Recognizing Lively Urban Spaces as the Heart of Resilient Communities

Based on lessons from recent disasters in Chicago and New York, where lively urban spaces helped communities to survive and recover, Michael Kimmelman suggests that neighborhood libraries could be designed with such a purpose in mind.

Bearing in mind lessons from the 1995 heat wave in Chicago and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York, Kimmelman notes that "[p]laces that serve us well every day serve us best when disaster strikes. Health and safety go hand in hand with lively urban spaces. Invest in one, and you aid the other."

Kimmelman suggests we build more branch libraries with the express purpose of serving communities in times of disaster, and for our basic social and economic health. "With disaster in mind, they could be designed in the future with electrical systems out of harm’s way and set up with backup generators and solar panels, even kitchens and wireless mesh networks."

Full Story: Next Time, Libraries Could Be Our Shelters From the Storm


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