Foundation for P.R. launches new digital tool to strengthen vulnerable communities
Foundation for Puerto Rico, in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Housing Department, unveiled the Social Capital Interactive Maps, a new digital tool that it developed as part of its Whole Community Resilience Planning Program.
This pilot platform allows citizens to visualize data and interactive maps that contribute to improving planning, promoting economic development and resilience in local communities at risk of being affected by atmospheric phenomena and other natural events.
This tool is a prior step to the publication of the Notice of Availability of Funds (NOFA) to implement the program, nonprofit officials said.
The tool is the first, and only one of its kind in Puerto Rico that provides users with information about locally existing social assets and allows communities to encourage knowledge among their residents about resources, places and initiatives available in their surroundings, Foundation for Puerto Rico President Annie Mayol said.
“These interactive maps will be very useful in comprehensive community planning processes. They were developed as part of a government agility strategy, to guarantee better access to public information through available technology,” she said.
“By managing the platform, the user will be able to find valuable and updated information that can be used to assess trends and visualize the distribution of resources,” she said.
Meanwhile, Housing Secretary Luis Fernández-Trinchet, explained that the maps were developed through close collaboration between the local Housing Department and the foundation. In addition, said despite the difficulties following the COVID-19 emergency, the work has moved forward and the publication of the NOFA is expected by the end of June.
“This alliance builds on the geospatial analytical experience with the information gathering capacity of both entities, to design a tool that makes available to any local or international user information and resources that were previously not accessible in the same platform,” he said.
“These data are essential to facilitate the design of community resilience plans in the face of the reality that we live today after the natural disasters of recent years, particularly Hurricanes Irma and María,” Fernández-Trinchet said.
The Whole Community Resilience Planning Program is financed through funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, managed by the local Housing Department as part of the Disaster Recovery Action Plan.