R-Cubed: Relief x Reconstruction x Resiliency

R-Cubed: Relief x Reconstruction x Resiliency

Hurricanes. Rising waters. Forest Fires. Disasters are becoming more commonplace in our changing world. How can governments and NGOs do a better job preventing, anticipating, and responding to natural and manmade disasters?

R-Cubed seeks to provide that answer through a new kind of disaster relief model. Bringing together faculty, staff, and students from across New York Tech’s schools and colleges, R-Cubed approaches relief, reconstruction, and resiliency from an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on both academic and professional expertise. The consultancy partners with NGOs, individuals, and other organizations to develop long- and short-term plans of action that are efficient and supported by case studies and best practices.

R-Cubed Offers:

  • An innovative, New York City-based hub for disaster relief focused on building infrastructure (physical, educational, social, biomedical, technology/communications) in locations recently affected by natural and man-made disasters.
  • An interdisciplinary team of experts who specialize in disaster relief, sustainable architecture, urban planning, service learning, resiliency, and more.
  • The ability to bring in other experts from the University and the greater New York City area, depending on the needs of the project.
  • A deep understanding (through research, case studies, and experience) of disaster relief efforts around the world.

Some New York Tech Disaster Response Initiatives

Current Research

Farzana Gandhi, M.Arch. AIA LEED AP, associate professor of architecture, School of Architecture and Design
Building on her recent research on displacement and refugee shelter solutions along with long-term resilient housing and community development, Gandhi will continue her work in Puerto Rico, where she is leading the design development and construction of prototype Disaster Relief community cores. These centers, constructed with D.I.Y. modular panel systems, offer post-storm assistance to meet community needs in medical aid, education/info/claims, sanitation, and electric/communications.

Robert Cody, B.Arch. AIA LEED AP, School of Architecture and Design
Cody will continue to advocate the development of coursework and research opportunities related to landscape urbanism and sustainability and resiliency strategies associated with coastal communities. In the five years since Superstorm Sandy, School of Architecture and Design students have has worked on resiliency projects in and around New York City and Long Island as part of the 4th year Design Studio. Cody has been instrumental in developing this course, and along with Professor Farzana Gandhi, has expanded this research to Puerto Rico. He will examine how landscape urbanism, together with engineered substructures, can form a new resilient urban terrain in sites in Puerto Rico, New York, and around the world.

Jaime Martinez, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
Martinez will build on his recent research on building and developing interdisciplinary communities through the use of technology and on developmental approaches to collaboration and learning. Martinez will coordinate efforts with Gandhi to leverage resources and contacts in international locations via his ongoing interdisciplinary education and research projects. Martinez will participate in various training programs to help others develop the skills needed to volunteer expertise in times of crisis.

Sonia Rivera Martinez, D.O., associate professor and associate medical director, College of Osteopathic Medicine
Rivera Martinez will work with the Center for Global Health at New York Tech to support the efforts of the R-CUBED project. The program identifies key faculty to train to respond to disasters and emergencies to conduct health and medical needs assessments. The faculty members then work with the center to identify resources including supplies, medicine, and personnel to support reconstruction and recovery efforts and provide medical relief in affected areas. Rivera Martinez will use her knowledge and connections in Puerto Rico to engage students and mentor them throughout the medical outreach. She will also leverage the expertise gained through NYITCOM’s free clinics in collaboration with other New York Tech faculty members.