Early Resilient Framework Plan

Toa Baja, Puerto Rico
Solving Global Challenges

In response to Hurricane Maria, architect and native Puerto Rican Yanel de Angel spearheaded a campaign to attract partners in academia, private industry, and the nonprofit and civic realms to come together and devise implementable recovery and resilience strategies for Puerto Rico. Over the course of a few months, the group grew into a global, interdisciplinary alliance known as ResilientSEE.

The alliance is currently conducting resilient planning for the Toa Baja municipality, which aims to create a framework plan that assesses the social, environmental, and economic risks and vulnerabilities for the community of Toa Baja and the island of Puerto Rico at large, ultimately recommending a set of guiding principles to help inform actions moving forward. With an open mindset, ResilientSEE will use a holistic system approach to co-create an infrastructure plan and position the community to seek federal funds for rebuilding.

What it is
ResilientSEE is an initiative of AREA Research focused on systems thinking to solve global challenges.
This map charts major climactic events in Puerto Rico in the last 100 years.
Developing ResilientSEE

Conceived in the Boston studio of Perkins&Will, the ResilientSEE team developed a resilient planning framework that can be applied to other neighborhoods, cities, and countries in need—any place at any scale. The name ResilientSEE stems from this flexible framework, a multi-lens approach to achieve resilience that considers “Social”, “Economic”, and “Environmental” vulnerabilities. The logo and visual identity that were developed graphically communicate our mission, methods, and goals.

The resilient planning process examines Toa Baja at both a city and an island-wide scale, assessing vulnerabilities that affect the social, environmental and economic well being of Toa Baja.
"Dear Yanel, we the people of Toa Baja will be eternally grateful for your attention and drive to help us move forward. I’m proud to say that I am a Puerto Rican woman who is filled with the Pride of the Lowlands. Welcome, and thank you, to your team who is facilitating your talent and your presence in our beloved homeland.”

– Desire Pearlman, Executive Assistant, Division of Economic Development and Tourism in Toa Baja

what makes it cool
We’re creating opportunities for Puerto Rico to recover and thrive through thoughtful design and strategic planning.
This work is created in partnership with the MIT Urban Risk Lab and Puerto Rican and Miami based architecture firm Alvarez-Diaz & Villalón.

Project Team

Yanel de Angel
Gautam Sundaram