A Radical Geography Community
Superstorm Research Lab, New York, USA
Participant at the IGJ: David Wachsmuth (University of British Columbia)
“Superstorm Research Lab (http://superstormresearchlab.org/) is a mutual-aid research collective looking at the impact of Hurricane Sandy in New York. This project is a collaboration between academics and policy-makers, but also involved talking to people on the ground doing recovery efforts. The project has a public mandate, funded by the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. From the start it had the idea of generating knowledge that can help people think about how activists might respond to community better, and how recovery processes can be less unjust.”
Figure 8 demonstrates the multiparty approach that the SRL fostered in order to effectively engage with the appropriate publics at each stage of their project. At different moments in the process they engaged with different sorts of public audiences or stakeholders. However the groups, academia, and community in which we work were constants throughout all aspects of the project. In the research and dissemination phases policy-makers were also key to engage with and address, whereas in the research phase there were non-human factors to take into account as well as the private sector. This project demonstrates that having a public mandate involves taking multiple different stakeholders into account throughout the phases of the research, and engaging with these different groups at the appropriate time of research.