The Nature of Cities
A Q&A with Urban Resilience Technician Manon Lefevre
Manon Lefevere completed her Conservancy position summer 2016. While with the Connecticut chapter, Lefevere helped lay the groundwork for an ambitious and innovative project we're calling "Deep Greening". She’s currently pursing a Ph.D. at Yale University.
What’s the focus of the urban resilience work you’ve been doing?
Last year, Connecticut’s Urban Program kicked off a flagship project: the Eco-Urban Assessment, which uses mapping technology to identify areas within cities where investments in nature can help improve air quality, reduce flood risk and increase access to green space for underserved communities. I joined the urban team on a temporary basis as a GIS technician to advance this effort for Bridgeport by developing the project’s methodology and creating maps.
After gathering data and building the maps, we provided public access to Bridgeport’s Eco-Urban Assessment through an interactive website that juxtaposes ecological information—like tree canopy and location of green space—with social and economic information.
What was the result?
The maps revealed where investments in nature can improve residents’ health and well-being. We used this information, local knowledge and community outreach to select Bridgeport’s East Side for a Deep Greening project this fall. The project will include planting trees, building green stormwater infrastructure and, potentially, expanding the neighborhood’s parks—all in partnership with neighborhood leaders.
What inspires you about this project?
My background is in environmental science, but I’ve always had a passion for social justice and technology. This project uses technology to ask cutting-edge questions about the relationship between people and the environment.