Lab 01


One of the major impacts of Hurricane Maria was massive flooding due to poor storm-water management, overflow of combined sewer systems, and the abundance of impervious surfaces. Even though floods cannot be avoided green infrastructure and resilient design strategies can help protect both residents’ lives and property. Unlike traditional single-use grey-infrastructure that moves water from one place to another, layered and multifunctional green infrastructure could enhance our island’s capacity to recover from adverse events. An interdisciplinary and integrated discussion between the several design disciplines, public policy advocates, science, social sciences, the insurance sector, and community organizations is essential to develop and/or identify green infrastructure strategies that could be employed by local communities. Hurricane Maria also exposed the fragile and precarious state of our electrical infrastructure. To this date, a significant portion of the island’s population is still without power. It is estimated that some areas will be without electrical service until mid-2018. Equitable access to clean and renewable energy can aid in the resilient recovery and economic development of Puerto Rico. Our communities should be able to recover fast from power outages and have access to backup power to achieve normal operations. The inclusion of other forms of renewable energy production is crucial not just for our resilient recovery, but also for a sustainable and thriving economy. A holistic and multidisciplinary approach to resiliency is fundamental to pursue a healthy, sustainable, and shock-resistant Puerto Rico. It is imperative to develop miti­gating and adaptive design strategies that take into consideration:

  • local community input
  • context-sensitive renewable energy systems
  • context-sensitive green infrastructure strategies (ie. urban vs rural settings)
  • impact of sustainable strategies and design decisions to human health and wellness
  • impact of green infrastructure and renewable energy in the local economy
  • support for education and capacity building of our communities

Project Sites & Development: Identify and exemplify green infrastructure opportunities in urban areas in the following typologies: low income neighborhoods and informal buildings, informal settlements, floodable urban areas, governmental housing 4-stories blocks, mountain settlements. Identify renewable energy showcase neighborhoods in the following typologies: low income and informal buildings, informal settlements, floodable urban areas, governmental housing 4-stories blocks, mountain settlements, etc. Areas of Loiza and Canovanas, such as San Isidro and Cubuy.

TEAM LEADERS: Nancy Clark – University of Florida
TEAM CONSULTANTS: Felix Aponte (UPR) | Dr. Lucio Barbera (UNESCO Chair Holder) | Marc Wouters (President CNU-NY)
TEAM ONE: Nancy Clark (University of Florida) + Antonino Saggio (La Sapienza University - Rome)
TEAM TWO: Silvia Aloisio (La Sapienza University – Rome)


San Isidro