Learn more about the types of projects we work with and on with local businesses in Norfolk, VA by clicking on one of the boxes below!
Flooding and Resilience
Norfolk is just a few feet above sea level, placing the city among the most at-risk cities in the world. Sea-level rise is a huge item for not only the City, which is home to the world’s largest Naval Base, but for the world as a whole. Indeed, flooding is a clear and present danger.
In an effort to contribute towards building resilience, Norfolk Forward provides a platform for citizens, local and regional businesses and other interested groups to work in tandem with the city and region to innovate and brainstorm creative solutions to this global issue. For instance, we anticipate partnering with 757 Makerspace and Greenstream to facilitate the implementation of a water level sensor system throughout the city to provide real-time updates of flooding and provide a road-by-road water level map. This system will provide the establishment of open wireless zones that blanket the city and allow citizens and local organizations to add almost limitless other sensors to detect risks in the environment, such as air quality, parking garage capacity trash levels, moisture levels. While this pilot project is already in progress, Norfolk Forward will offer a platform for 757 Makerspace and Greenstream Technologies to collaborate with other organizations, individuals and companies to facilitate not only their water level system program, but to further encourage the development of smart city technologies throughout the region.
We believe that building resilience begins with bringing together the community and technologies to create innovative solutions to universal issues. Resiliency does not just apply to flooding, it also applies to the community. This means becoming resilient with all of our critical infrastructure items from roadways, to emergency services, to our city’s data and ability to do business during and after a crisis. Through transitioning Norfolk and eventually Hampton Roads to a smarter city, critical infrastructure systems will be improved thereby enhancing our resilience.
“Anytime you are connected to more people in your city, you are more resilient.” Christine Morris, City of Norfolk
Closing the digital divide and helping prepare our students for local jobs through education is a paramount consideration for Norfolk Forward. The Virginia Department of Education currently provides that approximately 70% of Norfolk Public School students are on free or reduced lunch. This city-wide problem illuminates that poverty is rampant throughout Norfolk. In order to shrink this poverty gap, Norfolk Forward hopes to build partnerships with businesses and local organizations to create innovative and unique solutions to this increasing divide in our community.
Norfolk Forward anticipates continuing to work with Norfolk Public Schools to write joint curriculums preparing students into a job out of high school. The Cyber Virginia State website indicates that, in Virginia, there are over 17,000 available jobs in Technology and Cybersecurity. In fact, Norfolk attracts some of the world’s largest companies and is ripe with job opportunities for young adults. Norfolk Forward hopes to assist the continuing efforts to create opportunities for students with existing programs, such as Norfolk Public Schools’ Career Pathways Center. Through these collaborations with other organizations and businesses, we will develop new programs for the advancement of these students to empower and educate the students to seize readily available jobs in their communities.