WHITE PAPER: Postal Facilities - Platforms for Community Resilience
The objective of this investigation was to establish a conceptual framework and preliminary recommendations for where and how USPS facilities can incorporate a series of programmatic and physical modifications to address community needs in vulnerable places - without disrupting core postal services.
In doing so, this assessment seeks to inform how The City of Pittsburgh / Allegheny County can serve as test bed to integrate USPS facilities into the regional Resilience Strategy and couple with existing a place-based revitalization activities.
The key to optimizing the location and functionality of existing postal facilities to increase community resilience is to partner with the network of approximately 24,000 privately owned postal facilities.
Targeting multi-tenant buildings in zip codes with high poverty indicators, declining population, and/or low broadband capacity yield priority locations for identifying facilities at risk of suspension or permanent discontinuation. Discontinuation of postal facilities in vulnerable places can have a disproportionately negative effect on a community. Proactively engaging property owners, engaging and assessing community assets, and assembling a menu of complimentary services could mitigate facility discontinuation and unnecessary costs for both USPS and communities.
Such an approach also will yield new opportunities to evaluate and deploy a range of smart and connected technologies utilizing existing postal infrastructure as well as new funding and financing sources to address both place-based and postal priorities. See the full White Paper here.