Sunny day flooding happens when water from the ocean goes up the sewer system during high tide and reaches the street. In Rockaway, a coastal town in NYC, this issue is more recurrent do to sea level rise.
Through observation, interviews, and on-site workshops, my team and I were able to better understand how the lives of residents are disrupted by recurrent flooding episodes. Finding solutions for this issue is the goal of our thesis project.
MAIN ISSUES REPORTED BY RESIDENTS
HOW CAN ROCKAWAY RESIDENTS ADAPT TO THEIR CHANGING ENVIRONMENT?
We found that trash on the street ends up in the sewer system and makes flooding worse. In fact, the Department of Sanitation estimates that in 2012, 23% of the sewer blockages in Queens County, where Rockaway is located, were caused because of trash and debris. Although residents cannot stop flooding from happening, they can stop trash from clogging the sewer.
WE WANT TO HELP ROCKAWAY RESIDENTS UNDERSTAND THE CONNECTION BETWEEN TRASH AND FLOODING, AND MAKE IT EASIER FOR THEM TO TAKE ACTIONS TO ALLEVIATE THE PROBLEM.
WE PROTOTyPED A FEW POSSIBLE SOLUTIOnS
PROTOTYPE 1 - ROCKAWAY REPORT
Rockaway Report is an augmented reality game that takes users to discover and monitor their neighborhood.
By walking around the neighborhood players can interact with elements that exist in the game. They will learn how other neighbors are affected by flooding and they can report the areas in their neighborhood that need attention.
The more people play and report the more opportunities they have to earn rewards and discounts in local businesses.
PROTOTYPE 2 - ALERT 311
Alert 311 is a chat-bot that allows users to easily report issues in their neighborhood using the text message app of their preference.
Alert 311 also send alerts when nearby areas are flooded so that people can plan ahead.