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The Importance of People


Given at the 2011 Urban Systems Symposium, at the Importance of People panel.

Given at the 2011 Urban Systems Symposium, at the Importance of People panel.

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  • The spring's rash of severe weather in the South has inspired the Southern Baptist Convention, the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to work together to deliver more than 638,000 meals and snacks to the hardest-hit communities.
  • Johnny Sanders of Cary, center, listens as Jimmy Barnes, second from left and Dr. Nancy Coleman, of Glen Allen speak about their potential flooding situation as they review U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maps, Wednesday, May 4, 2011, at a public meeting in Rolling Fork, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110504/NEWS/110504008/Mississippi-Delta-counties-prepare-likely-flooding?odyssey=nav|head
  • More than 1,000 concerned residents from Issaquena and Sharkey counties listen to public officials and members of the state Levee Board and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers., as they explain the various flooding scenarios to them Wednesday, May 4, 2011 in Rolling Fork, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
  • Concerned resident asks a flooding questions of public officials, members of the state Levee Board and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wednesday, May 4, 2011 in Rolling Fork, Miss. More than 1,000 residents from Issaquena and Sharkey counties attended the public meeting. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
  • The Mississippi River floods north of New Madrid, Mo.
  • Canton, Lucien G., Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs, Wiley, 2007.


  • 1. 2011 Urban Systems Symposium
    The Importance of People. The Ultimate Sensing and Actuation System - maybe
  • 2. Announcements Morning Day 1
    Please sign up for dinner at a restaurant after Princeton Club
    Copies of various documents from IBM Journal Res Dev available on CDs
  • 3. People - The Missing Link
  • 4. Session Overview
    Cities are social organisms where people interact on many different levels and within/across many different communities. To what extent are theories of sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, and other soft sciences able to be accounted for in the modeling, design, and operation of cities?
    What is the role of people in the determination of the quality of life in cities ?
  • 5. A View of Cities
    Asset Management
    Pipes, Roads,
    Wires, Bldgs,
    Resource Optimization
    Water, traffic,
    energy etc.
    JobsComfort Lifestyle
    System of Systems
    City water, energy, buildings & transport
    Surveillance / Safety
    demand, creating
    disruptions and
    providing insight
    Business Decisions
  • 6. Andrew Mc Laughlin
  • 7. Networks
  • 8. Nicholas de Monchaux
  • 9. Susan Spraragen
  • 10. Identifying and introducing citizen motivational components into the quality of life in cities
  • 11. Motivation
    Motivation components are distinct at each phases of citizen activity. What motivates one to be aware, learn, act and share – and for what value – or purpose ebbs and flows with context of situation.
    Elements of motivation include:
    Goal Setting – at right level
    Belief in the program
    Signifiers to entice, encourage motivation: feedback
  • 12. Way Before This happens:
  • 13.
  • 14.
  • 15.
  • 16. And Even Before This happens:
  • 17. Volunteering in Tuscaloosa Alabama
    The New York Times May 9 2011
  • 18.
  • 19. Mississippi delta residents at public meeting about pending flood waters
  • 20.
  • 21. Active fluid interaction mechanisms need to be in place in advance of preparing for disaster. As part of a daily life ritual – like checking your favorite website for updates, news, e-mail, posts.
    Citizens need to be familiar with their local officials – they are recognized, known, and their roles are understood. So, when they face pending evacuation plans they know who to trust and believe.
    With that familiarity stored “in the bank” – the community is building trust and understanding in authorities who may be faced with difficult decisions ahead. Officials are citizens too.
    With bank of citizen engagement started and reinforced, motivating citizens to respond during preparation phase may be recognized by both citizens and city officials as a more feasible segue than a great insurmountable leap.
  • 22. Citizen -> citizen sphere
    City officals -> City Officals sphere
    City official -> other officials – in different agencies, federal and local
    What are you saying amongst your selves
    What are you saying about me
    What am I saying – assuming – about you
    Familiarize, befriend, extend, reach out ,this is who I am – who are you?
    An ongoing conversation, so when it is time to prepare – there is already trust and understanding established – so they will have more confidence and may pay more attention to evacuation suggestions, warnings, and mandates.
    Aware, understand, informed
    Just how this plays out – see blueprint next slide!
  • 23.
  • 24. Event Characteristics
    What are the characteristics of these events that we can extract and apply in our use case formation, development, and testing with an actual community. Find the common attributes – develop them – iterate on facilitating and enabling citizens around them – and take those learned elements share them with community partner.
    Those attributes should serve as direction for connecting with citizens before an emergency – for helping them with daily activities.
    Trash pickup; community events, bill payments, city office of the day/ fact or helpful advice – tweeted from that office to citizen – Did you know that the town asssessor has 700 applications in the queue for re-evaluating property taxes? Today is Sally’s 15 year anniversary as head librarian – Congratulations Sally – and thanks for all your help!
    “follow” the mayor – or other community leaders - -
  • 25.
  • 26. Tweets collected during flood along Mississippi - 2011
    Basement apt fail: ringing out wet towels w/@JeanNoirPierre to stop flooding...Neither one of us have the upper body strength for this #help
    Crazy flooding here! My aunt has to take a boat to get to her house.
    I'm sad now..... Parts of I-40 is closed due to flooding. Now I have to figure out how much extra time it will take me to get home
    RT @CantStopTheFunk: 3 hour detour between LR and Memphis due to white river flooding I-40. Situation to get worse before it gets better. [little rock]
  • 27. Tweets 1
    RT @SenRandPaul: There's been substantial flooding damage in #ky. If you've been affected contact our offices… (cont) http://deck.ly/~aY52H
  • 28. Tweets 2
    Home / News / Local
    Flooding closes Route 185 in Crown Point
    Flooding closes Route 185 in Crown Point Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 11:13 am | (0) Comments
    Font Size: Default font sizeLarger font size tweetmeme_style = 'compact';tweetmeme_source = 'poststar';
    CROWN POINT -- State Route 185 is closed between state Route 9N and Lake Road in Crown Point due to flooding in Essex County, a state transportation official said Thursday morning.
    A posted detoured directs traffic from Route 9N onto County Route 48 (Lake Road), to state Route 185.
    The detour is approximately 3 miles in length and will add less than 10 minutes of travel time, the DOT official said in a press release.
    This detour route will provide access to the free ferry service at Lake Champlain Bridge. The ferry is operating.
    Regardless of whether a road has been closed, motorists should not drive through any areas of standing water, the DOT said.
    For up-to-date travel information, call 511 or visit www.511NY.org.
  • 29. Tweets 3
    @DazeInOurLives Daze In Our Lives
    Loud alarm went off on the ward. Me: Is that the fire alarm? Staff: Um...yeah. Me: Where's the fire evacuation point? Staff: Um..outside (!)
  • 30.
  • 31.
  • 32. Many other online resources, blogs, etc.
    Welcome to the CrisisCommons wiki, a volunteer and project collaborative space for organizing projects and efforts around disaster relief.
  • 33.
  • 34. Simple But Effective
    As part of mitigation plan – early on from both perspectives – engage citizen continuously as part of their daily activity-
  • 35.
  • 36.
  • 37. Benjamin De La Pena
    ARTS &
    A People-centric View of Cities
    Invests in Civic Architecture, Urban Amenities &Livable Streets
    Allows Entrepreneurs
    (A way to challenge the economy)
    Allows anECONOMY
    Accretes Resources
    A way to changeor adapt rules
    A way to self-examineand PLAN
    Advocatesfor SELF