Grassroots Disaster Recovery:
The Design Assistance Model
Agenda
•
•
•
•

Describe the Design Assistance Program
Explain how it is relevant to disaster recovery
Share Case Studies ...
What’s DAT?
The Design Assistance Program
• Began in 1967 – inspired by civil rights movement. First
community was a post-flood recove...
Key Components
• Customized
• Comprehensive (interdisciplinary teams)
• Objective Outsiders
(pro bono)
• Publicly Driven/P...
What distinguishes the DAT?
• We are NOT:
– Another Consultant Team
– A process to produce a
planning document
• “Please d...
Outcomes– Newport R/UDAT
• Newport, Vermont (2009)
• Last town in state to receive
downtown designation,
double-digit unem...
Port Angeles, WA 2009 SDAT
Today: $75 Million in New Investments
Waterfront: from SDAT to Masterplan
to…
How DAT Applies to Disaster Recovery

Disaster is constant
Case Study – Birmingham, AL
Impact
Frustration
• "I think everyone in the neighborhood is tired," said Patricia
Montgomery. Montgomery and others are tired o...
Immediate Outcomes
• “it is a plan than we can use as a guide as we
go back to restoring our community to not just
the way...
Birmingham R/UDAT Outcomes
• $8 million in federal funds within 2
months
• June 2012 – TIGER Grant of $10
million
• “The c...
Two Year Anniversary - 2013
Case Study - East Nashville, TN
• Tornado, 1998. One year later: “today many in East
Nashville feel that the tornado recov...
R/UDAT Outcomes
•
•
•
•
•

Rediscover East! Formed
CDBG and HUD funds
Kroger re-opened grocery stores
Town Square urban de...
Case Study: Rockaways, NYC
“A year after Hurricane Sandy flooded
hundreds of miles of eastern U.S. coastline,
thousands of people still trying to fix...
“But on the periphery — in the Rockaways, on Staten Island’s South Shore
and along Brooklyn’s edges — where the storm surg...
Lessons Learned: Common Challenges
•
•
•
•
•

Overriding Uncertainty & Speculation
Confusion & Frustration
“Rootshock” & I...
Lessons Learned: Keys for Local
Leaders
Enormous burden placed on government:
• Emphasis on Communications
• Address Uncer...
Lessons Learned – Process Matters
• World Trade Center, Envisioning
the City
– Public rejected plans

• New Orleans, Post-...
Lessons Learned: It’s HARD.
• There are no short cuts in disaster recovery. It is a
labor-intensive endeavor.
• There is n...
Key to Success – Civic Capacity
• Vision
• Novel Partnerships (Cross-Sector, Public-Private, etc)
• Civic vs. Political Pr...
“We have no public
resources to do anything”
National Statistics: About a trillion dollars in the community
•Volunteerism ...
The Difference Community Makes
• Broadmoor, New
Orleans
• Revitalization Plan
• Formed CDC
• Charter School
• Education Co...
Multi-faceted community approach
•

Community powered: 13,000
volunteers have contributed
300,000 hours

•

Inclusive: "Wh...
Local Recovery DATs
• Greensburg,
Kansas
• Joplin, Missouri
• Brick, New Jersey
Resources
•

R/UDAT Overview film
– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SLxenuomss

•

Birmingham R/UDAT Report
– http://www.a...
Grassroots Disaster Recovery: The Design Assistance Model
Grassroots Disaster Recovery: The Design Assistance Model
Grassroots Disaster Recovery: The Design Assistance Model
Grassroots Disaster Recovery: The Design Assistance Model
Grassroots Disaster Recovery: The Design Assistance Model
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Grassroots Disaster Recovery: The Design Assistance Model

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The American Institutes of Architects' design assistance program has served as a model for grassroots disaster recovery. See principles, case studies, lessons learned, etc.

