Mitigating a Lack of Trust
Watches, thermometers, fuel gauges, barometers, a compass and tape measures are all tools from which to understand, share and commonly understood indications of measurement.
Everyone, regardless of social standing, privilege, education, age, location or wealth recognise these tools and the units they measure equally. A common vocabulary if you like.
In places vulnerable to the risk of flooding, despite the growing investments, smart city tools, satellites, early warning systems, monitors, forecast software, apps, website and data gathering tech, there appears to be a disrupting issue of ownership, trust and communication.
Within our modernising cities suffering from reoccurring floods, many residents are suspicious of expensive and seemingly opportunistic high tech initiatives, an industry not shy of blaming local communities for their reluctance to engage with their tech, others suggest that it is the convoluted nature of government politics with the disconnected departments that appear unprepared and untrusted to provide timely measures to mitigate the risk of flooding. Whilst the government often condemns local communities for their poor management of the environment and their lack of interest in technological tools that might mitigate risk.
In my experience, it seems that all stakeholders have developed a convenient culture of blame, identifying others as the reason why contemporary measures aren’t being implemented or sustained successfully.
A lack of trust is the overriding negative condition that hampers an improved control of a situation where many stakeholders are involved.
Therefore it stands to reason that a common tool of measurement that establishes a trusted fulcrum of action is required. A tool that can be accessed, understood and referred to, in the knowledge that all stakeholders are seeing the same level of risk at any given time.
An accessible and easily understood gauge calibrated to indicate a real-time level of risk forecasted by the most contemporary tech available to a city and nation.
Ensuring that what the vulnerable citizens (all citizens) see (displayed physically in shop windows, schools, and on bus stops, digitally on PC, TV and phone screens), is exactly what the people in government offices, the emergency services, transport infrastructure and industry can see.
Perhaps a simple and reliable gauge that informs calm, anticipation, action, communication and preparation should be designed?