Ecolibrium is a multi-disciplinary Climate Science Literacy and Environmental Justice project by Loisaida, Inc. Center that studies, surveys, and analyzes environmental conditions at the hyper-local level with the goal of improving public health and quality of life for our neighborhood and continuous Lower Manhattan community.

Loisaida has assembled a diverse, multigenerational team of local and national collaborators, college students, recent graduates, high school seniors, and professionals working in the fields of data science, architecture and engineering who all seek to improve public health and monitor environmental conditions in the Lower East Side (“Loisaida”) neighborhood. The project is funded through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Justice award. Ecolibrium’s first phase will culminate in a comprehensive hazard map of the Lower East Side and a multimedia campaign and interactive exhibition that utilizes independent media resources to enhance public awareness of environmental health hazards affecting us.

Environmental Literacy is the ability of an individual to comprehend issues of environmental science and to understand their own relationship to natural systems.

As part of this multi-disciplinary, inter-generational team, we will embark on a series of discovery exercises and public engagements specific to the Loisaida Neighborhood to learn about environmental toxins and their sources, climate change and the urban environment, and nature-based solutions.

Our group will gain an understanding of the urban environment through electronic sensing technologies and remote sensors used to monitor indoor and outdoor air quality and environmental conditions and microclimates. We will gather and analyze data, and document their findings and experiences through narrative storytelling. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and creative science communications using digital media and public engagement.

Our goals are to:

  • Bring together new and old community members to envision pathways toward a zero emissions and social equity future for our neighborhood and City.
  • Learn about environmental toxins and their sources, climate change and the urban environment, and nature-based solutions at the ultra-local level; from our apartments, to our building, to our block and so on.
  • Research the NYC’s energy system and public works, and how all buildings are critical infrastructure.
  • Draw upon indigenous knowledge to better understand neighborhood geology and urban ecosystems.
  • Plan, develop and create local Circular Economies with respect to ecological ventures, community organizing and for planning long-term actions.

Through immersive skills-sharing approach, the project uses multimedia resources to enhance environmental and climate science literacy and inspire positive environmental behaviors.

For the first cycle of Ecolibrium we’ll be implementing a 1-year community science project that will enhance public knowledge on local indoor and outdoor air quality and its connections to individual and community health, while increasing environmental and ecological literacy in our neighborhood of the Lower East Side.

At the second phase of the project in 2024, Ecolibrium’s team will have a prototype custom made environmental monitors fleet for indoor and outdoor data collection.

Loisaida’s ECOLIBRIUM program and initiative is supported in part by public funds from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez’ Community Project Award.