The development of a participatory assessment technique for infrastructure: Neighborhood-level monitoring towards sustainable infrastructure systems.
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Climate change and increasing natural disasters coupled with years of deferred maintenance have added pressure to infrastructure in urban areas. Thus, monitoring for failure of these systems is crucial to prevent future impacts to life and property. Participatory assessment technique for infrastructure provides a community-based approach to assess the capacity and physical condition of infrastructure. Furthermore, a participatory assessment technique for infrastructure can encourage grassroots activism that engages residents, researchers, and planners in the identification of sustainable development concerns and solutions. As climate change impacts disproportionately affect historically disenfranchised communities, assessment data can further inform planning, aiming to balance the distribution of public resources towards sustainability and justice. This paper explains the development of the participatory assessment technique for infrastructure that can provide empirical data about the condition of infrastructure at the neighborhood-level, using stormwater systems in a vulnerable neighborhood in Houston, Texas as a case study. This paper argues for the opportunity of participatory methods to address needs in infrastructure assessment and describes the ongoing project testing the best use of these methods.