Dallas Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan
The Dallas Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) is a roadmap developed by the city and community stakeholders that outlines steps the city can take to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while enhancing the city’s climate resilience. The plan provides an overview of the environmental and climate challenges that the city faces, recommends actions to improve the environmental quality of the city, build resilience, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and identifies funding and partnership opportunities to support plan implementation.
The plan outlines 8 goals (shown below) and 97 corresponding action items that the city aims to achieve in order to reduce GHG emissions,1 build resilience, and enhance the environmental quality of Dallas:
- Make buildings more energy-efficient and climate resilient.
- Generate and encourage renewable, reliable, and affordable energy.
- Ensure Dallas communities have access to sustainable and affordable transportation options.
- Transform Dallas into a zero-waste community.
- Protect water resources and communities from flooding and drought.
- Protect and enhance the city's ecosystems, trees and green spaces.
- Provide all communities with access to healthy, locally grown and sustainable food.
- Ensure all Dallas communities breathe clean air.
The plan also includes performance targets for each of these goal areas. For example, for the goal of enhancing ecosystems, trees, and green spaces, the plan identifies incremental 2030, 2040, and 2050 targets to: increase citywide tree canopy, decrease urban heat island index, and increase access to parks and trails.
Several action items that are focused on adaptation and resilience efforts are integrated into the CECAP. The plan includes action items to establish potential sites for resilience hubs in the city and update existing and new buildings in order to enhance their climate resilience. The CECAP also includes objectives to encourage residents to plant drought-tolerant vegetation in order to reduce water consumption for irrigation, complete the implementation of ongoing infrastructure projects that will improve community resilience to flooding, and continue to establish contingency plans to protect vulnerable water facilities from extreme weather events. Other action items that are focused on climate resilience and adaptation include the goal to increase green spaces among vulnerable communities to reduce the urban heat island effect and install blue-green infrastructure in communities that are most at-risk of flooding.
The CECAP notes that climate change will not affect all residents equally, and aims to prioritize solutions that center equity and help address past environmental injustices. The City focused community engagement efforts during the planning process on reaching communities that historically have not been engaged in planning efforts, particularly in neighborhoods of southern and western Dallas. In the plan development process, each potential action was assessed based on equity considerations (how an action would benefit or burden vulnerable communities), and evaluated based on ability to deliver social equity benefits and other co-benefits. Many of these considerations are identified in the final plan; for example, Action EG4 (which recommends expanded tree planting), highlights the equity consideration that property values might rise as a result of implementation and therefore “robust affordability and neighborhood stabilization strategies should be considered to prevent the displacement of existing residents.” The CECAP identifies opportunities to prioritize under-invested neighborhoods during the implementation phase through pilot projects or other means.
The goals, action items, and objectives of the CECAP were developed through extensive community engagement. A Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) was convened and included representatives from the public health, environmental justice, education, neighborhood, housing, and businesses sectors. City staff formed an Environmental Planning Task Force to ensure that city departments were meeting to discuss the goals of the plan. Outreach efforts included formal community meetings, over 180 individual meetings with community groups, two surveys, and media campaigns. In addition, staff met with over 6,000 stakeholders and reviewed over 9,000 community suggestions for the plan. Input was received from every zip code in Dallas.
The CECAP is Dallas’ first climate action plan, and builds off of data compiled from the Resilient Dallas Plan, which was completed in 2018 under a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The implementation of the plan will be assisted by the creation of an Environment and Sustainability Advisory Committee. The City will be implementing the plan in phases, first working to develop public-private sector partnerships and introducing educational programs.
Publication Date: April 2020
- City of Dallas, Texas
- Agriculture and food
- Biodiversity and ecosystems
- Land use and built environment
- Public health
- Frontline Communities
- Adaptation plan
1. The plan sets goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 43% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.