Empowering Communities to Advocate for Resilient Built Environments


Across the world climate change is forcing cities to build stronger and more resilient civic buildings and spaces. While there is strong consensus within the professional design and health sectors for this investment, it is essential to have the advocacy of the local communities in both the funding and design processes to ensure the resulting structures align with their resilience needs. Born out of lessons learned from cities such as New Orleans, Christchurch, Bucharest and Mexico City, The Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) provides communities with the technical support to establish and maintain local cross sector networks charged with advancing smart mitigation and preparedness investments that support their efforts to protect the health of their vulnerable neighbors during times of stress. The NEN's mission is to establish and maintain high performing cross sector networks across the city that are rich in trust and reciprocity and committed to advancing the disaster resilience of a neighborhood by crafting culturally competent Resilience Action Plans (RAP) at the individual, organizational and community levels. These plans host the communities self identified goals for all phases of disaster planning  - including mitigation, readiness, response and recovery. The NEN leverages human centered design methods used in the design community to educate resident leaders on the importance of this work. 

Learning objectives

  • Engage communities of diverse socio-economic conditions on the issue of resilience and the role of the built environment 
  • Understand the power of using human centered design techniques to advance the collective resilience of the community 
  • Offer the design community a meaningful role in the effort to advance equity in the fight against climate change 
  • Develop partnerships with community based organizations and civic networks to advance the important mission of adapting our built environment to a new normal 

This session was recorded live on November 2, 2022.

User rating:
Average: 5 (2 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW


  • Daniel Homsey

    Director | Department of Emergency Management of the City and County of San Francisco

    Daniel Homsey is the Director of The Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) for the Department of...