oklahoma scientists team up with the Colorado Water Conservation Board to meet a critical coordination need from local communities, state, and federal government agencies to mitigate the risk of hydrologic hazards following wildfires in the Intermountain West. A unique mobile observatory with real-time observations will enable more effective community responses. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

College Station, TX – Building PreK-12 School Resilience in the Face of COVID-19

Changbum Ahn, Texas A&M


School administrators are looking for the best ways to predict, monitor, and evaluate the effects of their physical distancing strategies in educational environments. Texas A&M University researchers are teaming up with College Station ISD this spring to create and test strategies that will best prevent COVID-19 transmission. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

DC, Maryland, Virginia – A Visualization Tool and Assessment Framework for Civic Technology Use in the DMV Area: The Case of 311 Systems During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Myeong Lee, George Mason University


George Mason University, University of Maryland, and Connected DMV are working to leverage 311 data to understand municipalities’ civic technology use in the DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia (DMV) area during disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic. The NSF CIVIC Innovation Challenge grant will boost collaborative activities between universities, non-profit, and local governments and improve the DMV region’s resilience. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Fairbanks, AK – Developing Low Power Wide Area Sensor Networks to Improve Cold Region Disaster Prediction and Management in the Fairbanks North Star Borough

Nancy Fresco, University of Alaska Fairbanks


Rapid climate change in Arctic regions where data-gathering is sparse is threatening Alaska’s communities, causing hazards such as thaw-related flooding, unstable ground, and dangerous snow loads. This project, a collaboration between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and stakeholders in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, will explore solutions for creating a cost-effective, efficient, wide-area sensor network that will better inform decision-makers and enable Alaskans to predict, respond, and adapt to climate-driven hazards. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Franklin County, MA – Remote Monitoring of Small Rural Water Systems to Ensure Safe Drinking Water through Disasters and Natural Recovery

Emily Kumpel, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Most (97%) water systems in the U.S. are considered “small systems,” serving <10,000 people and face the extraordinary challenges of aging infrastructure, climate change, and limited finances compared to larger water treatment systems, which typically have adequate resources to address challenges. We are a team comprised of researchers and civic partners from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass), The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG), and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP), who are tackling research that addresses challenges small rural community water systems throughout Massachusetts face when managing risks to water quality during and after extreme weather events or pandemics. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Gaithersburg, MD – Assessing the Feasibility of Systematizing Human-AI Teaming to Improve Community Resilience

Keri Stephens, University of Texas at Austin


Our CIVIC project shows that we can train community members to work with expert systems in identifying COVID-19 and other disaster-related risks communicated on social media. By replicating and extending our proven approach nationwide, we provide situational awareness for emergency management. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Great Lakes Region: MI, WI, MN – Strengthening Resilience of Ojibwe Nations across Generations (STRONG): Sovereignty, Food, Water, and Cultural (in)Security

Kimberly Marion Suiseeya, Northwestern University


Northwestern University researchers aim to partner with Ojibwe communities, who have had a lived relationship with the land for millennia. This sovereignty-affirming initiative will integrate high resolution, dynamic environmental data with traditional ecological knowledge to enhance system predictability and strengthen Ojibwe resilience. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Great Lakes Region: WI, MI – Helping Rural Counties to Enhance Flooding and Coastal Disaster Resilience and Adaptation

Thomas Oommen, Michigan Technological University


Since 2012, rural communities bordering the Great Lakes face unprecedented challenges due to rising water levels, resulting in significant coastal erosion and accompanying flood hazards to the communities. The proposed project brings together university (Michigan Technological University & the University of Washington) – community (Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR) and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community – Natural Resources Department) partners to develop methods that use remote sensing data resources and citizen engagement (crowdsourcing) to address current data gaps for improved flood hazard modeling and visualization that is transferable to rural communities in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Halelea, HI – Hoomalu Halelea – Community-led Innovation for Integrated Flood Resilience

Mehana Vaughan, University of Hawaii


Working with Kauaʻi island community groups and taro farmers impacted by the record breaking April 2018 floods, this partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa aims to integrate indigenous watershed management, traditional agricultural systems, and access to historical and real-time hydro-meteorological data. Through collaborative research, stream restoration, monitoring, improved communication networks, use of social media, community education and training; this project offers a model to build social and ecological community resilience in the face of climate-change induced disasters. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Hampton Roads, VA – Convergence, Inventory, Matching, and Assignment (CIMA) to Optimize Post-event Housing Repair for Displaced Vulnerable Populations