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Grassroots Disaster Recovery: The Design Assistance Model

  1. 1. Grassroots Disaster Recovery: The Design Assistance Model
  2. 2. Agenda • • • • Describe the Design Assistance Program Explain how it is relevant to disaster recovery Share Case Studies and Lessons Learned Questions and Discussion
  3. 3. What’s DAT?
  4. 4. The Design Assistance Program • Began in 1967 – inspired by civil rights movement. First community was a post-flood recovery for a downtown. Over 200 communities in US & Canada since. Modeled across communities in UK & Europe.
  5. 5. Key Components • Customized • Comprehensive (interdisciplinary teams) • Objective Outsiders (pro bono) • Publicly Driven/Public Participation • Action-Oriented.
  6. 6. What distinguishes the DAT? • We are NOT: – Another Consultant Team – A process to produce a planning document • “Please don’t give us another plan. We have plenty – they all sit on the shelves. We need implementation strategies.” – Almost Every community – Government-focused – “Green”-focused – Building-focused • We ARE: – Public Service in the Public Interest • “Consultants work for somebody. Design Assistance Teams work for everybody.” – Action-Oriented – Community-focused – Holistic, Customized • “It’s about the space between the buildings, and the people that inhabit that space”
  7. 7. Outcomes– Newport R/UDAT • Newport, Vermont (2009) • Last town in state to receive downtown designation, double-digit unemployment • R/UDAT: “I’ve seen Newport come, and I’ve seen it go” • Newport, Vermont (2011) • $250 million in new investment, and 2,000 new jobs coming online • “The biggest change here has been one of attitude. Now we realize that through partnerships, we can do anything. Now, nothing is impossible.”
  8. 8. Port Angeles, WA 2009 SDAT
  9. 9. Today: $75 Million in New Investments
  10. 10. Waterfront: from SDAT to Masterplan to…
  11. 11. How DAT Applies to Disaster Recovery Disaster is constant
  12. 12. Case Study – Birmingham, AL
  13. 13. Impact
  14. 14. Frustration • "I think everyone in the neighborhood is tired," said Patricia Montgomery. Montgomery and others are tired of seeing their neighborhood look the way it does. Trees are still down, homes have been abandoned. While many are rebuilding, others are not and Montgomery says lately it doesn't seem like a whole lot of work is being done.

