HARLEM/
designing emergency preparedness

 
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How do we involve the participation of a local community in a design process?

In November 2014 CALL organized a WORKSHOP in West Harlem with community members at SoHarlem. Arising from the workshop, it was evident the one of the community's biggest concerns was being prepared for emergency situations, like they experienced during hurricane Sandy.

In 2015, WeACT for Environmental Justice published the Northern Manhattan Climate Plan, a strategy to confront the impacts of climate change by addressing long-standing disparities in political and economic power.

Over the past four years, CALL and WeACT have collaborated on an intensive community-driven design process to propose a structure that could serve as a site for community activities around emergency preparedness and urban sustainability, inspired by the Northern Manhattan Climate Plan. This structure would also be an essential hub for information and support before, during and after an environmental crisis like a hurricane or mass power outage. This design process has involved extensive workshops, community meetings and awareness campaigns.

The result is Elliott Maltby’s proposal, below, for a Emergency Preparedness Hub that could be located within the Manhattanville Houses.

In addition to the design proposal, CALL has continued to conduct a variety of public walks in and around the neighborhood examining community gardens, cultural identity, and wayfinding.

 

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What We’ve Been Up To…

 
 

+Space, Elliott Matlby’s Proposal for West Harlem

From above, the hub will be seen as a plus sign, reminiscent of the universal symbol for emergency support. 

From above, the hub will be seen as a plus sign, reminiscent of the universal symbol for emergency support. 

Public Programs  

An image from a WALK lead by Kanene Holder in June 2017

An image from a WALK lead by Kanene Holder in June 2017

With the conceptual phase of this project completed, CALL is focusing on our public programming in West Harlem.

From Workshops to WALKS, CALL has conducted a number of public programs in West Harlem.