Joshua Behr, Old Dominion Research Foundation


The matching of converging supply (donated materials and volunteer labor) with the need for repair of damaged homes among particularly vulnerable and medically fragile households is less than optimal following a severe weather event, such as a hurricane with tidal flooding. In response to this community-identified need, a partnership among the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Old Dominion University, and local governments is developing a processes to better connect available resources flowing into the region with these repair needs so that lengthy displacement times common among low-to-modest income households will be meaningfully reduced, thus addressing fundamental inequities in recovery and wellbeing. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Houston, TX – Equitable Food-Security: Disaster-resilient supply chains for pandemics and extreme weather events

Ioannis Kakadiaris, University of Houston


In collaboration with the Houston Food Bank and its community partners, an interdisciplinary research team led by the University of Houston is developing AI-powered decision-making tools to improve the resilience of the food bank’s complex supply chain. The project’s overall goal is to improve the efficiency of upstream and downstream operations to reduce food insecurity caused by underlying socio-economic conditions but exacerbated by the threat of extreme weather events piled on top of the current COVID-19 global pandemic. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Louisiana – Innovation for Economic Rejuvenation of Louisiana Coastal Communities

Mira Olson, Drexel University


The vision for this project is to create sustainable, generative and adaptive regional economic opportunities in coastal Louisiana, a “working coast” that is both economically and environmentally susceptible to negative impacts from climate change and human-induced disasters. Participants will build on and adapt existing skills and infrastructure to identify and leverage opportunities within emerging green industries. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Minneapolis, MN – Creating an Integrated Emergency and Crisis Response System

Tom Fisher, University of Minnesota


University of Minnesota Professors Tom Fisher (College of Design) and Saif Benjaafar (College of Science and Engineering) have partnered with Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis to envision a next generation 911 system. Through a process that is informed by, and in support of, existing efforts by the community partners, the co-PIs will explore applying artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technologies to help bring a greater level of adaptability and responsiveness to the existing 911 system. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Navajo Nation, AZ – Digital Backpack: Enabling Offline Web-based Content Access to Promote Student Academic Resiliency in Acute and Chronic Disaster Situations

Morgan Vigil-Hayes, Northern Arizona University


A computer scientist from Northern Arizona University and teachers from STAR School are teaming up to develop the Digital Backpack, a tool to help students on Navajo Nation access digital learning content even when Internet connectivity is not available. The team hopes to enable academic resilience for students who experience the digital homework gap during school closures caused by COVID-19 and severe weather events. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

New Hanover County, NC; Currituck County, NC – An Integrated Scenario-based Hurricane Evacuation Management Tool to Support Community Preparedness

Rachel Davidson, University of Delaware


Emergency managers, industry partners, and researchers are working together to develop an operational, next generation decision support tool that will dramatically advance emergency managers’ ability to manage hurricane evacuations effectively and efficiently. It will help emergency managers decide when and where to issue official evacuation orders as a hurricane approaches land, in a way that accounts for the dynamic and uncertain nature of the situation. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

New York City, NY – Improving the Post-Flood Financial Resiliency of Low- and Moderate-Income Households

Carolyn Kousky, University of Pennsylvania


New York City must prepare vulnerable residents for the inequitable impacts of sea level rise. With the goal of building financial resilience among low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Resiliency, and the Center for New York City Neighborhoods are harnessing innovative public-private insurance solutions that help households manage the impacts of devastating floods. The project examines the benefits of greater disaster insurance penetration, provides tools to educate households about disaster financial resilience, and builds capacities of city and civic partners to apply risk transfer approaches towards equitable climate adaptation goals. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

New York City, NY – UNUM: Unification for Underground resilience Measures

Debra Laefer, New York University


Using a stakeholder driven process, our project seeks to accurately map New York City’s underground infrastructure to improve community resilience in planning for and responding to emergencies and disasters. Achieving this can only be done by overcoming incomplete, inaccurate, and incompatible utility information and creating an interoperable and shareable data model. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

NY – Hyperlocal Services to Prepare Rural Communities for Extreme Weather-Related Natural Disasters

