Athens-Clarke County

The Athens Community Climate Resilience Project through Technology and Transportation Innovation

The Athens Community Climate Resilience Project Through Technology and Transportation Innovation is a community-based, climate resilience intervention study that leverages the deployment of transportation and communications technology to prevent community harm caused by extreme weather events. The project is a collaboration between Athens-Clarke County local government and researchers from the University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, and Augusta University towards reimagining how neighborhood disaster prevention can improve the lives of residents in a community experiencing rapid economic development and population growth.

“Athens-Clarke County is dedicated to building a culture of readiness and resiliency for all of our residents. Through this partnership, I believe we will make Athens-Clarke County a safer, strong and adaptable place to live. – Mayor Kelly Girtz

The project employs a multi-component needs assessment through direct neighborhood feedback from 16 representative neighborhoods as well as pilot implementation of planning exercises and neighborhood drills to inform a quasi-experimental community trial. A fusion of technology into the intervention design leverages existing transportation and communication platforms (MyStop transportation app) that are freely accessible by both smartphones and other internet-assisted devices to mobile health (mHealth) rapid response and preparedness information that promotes safe travel for all members of the community during extreme events. A systematic evaluation framework and the harvesting of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will be used to identify strategies for resource distribution that are acceptable to community members, to tailor technology to the unique attributes of neighborhoods, and to institutionalize a community disaster playbook that safeguards the health and wellbeing of residents through the effective deployment of technological innovation.

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