Planning for Resilience and Equity through Accessible Community Technology: Developing a Community-Led Planning Tool for Climate Readiness
Lead PI:
Christina Rosan

PREACT (Planning for Resilience and Equity through Accessible Community Technology) is a multipurpose and multi-scalar climate preparedness and neighborhood planning software application informed by community needs and assets, to be piloted in the city of Philadelphia. While most planning tools are designed and built in a top-down manner, centering software developers and planners, this project will articulate a framework for technology co-production that fully takes into account the needs and experiences of community members and allows for the integration of social and scientific data for more informed decision-making. PREACT will enable users to specify a geographical area of interest, choose from and weigh the importance of a range of factors relevant to a climate planning concern, and generate a map indicating areas of greatest vulnerability. PREACT will also help identify ways to systematically address vulnerabilities through support for existing community assets (like parks and other greenspace), opportunities to reinvest in social, ecological, and physical infrastructure in communities, better local enforcement of existing public health regulations, and changes in land-use decisions and planning. The inclusion of resident groups in the creation of PREACT ensures that the data and assumptions that underpin PREACT reflect community need and lived experience. Through the process of designing and using PREACT, we anticipate creating opportunities for a more deliberative dialogue among residents, scholars, government, and business about needs and preferences for policy interventions and infrastructure investments. The goal is to co-create a socio-ecological and technological tool that promotes climate resiliency, empowers residents, and makes the government more responsive to community needs.

PREACT will be designed using a co-design process for the development of an interactive planning and data visualization tool to help educate the diverse stakeholder of the trade-off associated with decision making and investments for climate preparedness and adaptation. Through a series of community design workshops and the creation of more specialized working groups, the project will produce (a) a data collection plan that outlines the desired inputs including environmental data, citizen-science data, energy data, socioeconomic data, and data on neighborhood amenities and risk factors, and how they might be collected; (b) a data integration plan for how to incorporate the various data sets and forms into PREACT software, including the quantification of qualitative measures and a model for understanding the ways that factors interact with each other; (c) a software development and data visualization plan involving a series of wireframes detailing how PREACT software will work, addressing both how users interact with the software and how the data integration, visualization, and analysis will be carried out; and (d) a community-engagement plan detailing methods for further engagement of community members as citizen scientists and planners for the implementation of PREACT.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Christina Rosan
Christina Rosan has taught at Temple University since 2009. She is particularly interested in how we make cities more sustainable and just. She received her Bachelor’s in History (with Honors) from Williams College. After college, she taught English in Ecuador and worked at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC on a research project for USAID. She later attended the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) for her Master’s in City Planning with a focus on International Development. Her Master’s thesis examined the regional politics around the siting of a new airport outside of Mexico City. Rosan was offered an opportunity to continue her studies in a PhD at MIT where she worked on a research project on the politics of air pollution in Mexico City. Her interest in regional planning and sustainability led her to write her dissertation on metropolitan governance and land use planning in Boston, Denver, and Portland. After graduation, Rosan was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at MIT where she worked on a book project on the history of planning ideas which produced a co-edited book, Planning Ideas that Matter (MIT 2012). The book is the winner of the International Planning History Society’s 2014 best edited book in planning. She was also a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at MIT coordinating the MITPortugal PhD in Sustainable Energy Systems. At Temple, Rosan’s research focuses on urban sustainability. She is particularly interested in the politics of becoming a green city. She was the Co-PI on an EPA STAR research grant, Performance and Effectiveness of Urban Green Infrastructure: Maximizing Benefits at the Subwatershed Scale through Measurement, Modeling, and Community-Based Implementation. Rosan is the author of Governing the Fragmented Metropolis: Planning for Regional Sustainability (Penn Press 2016) and co-author with Dr. Hamil Pearsall of Growing a Sustainable City? The Question of Urban Agriculture (University of Toronto Press, 2017). Rosan is also the co-author (with Stephen Wheeler) of Reimagining Sustainable Cities (University of California Press, 2021). Rosan is active in the Philadelphia sustainability community and is eager to use research to inform practice.
Performance Period: 01/01/2022 - 12/31/2023
Institution: Temple University
Award Number: 2125375