"I understand it's going to take a while to get stuff done but when you look out your house everyday and you see trees just laying, dead trees just laying there it makes you like, I'm so sick of this," said Montgomery. "I'm willing to get out there and help. My neighbors, I'm sure there are willing to get out there and help but we don't know where to start."
  15. 15. Immediate Outcomes • “it is a plan than we can use as a guide as we go back to restoring our community to not just the way it was, but better than it was before.”Mayor William Bell • ‘Greater Pratt Partnership’
  16. 16. Birmingham R/UDAT Outcomes • $8 million in federal funds within 2 months • June 2012 – TIGER Grant of $10 million • “The coalition of communities and organizations that have come together behind this grant is incredibly impressive. I think we all know we are working in an environment of finite resources, so from a federal standpoint it is always extraordinarily helpful to see a large commitment from the local community, the private and public sector and the region as a whole behind one project.” – Federal official • 2013: another $17 million in federal community block grants
  17. 17. Two Year Anniversary - 2013
  18. 18. Case Study - East Nashville, TN • Tornado, 1998. One year later: “today many in East Nashville feel that the tornado recovery is stalled. ”The long term recovery hasn’t been as fast or as much as we’d hoped,“ says Lindsay Fairbanks, an East Nashville resident and real estate agent. “Blue tarps still flap in the wind. Recalcitrant insurance companies and inadequate insurance coverage frustrate the efforts of many to rebuild. East Nashville legend has it that some absentee landlords pocketed their payoffs and left for Europe, or at least to Destin. As a result, their damaged buildings were left behind to molder in the rain. And those with the funds and the will to build new structures on the vacant lots find themselves faced with a suburban-style zoning code more at home in Bellevue.” • R/UDAT – 800 participants, transformative community event that organized the neighborhood and aligned resources
  19. 19. R/UDAT Outcomes • • • • • Rediscover East! Formed CDBG and HUD funds Kroger re-opened grocery stores Town Square urban design “The R/UDAT empowered the whole community to identify a common direction and form the partnerships – and pools of capital – to make it a reality. The most significant outcome was the private investment that came after the R/UDAT. Investors and developers realized East Nashville’s significant potential.”-Architect magazine, 2011
  20. 20. Case Study: Rockaways, NYC
  21. 21. “A year after Hurricane Sandy flooded hundreds of miles of eastern U.S. coastline, thousands of people still trying to fix their soaked and surf-battered homes are being stymied by bureaucracy, insurance disputes and uncertainty over whether they can even afford to rebuild. Billions of dollars in federal aid appropriated months ago by Congress haven't reach homeowners who need that money to move on. For many, flood insurance checks weren't nearly enough to cover the damage.”
  22. 22. “But on the periphery — in the Rockaways, on Staten Island’s South Shore and along Brooklyn’s edges — where the storm surge was highest and the damage greatest, evidence of Sandy still litters the landscape. There are miles of shuttered coastline, building lots specked with rubble, entire neighborhoods without habitable homes and blue tarps flapping like flags of surrender.”
  23. 23. Lessons Learned: Common Challenges • • • • • Overriding Uncertainty & Speculation Confusion & Frustration “Rootshock” & Identity Crisis Overwhelming burden on local government URGENCY
  24. 24. Lessons Learned: Keys for Local Leaders Enormous burden placed on government: • Emphasis on Communications • Address Uncertainty with clearly articulated process • Broaden civic leadership • Engage and Involve the whole community in visioning, decision-making & implementation – Not just what gets done, but how it is done
  25. 25. Lessons Learned – Process Matters • World Trade Center, Envisioning the City – Public rejected plans • New Orleans, Post-Katrina – ESF 14 FEMA Planning – Bring New Orleans Back Plan (Mayor) • Disparate Efforts, Politically Unpopular • Famous “green dot” shrinking footprint – ‘The Lambert Plan’ (City Council) – Unified New Orleans Plan • Citizen/Stakeholder ‘gap’
  26. 26. Lessons Learned: It’s HARD. • There are no short cuts in disaster recovery. It is a labor-intensive endeavor. • There is no off-the-shelf fix – it must be customized. • It must involve everybody. It requires the whole community. • It must operate at multiple scales (neighborhood, city, region, etc) • 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.‘
  27. 27. Key to Success – Civic Capacity • Vision • Novel Partnerships (Cross-Sector, Public-Private, etc) • Civic vs. Political Process ( again, engage the whole community) • Transcend traditional roles and dependency on public sector • Civil society is our strongest sector
  28. 28. “We have no public resources to do anything” National Statistics: About a trillion dollars in the community •Volunteerism = $171 billion (only 64 mill people) •Total Charitable Giving = $298.42 billion. •Non-profits = $300 billion in investment into local communities •Over half of all states have enacted legislation to enable privatesector participation in infrastructure projects, where there is an estimated $180 billion to be leveraged •Crowdfunding - $1.5 billion in 2011 alone •*billions in federal support
  29. 29. The Difference Community Makes • Broadmoor, New Orleans • Revitalization Plan • Formed CDC • Charter School • Education Corridor • Formed Improvement District
  30. 30. Multi-faceted community approach • Community powered: 13,000 volunteers have contributed 300,000 hours • Inclusive: "When you have solidarity of people of different economic groups, there's a power to that and that can make a big difference" • Outside help (Harvard, MIT, etc), grants, etc • Attractive partner: "We knew there was money available. We said, 'We're ready, we'll take your money, and we'll show you results.'" (Leveraged $40 million initially) • In 7 years, 85% of the 2,400 homes were rebuilt and occupied, vs. other neighborhoods that languished Gentilly, 2011
  31. 31. Local Recovery DATs • Greensburg, Kansas • Joplin, Missouri • Brick, New Jersey
  32. 32. Resources • R/UDAT Overview film – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SLxenuomss • Birmingham R/UDAT Report – http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab091780.pdf • ‘Building Birmingham’ Film – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkiEWreNnWs • East Nashville R/UDAT Report – http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab080327.pdf • “Civic Lessons,” Architect Magazine – www.architectmagazine.com/urban-development/civics-lessons.aspx • National Civic Review, The Civics of Sustainability – http://www.ncl.org/pdfs/99-3/MillsCivicssustainability.pdf • Rockaways R/UDAT Report – http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab099137.pdf

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