COVID-19 Lessons: The Hidden Urban Systems Supporting Vulnerable Communities

June 24, 2020
DESCRIPTION: Cities like New York are best known for their concrete, glass, steel and financial power. But hundreds of nonprofit organizations do essential work fostering and spreading the capacities and connections that cut community risk when disruptions strike. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of this sector even more than Hurricane Sandy did. This special Sustain What session explores how to boost the viability and impact of this vital source of resilience.

The session centers on “COVID-19 and the Hidden Urban System Supporting Vulnerable Communities,” a report written by Paul Nelson, a Founding Principal at Resilient Cities Catalyst. Nelson leads the organization’s engagements with cross-sectoral partners working to co-create new solutions to their most pressing urban challenges.

Nelson will explore his findings with these guests:

Courtney Cogburn is an associate professor at the Columbia School of Social Work who directs a research group using virtual reality and other innovative means to characterize and measure racism and evaluate its effects on mental and physical health.

Jonathan Rose is an urban planner, author, and real estate developer of affordable, environmentally-responsible communities. He also co-founded the Garrison Institute, a center focused on contemplative practice as a path to environmental and social sustainability. His book, “The Well-Tempered City,” explores what science, history and human nature teach us about the future of urban life.

Rose will also discuss online access for low-income households, as explored here:
Advancing Digital Inclusion for Low Income Families

Susan Stamler is executive director of United Neighborhood Houses, a policy and social change organization representing 43 neighborhood settlement houses that serve 765,000 New Yorkers from all walks of life.