The Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network, led by ASU sustainability scientists Nancy Grimm and Chuck Redman, is among 38 recipients of the National Science Foundation's 2017 Smart & Connected Communities grant. The S&CC grant seeks to harness smart technologies for the enhancement of communities – in terms of economic opportunity and growth, safety and security, health and wellness, and overall quality of life. After observing how these technologies contribute to disaster relief – the social media fundraisers and re-build events after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and María, for example – UREx recognized an opportunity. That's why the network is using its award to develop a plan that will prepare three coastal cities – Miami, San Juan and Baltimore – for the increasing frequency and severity of storms using smart technologies. In doing so, it will benefit the lives of more than a million people. How does UREx plan to achieve this? To begin with, it will use visualization tools to examine how socio-political, ecological and technological factors – things that make a city smart and connected – contribute to resilience. It will also encourage collaborations, develop capacity-building activities like webinars and partake in meaningful community engagement within the participating cities. "We expect that developing cross-institutional interactions and mechanisms for knowledge exchange prior to disasters will have a considerable impact," says Co-Principal Investigator Tischa Muñoz-Erickson. "Ultimately, our goal is to help cities understand their vulnerabilities, then overcome them by getting more connected – to each other and to formal organizations." By helping these three cities become role models for others, UREx hopes coastal communities around the country and beyond will be more prepared should a hurricane make landfall on their shores.