Resiliency IN A BOX

from 4/22-4/28

Please VOTE for us to WIN a LA2050 LIVE grant!

“Resiliency IN A BOX” is a mural covered recycled shipping container housing equipment producing a renewable, sustainable source of potable water, soil enhancements and clean energy on a daily basis. Our project provides opportunities for STEM education and a canvas for public art; We will place it in the Community Healing Garden at Markham Middle School in Watts where to help increase food production, plus serve as an off-the-grid, vital resource for the entire neighborhood in a disaster.


Called a “WEDEW” (Wood-to-Energy Deployable Emergency Water), this machine uses biomass (ex. wood, leaves, etc.) to produce water, energy, and biochar (a soil amendment). The WEDEW uses the energy it produces to generate 300+ gallons of water a day. It also creates an additional 25kWh of clean, renewable energy for uses from light to charging.

“Resiliency IN A BOX” strategically places a WEDEW at the Community Healing Gardens (CHC) urban farm at Markham Middle School (MMS) in Watts. Within 1 mile of the garden, there are 7 other schools and 3 housing projects—making it a strategic gathering spaces in an emergency.

Although Watts is only 2 miles wide, it averages 17,346 people per square mile, making it one of the densest communities in LA. In addition to 36,815 residents of Watts, the surrounding neighborhoods of Green Meadows, Florence-Firestone, and Willowbrook adds up to almost 200,000 people living near our site. Our location is well positioned to serve as a resilience hub for these communities during a disaster.

The CHG urban farm at MMS engages and serves 700 middle school students with STEM ed. “Resiliency IN A BOX” would directly benefit these students and their families by providing access to a pure, renewable source of water. The plants in the garden will be enhanced by the biochar. The WEDEW can supply abundant water to provide each student and their families with several gallons of pure, potable water per person per day.

Resiliency IN A BOX will strengthen and prepare the Watts and neighboring communities for the challenges ahead.

Unycyn Civic Arts will administer this project. Please contact us at

Or contact our partners:

Skysource, AltaSea, Community Healing Gardens, Beautify Earth




Thanks to our team:

Title: Kate McCarty

Video: Alex Budman and Nicole Hirschhorn

Renderings: Willem Swart, David Hertz, Studio of Environmental Architecture 

Website: Cynthia Hirschhorn and Jojo Valdez

AltaSea: Jenny Krusoe, Robin Aube

Beautify Earth: Evan Meyer and Ruben Rojas

Community Healing Garden: Nicole Landers

Skysource: Laura Doss Hertz and David Hertz

Unycyn Civic Arts: Cynthia Hirschhorn

subscribe to thecurrent enewsletter for curated news and examples of civic arts, urban gardens & water resiliency in LA, and beyond!