Yuval Lev is a freshman at The George Washington University studying political communication and international affairs. Yuval heard of Planet Forward’s Storyfest 2016 from her professor, Dr. Cheers, who is also the educational partnerships coordinator for Planet Forward. For his submission, Yuval created a video that focused on the 11th Street Bridge Park, a development project concentrated on the preservation of the Anacostia River.
We asked him a few questions to learn more about his entry.
Q: Describe the 11th Street Bridge Park project.
A: The 11th Street Bridge Park is a massive project being developed by the city and other organizations that looks to make productive use of the Anacostia River area through a Bridge Park. What makes this project unique is their focus on the community and the environment, as opposed to the profit-driven projects that have gentrified these areas and displaces many residents.
Q: What was the process behind creating your submission? Why did you choose to communicate your innovation through this video format?
A: I chose to use a video format because this was also an assignment for my Introduction to Video Production Class. The process behind creating my submission involved finding the 11th Street Bridge Park online and seeing how amazing the project was and setting up interviews. I had some really great renderings and graphics to work with, as well, courtesy of the company that's handling design for the Bridge Park right now.
Q: Why is this innovation so important to you? Why do you think it is one of the most essential methods to help sustainable cities?
A: This innovation is important to me because too many of these development projects are looking for wealthy patrons and displacing local residents. Instead of asking what we can do to attract other people to the area, we should ask how it can be improved for the people that already live there. Through the Bridge Park, people will learn to care about the river and feel connected to it, which goes a long way towards sustainability. As the Director told me, we protect what we love. This is one of the most essential methods for sustainable cities because it invests in the future of sustainability, through education and connection.
(Editor's note: Answers edited for grammar and spelling.)