K. Max Zhang, Cornell University


The research team will engage civic partners representing farmers, community organizations, state and local governmental agencies to 1) develop and test the effectiveness of hyperlocal weather forecasting in improving winter-storm emergency response for rural communities in New York State and 2) create a transferrable model for the rest of the U.S. through the national Cooperative Extension and Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) networks.  Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Ohkay Owingeh, NM – Low-Cost Efficient Wireless Intelligent Sensors (LEWIS) for Greater Preparedness and Resilience to Post-Wildfire Flooding in Native American Communities

Fernando Moreu, University of New Mexico


Native American Pueblo communities will design, build and implement their own Low-Cost Efficient Wireless Intelligent Sensors (LEWIS) that will inform communities of trends and thresholds that can assist in managing wildfires and providing early warning when fires and floods occur. This project will develop a Nationwide community of practice that shares ideas, designs, and applications for resilience in Tribal communities by co-developing capacity and decision-support tools. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

OR – Knowledge-to-Action: Enhance Community Disaster Preparedness and Resiliency through Physical and Virtual Drills

Haizhong Wang, Oregon State University


This project envisions to create a community capabilities approach (CCA) to achieve disaster preparedness and resilience that complements a community capitals framework (CCF) which focuses on the community’s availability of resources. To operationalize this vision,  the project team will establish a transdisciplinary cross-sector knowledge-to-action network which brings researchers, civil partners, community leaders and emergency managers together to co-design and co-produce community research needs, priorities, and resilience gaps. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Pomona, CA – Open-Source Renewables: Coupling Resilience to Natural Disasters with Environmental Justice

Julie Medero, Harvey Mudd College


The renewables revolution has yet to meet the needs of those who struggle hardest to keep the lights on. Harvey Mudd College has joined forces with the CHERP-Locally Grown Power to design resilience centers that not only provide emergency power to frontline communities during future disasters but that also help to make clean power affordable for low-income households today. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Puerto Rico – Community Resilience Catalyst: Co-Designing an Integrated Participatory Mapping System for Enhancing Disaster Resilience through Community Engagement

David Carrasquillo, Hispanic Federation


This project aims to co-develop a civic technology solution that closes the last-mile disaster relief gap and builds long-term resilience for underserved communities in Puerto Rico. With a suite of mobile and desktop applications, we will leverage community networks, local knowledge and information, and technology to inform and coordinate collective action across residents, community groups, and humanitarian aid agencies to prepare and respond to disasters. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

San Juan County, UT – A tourism decision support system for Western gateway and natural amenity region communities

Jordan Smith, Utah State University


The economies of gateway and natural amenity regions throughout the Western U.S. depend on the flow of outdoor recreationists and tourists; when these flows are disrupted by hazard events, like wildfires or the COVID-19 pandemic, communities suffer. We are developing predictive models of tourism flows and a decision support system that gateway and natural amenity region communities can use to plan for, and respond to, future hazard events. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

Savannah, GA – Co-creating Data for Disaster Resilience with Historically Marginalized Communities in Savannah

Allen Hyde, Georgia Institute of Technology


What kinds of data do we need to understand and enhance community-level disaster resilience in the face of multiple ongoing disasters (hurricanes, flooding, heat waves, air pollution, and pandemics) as well as their intersections with longstanding social inequities resulting from systemic racism? Georgia Tech, Savannah State University, The Harambee House, and The City of Savannah are partnering with residents in historically marginalized communities on the west side of Savannah, Georgia to show how universities and communities can work together to co-create these data, build relationships, and redefine what environmental justice looks like. Link to abstract on nsf.gov

St. Louis, MO – Strengthening Community Resiliency through Extended Reality (XR): Engaging Small, Under-Resourced Municipalities in Planning & Execution of Government

Christopher Spilling, University of Missouri St. Louis


The Community Innovation and Action Center of the University of Missouri, St. Louis is partnering with Beyond Housing and the T-REX Innovation Center in a community-driven and research-informed process to collectively improve safety, resiliency, and recovery from disasters in the 24:1 community, which encompasses a coalition of 23 separate small fiscally constrained municipal governments north of St. Louis, Missouri. Working with municipal leaders and leveraging survey data and focus groups outcomes, the project will engage communities in developing, testing, and applying extended reality technologies – such as virtual reality and digital twin technologies – to effectively plan and govern with a unified approach during disasters and economic downturns. Link to abstract on nsf.gov