Enough expert opinions, time to see what the public thinks!
Anouk and I had two long and warm days on the boardwalk of Asbury Park. For 5 hours each day, we presented posters with possible flood protective strategies and ways to build homes on the shore. Everyone who came by got post-its to put vote for the strategies that they seemed best: Yellow stars for locals and pink hearts for non-locals.
The second day, we showed a short video where the architects of HNS and Councilman Joe Woerner, talked about the pro’s and con’s of a long-term rebuilding and short-term recovery. The point of the video is to make the people more reflective on what they think it important themselves and more aware of the up- and downsides of both approaches. Afterwards they voted on the same posters as the day before.
Showing the videos made it harder to involve a lot of people, as the process took longer and I could help less people at the same time. But still, with around 60 people who participated, we are very happy how it turned out!
Next week we are going to do the same in a town that got badly damaged by Sandy and has more privatized coastline. Curious to see how those factors will influence the outcome!