“The UrbanArk project aims to improve the resilience and emergency preparedness of urban centres and their communities to the threat of coastal flooding.”
By combining data collection, visualization, and community outreach, the UrbanARK’s three participating universities (New York University, Queen's University Dublin, University College Dublin) collaborate to achieve their mission in their respective urban areas.
With worsening climate change comes more extreme weather events and sea level rise, which will drastically alter the relationship between citizens and their built environment within urban coastal environments. The educational component of the project becomes important here because community preparedness and resiliency are the building blocks for resilient cities.
The core of this component is to increase environmental and risk literacy such that individuals, families, and communities understand the risk of natural disasters within a coastal and urban setting. This presents itself in community evacuation plans, better preparedness, and ability to interpret weather warnings or potential evacuation notices from local municipalities.
The data collection aspect of this project allows for collaboration between undergraduate, graduate, and academic faculty at the universities. UrbanARK focuses on rapid and efficient data gathering of high-quality spatial data and exploring the application of this data as a virtual reality tool. VR is an emerging technology in the field of risk communication. LiDAR technology is used to scan selected sites and these data points are translated into a 3D model seen inside the VR view.
Examples of data collected for the project can be seen here.