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  • Writer's pictureMariela Bravo

Resilient Communities

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

Communities are the first line of response after a natural disaster.

On October 16, 2018, Manuel Bermúdez Arquitecto csp participated in Power to the People: Design for Resilience Post Hurricane María Workshop organized in collaboration with ORLI+, the AIANY Puerto Rico Taskforce , AIANY Planning, Urban Design Committee and AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee.

This interactive forum brought together voices from various front-line community groups, design professionals, and more, to present and discuss a comprehensive view of the post-disaster challenges that architects and planners can help address in Puerto Rico and the region. Presentations were made on best practices and lessons learned Post Hurricane María, where the need to rebuild has become an opportunity to build in higher levels of resilience and sustainability. Participants discussed and proposed strategies to reshape infrastructure that may ultimately result in new planning and design principles that can be translated to the Caribbean, New York City, and beyond.

Manuel Bermúdez Arquitecto csp spoke about the "Home + Shelter" and proposed a challenge to the participants of the event. The following video developed to resume the topic presented:

The Home + Shelter Challenge focused proposing the [re]construction of resilient communities as opposed to building individual resilient homes. After Hurricane María, people endured loss of: communication, means of transportation, power (and some still to this day do NOT have power), access to food and water, access to medical services, access to fuel, law enforcement, properties and recreational activities.

Communities served as the first line of response to these sudden changes of each individuals’ physical and emotional environment. As architects, it is our civic duty to promote the reconstruction of resilient communities for Puerto Rico.

Design goals and challenges proposed to architects in Puerto Rico for the reconstruction of communities are to promote:

  • Spaces for the communities interaction

  • Renewable Energy + Microgrids

  • Sustainable Agriculture

  • Local Medical Centers

  • Densification

  • Safe Environments

  • Resilient Communities

  • Spaces for Culture + Sports

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