{Mesh}Community

Synopsis

A series of interrelated and interdependent concepts for the enhancement of community infrastructure. It proposes physical, procedural and organizational ideas that can be incorporated in part or in full depending on community needs. It draws strength from (1) empowering citizens to participate actively in the development of their community, and (2) distributing and interweaving community functionalities to ensure their delivery in a reliable, efficient and sustainable manner.

 

Overview

The system intentionally addresses communities across a wide spectrum, from developed country to developing, middle income to poor, urban environment to rural. With such a broad perspective, few communities will be able to take advantage of all of its tools, but many communities worldwide now find themselves in unstable circumstances environmentally, some unexpectedly as were those in the Indian Ocean disaster, but many more through the problems brought on by continuing population growth and global warming. For them, some of {mesh}Community’s concepts may be the difference between subsistence living and a chance for quality of life.

Proposed User Experience

Integrated Functionality
Functionality is best woven into the fabric of communities, not placed atop existing infrastructure and services. The concept is to integrate functionality with facets of community life to create greater cohesiveness without added complexity. {mesh}Community enables community functions to become an integral part of a citizen’s daily life, accessible in the normal orbit of activities. The system increases the availability and responsiveness of services while distributing functionality throughout the community.

Community Pride
Communities need to instill awareness, a sense of pride, and renewed faith in the capabilities of individual citizens. Successful changes will not be achieved or implemented by the community, per se, but rather by empowered, educated and inspired citizens. {mesh}Community empowers individuals to take responsible roles in their community. It recognizes the fact that individuals can make valuable contributions and enables them to participate responsibly with an increased sense of personal pride.

Sustainability
Communities should strive toward proactive planning, focusing on sustainable, adaptable, systemic development. Paradigms for the use of resources must be shifted to a model where all — natural and manmade — are too valuable to be misused. {mesh}Community encourages the responsible and sustainable use of resources. Meshed networks of infrastructure and utilities allow communities to make more efficient use of limited resources through distributed utility generation and distribution, enhanced resource recovery, and aggressive reuse and recycling procedures.

Pursuit and Use of Knowledge
The pursuit of knowledge is laudable, but only when knowledge is shared, does it attain its highest value. Communities should strive to see their citizens educated, but they must also strive to see that the knowledge of individuals is tapped for communal good. {mesh}Community values the implicit and explicit knowledge of individuals, groups, businesses, government and other communities. Collecting, analyzing, and distributing information are crucial community responsibilities supported by elements of the {mesh}Community system.

Community Development
Community change should be proactive not reactive, promoting growth and development, not merely survival.{mesh}Community gives communities the tools to increase stability, pursue development and manage growth through options that acknowledge the uniqueness of socioeconomic characteristics, geographic features and culture. Elements of the system can be specialized to need.

Stability under Change
Aging infrastructure and an increased reliance on non-redundant technologies have made communities vulnerable. Fragile infrastructure is ample reason for concern in the face of the threats imposed by resource depletion, high-energy storms and other looming disasters expected from global warming and population growth. Communities must have systems that guarantee stability even under daunting circumstances. Meshed networks provide communities with delivery systems with the redundancy needed for fail-safe operation in the face of breakdowns, damage or disasters.

Final Results

{mesh}Community report:

{mesh}Community presentation:


Students:
Indrani Medhi
Jose Sia
Michael Beebe
Sunghan Kim
Taylor Lies
Young Ae Hahn

Instructor:
Charles L. Owen

Completion date: 01/12/2004