React: Flood Mapping Project

Stanford Design Impact Engineering Master's Capstone Project

Climate-related disasters leave low-income communities in recovery-mode for years, waiting for the trickle of aid from governments and nonprofits, which ends up being  bureaucratic and poorly targeted. While resources flow into these organizations at the peak of disasters, little energy is allotted for technological innovation prior to the next emergency. However, climate impacts are increasing; the time to act is now. With smart cities on the rise, we’ve envisioned a system of water-detection sensors to capture water levels in flood-prone neighborhoods, with data publicly available to communities, government, and relief organizations. The sensors attach to existing infrastructure, like light posts, and the data feeds interfaces for key stakeholders to create a smart, connected city. This enables smarter flood prevention decisions and creates a public record holding the government accountable for effective mitigation. We believe this technology paves the way for tackling the climate crisis with equitable solutions that ensure marginalized communities, often the most vulnerable to natural disasters, are included in our climate future.

We are so grateful to our partners in Houston, Texas: SBP, the Harvey Forgotten Survivor Caucus, and West Street Recovery. They graciously shared their firsthand experiences with natural disasters and were instrumental in co-creating with us. 

We traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to share our work and receive the joint Geneva Challenge and United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Youth Special Award for our work.

The Problem

The Solution

Idea Validation

How we do it

Steps to Impact