Dr. Becky Lentz has been selected as one of several City Fellows (three university-based and several community-based) for the 2021-2022 academic year affiliated with UT Austin’s Equitable and Regenerative Cities Flagship Project. City Fellows join a team of more than 150 researchers as part of Planet Texas 2050, one of three Grand Challenge research grants at The University of Texas at Austin supported by UT’s Bridging Barriers program. The Planet Texas 2050 team works across disciplines to find ways to make our state more resilient, “adapting to thrive” in the face of climate change and population growth.
The Equitable and Regenerative Cities Flagship Project’s purpose is to bring together researchers and community members to provide recommendations on the design of Resilience Hubs that shift power to communities and increase community capacity during climate and other potential disaster planning in Austin. The City of Austin defines Resilience Hubs as neighborhood centers designed to coordinate culturally sensitive, multilingual services to better meet the needs of diverse groups of community members and to provide a safe place for temporary shelter and relief during days of extreme heat or disaster events such as floods.
As part of an emerging initiative tied to the RGK Center’s efforts to engage civil society, Dr. Lentz’s community-engaged research agenda focuses on the role funding strategies play in promoting digital inclusion and equity in Texas and the City of Austin. Dr. Lentz’s contribution as a City Fellow will highlight the vital role that community technology and telecommunications play in disaster planning that makes available to all city residents affordable access to technology devices and services essential to a regenerative, equitable, and vibrant urban future.