Resilient Island Culture Studio, Staten Island

Urban Planning Studio Project (2015)

The Resilient Island Culture Studio was tasked to address housing and resiliency issues on Staten Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. With Make the Road New York as the studio client, emphasis was placed on serving lower-income communities that have not fully recovered from the storm. The studio proposes a Community Land Trust on Staten Island’s East Shore, in conjunction with a Resiliency Land Trust, to ensure sustained housing security for the East Shore community, and perpetual environmental security for Staten Island as a whole. The proposal is made feasible by Hurricane Sandy Recovery funds, but will benefit this unique part of New York City far into the future. The larger studio goal involved creating a more resilient Staten Island in the wake of the opportunities provided by Hurricane Sandy.


Our project proposal aims towards promoting advocacy planning which as a theoretical model is a radical departure from commonly used practices. This proposal takes the perspective that there are large inequalities in the political system and in the bargaining process between groups that commonly result in large numbers of people unorganized and unrepresented in the process. It aims towards ensuring that all stakeholders at all levels are equally represented in the planning process by advocating for the interests of the underprivileged as a means of seeking social change. Community participation is a central tenet of this model and is at the heart of the proposal. As we witness a plurality of public interests in the context of our solution, we envision the role of planner to essentially be that of a facilitator who advocates directly for underrepresented groups and encourages them to become part of the process.

Please use the link here if the pdf embed does not load: Project report

Mehak Sachdeva
Mehak Sachdeva
Urban Science Faculty Fellow

My research interests include spatial statistical methods with applications in the social, urban and environmental sciences.