Communications, con Cariño

One pillar holding up the socially distanced city is the Internet. But under the strain of migrating so much of our work, education, and leisure online, telecommunications networks could use a failsafe; and in the best of times, reliable internet is hardly accessible to all. For the first installment of our new audio Dispatch series, we catch up with Greta Byrum of Community Tech NY as she sets up a local internet hotspot for her building. Against a persistent “digital divide,” Byrum talks about the importance of grassroots digital networks in keeping people connected during disasters — and how they might point the way forward to a more equitable and community-driven technological future.

You can get more information about building your own neighborhood network here.

Greta Byrum reimagines the way we design, build, control, and govern communications systems. As Co-Director of the Digital Equity Laboratory at the New School for Social Research and Director of the Community Tech New York project, she builds digital justice through applied research, community collaborations, and policy strategy. Previously Byrum founded and led the Resilient Communities program at New America, where she developed and led Resilient Networks NYC.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.

Series

Dispatches

In short audio features, we check in with urbanists of various stripes to hear what they are doing and how they are learning from the coronavirus crisis.