Center for Geospatial Analytics Calendar
Geospatial Forum with Dr. Andrew Fox
Dr. Andrew Fox
Professor, University Faculty Scholar and Community Engaged Faculty Fellow with NC State University's Department of Landscape Architecture
Visualizing Community Assets and Threats to Inform Post-Disaster Recovery
Water is the lifeblood of communities across Eastern North Carolina, many owing their locations and existence to the abundant natural resources provided by rivers, tributaries, floodplains and coastlines. These natural features, including their propensity to flood, have made lasting physical and cultural impressions that continue to shape and influence both town and region. Recent catastrophic floods and sea-level rise predictions highlight the need to develop and deploy more holistic methods of analyzing, communicating and planning for flood risks. An issue limiting both the short-term recovery and long-term resilience of coastal and riverine communities stems, in part, from the inability of technical experts to translate and communicate highly specialized data into understandable and implementable information capable of influencing decision makers. Traditional processes of data representation and recommendations limit both understanding and action because stakeholders, specifically the lay public, may not be able to interpret the information or visualize the potential implications of various decisions related to recovery.
This forum presentation will discuss action research that integrates aspects of geospatial analysis, landscape planning, community development and heritage conservation to assess, confront and communicate opportunities and challenges to communities recovering from floods. The processes described synthesize data, policies and programs into an integrative, scenario-based landscape planning approach to provide elected officials, municipal staff, and property owners with the information needed to discuss issues and inform priorities related to adapting their communities to a changing environment. Associated recommendations and outcomes are tied to existing community assets and address a variety of open space planning and management strategies within the context of disaster recovery and hazard mitigation. Collectively, these projects are informing land-use practices that couple feasibility and suitability with long-term ecological and community function, health, resilience, culture and vitality.