In addition to my day job working on the new resiliency plan to help New York prepare for climate risks at the Department of City Planning of New York, I am building "Critical Cartography”—a repository for counter-mapping. With publicly accessible satellite imagery, open data repositories and libraries, mapping is becoming a more collective and enabling process that can help us chart different courses of urban and territorial development. Through experimental ways of collecting and layering spatial information, maps can be a medium for synthesizing multitudes of knowledge. Thus maps can challenge our ways of knowing and acting.
Sera Tolgay is an urban planner and designer with dual master’s degrees in Master of City Planning and Master of Science in Architecture Studies from MIT. Originally from Istanbul, she is currently working at the New York City Department of City Planning on special zoning regulations for resilient reconstruction in the city's floodplain. Sera also co-founded muhit, an award-winning open data and public interest design non-profit active in Istanbul.