Rise Up! Gaming, Sea Level Rise, and Community Outreach
On Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 Honors College students traveled to Dunedin to present their research and recommendations on Sea Level Rise and Community Outreach to the City of Dunedin's Commission. Part of the Community Sustainability Partnership Program (CSPP), this project came out of the Culture, Continuity, Crisis and Change: Tampa in Transformation course taught by Dr. Alan Bush and Dr. Catherine Wilkins. Throughout the semester, the students focused on two objectives: to make recommendations to the city about how to respond to sea level rise, and to determine the best practice for communicating and educating residents on sea level rise. After a series of trips to Dunedin to participate in tours and facilitate stakeholder interviews, the class identified problems and opportunities specific to the issue of sea level rise and community outreach in Dunedin.
At the City Commission meeting, students presented various recommendations concerning mitigating the effects of sea level rise on current infrastructure, housing and business vulnerability, and frequent street flooding. Their community outreach strategy included hosting a game night where citizens play Rise Up!, a game that allows players to simulate various sea level rise scenarios and apply solutions to them. The game can be used as a community engagement tool in facilitating conversation about sea level rise. Other outreach strategies includes social media sites and flyering around the community. Overall, the students' recommendations were well received by the City Commission, who plans to implement these recommendations in the form of an Action Plan.