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Equitable Recovery, Equitable Resilience

August 2020

This white paper from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) describes the roles that community organizations play in responding to natural disasters, as well as the accomplishments and challenges relating to this work. With natural disasters related to climate change occuring at increasingly frequent rates, community organizations provide critical emergency aid and recovery services. Furthermore, these services can help reduce the recovery gap within communities, as underlying economic, social, and housing factors and public policy decisions create disparities which are exacerbated through natural disasters. Drawing on interviews with various organizations in California, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Texas, this paper reviews the different strategies that these groups use and puts forth some recommendations for policy changes that may be necessary to advance equity in recovery and resilience. 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Equitable Adaptation Legal and Policy Toolkit - Georgetown Climate Center

July 29, 2020

The impacts of climate change disproportionately affect overburdened and low-income individuals and communities of color that already face significant economic and social challenges. The cumulative impacts of pollution, racism, and political and economic disenfranchisement make it difficult for these communities to withstand and recover from extreme heat, flooding, and other climate impacts. To help communities address the challenges of climate resilience and social inequality, the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) partnered with leading experts and practitioners to develop the Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit, a comprehensive online resource to help state and local governments work with communities on climate adaptation solutions that put frontline communities first.

Related Organizations: Georgetown Climate Center

Authors or Affiliated Users: Georgetown Climate Center, Tiffany Ganthier, Lisa Hamilton, Annie Bennett, Katherine McCormick, Anne Perrault, Sara Hoverter, Sara Hoverter, Jennifer Li, Joel B. Smith, Joel B. Smith

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Citizen Science: Mapping Urban Heat Islands in Richmond, Virginia

The urban heat island mapping project in Richmond, Virginia is a collaborative project that brings community members together to collect temperature variation data in order to design community-scale adaptation plans. Richmond is a highly populated city that has encountered increased urban heat island effect in recent years. While current technology such as satellites can provide city-scale urban heat data, a more detailed, block-by-block examination of temperature variation in each community has to be studied to understand which communities are most vulnerable to the extreme heat. "Citizen-scientists" were gathered to help measure temperatures in their own city, and related human activities or land use. The citizen-scientists included students from the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University; the Virginia Academy of Science; the City of Richmond’s Sustainability Office; and Groundwork RVA, a nonprofit focused on empowering local young people in the communities.  

Related Organizations: City of Richmond, Virginia, Groundwork RVA

Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting

 

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Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Boston, Massachusetts

The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) in the Dudley Triangle neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts is one of the first examples of a city-land trust partnership designed to address a range of community challenges including housing affordability, and racial and economic inequality. In the 1980s, DSNI created the community land trust, Dudley Neighbors, Inc. (DNI) to combat blight in the Dudley Triangle neighborhood, which as a result of disinvestment had numerous vacant properties and became a frequent site for dumping and arson. The goal of the land trust was to facilitate redevelopment of the neighborhood without displacing existing residents and to empower community control over future development. DNI acquired 60 acres of land and currently stewards 225 units of affordable housing, an urban farm, a greenhouse, a charter school, parks, and a town common.  The DSNI is also notable because of the unique partnership with the City of Boston. The City granted the land trust eminent domain authority to condemn lands in the Dudley Triangle neighborhood and provided the land trust significant financial resources to support the development of affordable housing and other community projects in the neighborhood. DSNI’s work has helped to enhance the resilience of the community by preventing displacement in the face of rapid gentrification in the city, enhancing food security for residents, creating and stewarding green space that help to reduce urban heat islands, and by increasing social cohesion in the neighborhood through community activities and a community-led governing Board. DSNI shows how innovative public-partnerships between land trusts and cities can be fostered to address climate resilience and other community stressors, such as the lack of affordable housing, blight, and disinvestment.

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Grannis

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New York State (NYSERDA) Clean Energy Workforce Development Program

New York State’s Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) developed the Clean Energy Workforce Development Program, committing more than $100 million through 2025 to converting the State’s workforce to a cleaner, more resilient future. Working with partners across the State - including small businesses, local governments, frontline community leaders, and more - NYSERDA is focusing on funding five programs in the clean energy sector, including: (1) training in energy efficiency and clean technology; (2) on the job/site training; (3) providing internships to young adults; (4) offering training on building operations and maintenance; and (5) funding contractors that provide clean energy training.

Related Organizations: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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California's General Plan Guidelines - Environmental Justice Element

June 2020

Developed by California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), this document (“EJ guidelines”) provides guidance for local governments on integrating an Environmental Justice (EJ) Element into the local General Plan. Senate Bill 1000, an amendment to California Government Code Section 65302, mandates that jurisdictions with disadvantaged communities must incorporate an EJ element into general plans. The EJ guidelines provide a history of EJ in California and associated policies, guidance for policymakers in determining if a general plan must include EJ requirements, and guidance for drafting policies and fulfilling these EJ requirements. The EJ guidelines are included in Chapter 4 (Required Elements) of California’s overall General Plan Guidelines. 

Related Organizations: California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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The Kresge Foundation Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative: Evaluation Report

December 10, 2019

The Kresge Foundation established the Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity (CRUO) initiative in 2014 to advance climate resilience by building capacity within low-income urban communities. Kresge believes that climate resilience requires a comprehensive approach which incorporates climate change mitigation, adaptation, and social cohesion. CROU offered $29 million over 5 years to 15 community-based nonprofit organizations (CBOs) across the U. S. to advance equitable climate resilience. This report reviews the impact of the initiative, outcomes and lessons learned from across the funded projects.

Related Organizations: The Kresge Foundation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Providence, Rhode Island - Climate Justice Plan: Creating an Equitable, Low-Carbon, and Climate Resilient Future

2019

Co-created by the Office of Sustainability and the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee (REJC) of the City of Providence, Rhode Island, this Climate Justice Plan lays the foundation for socially equitable climate mitigation and adaptation. Providence Mayor Elorza has set a goal for the city to become carbon neutral by 2050, with frontline communities to “lead the charge. ” The Plan includes seven key objectives and over 50 mitigation as well as adaptation strategies developed to concurrently achieve carbon neutrality, climate resilience and social climate justice in Providence.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Jade District Greening Initiatives - Portland, Oregon

2019

The Jade Greening Initiatives refer to two concurrent initiatives to plan and implement targeted tree planting and greening in the underserved Jade District of outer southeast Portland, Oregon. Residents in the district experience significant economic and health disparities due to historic public disinvestment, its location surrounded by major transportation corridors on all sides, and lack of tree canopy and accessible green space. With assistance from community-based organizations, community members and businesses worked together to set priorities for neighborhood development and greening. Collaboration, planning, and design of new greenspace were supported through the EPA's Greening America's Communities Program and the Oregon Solutions Program.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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USDN Guide to Developing Resilience Hubs

October 2019

The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is supporting the development of Resilience Hubs, which are described as community-serving facilities that aid and educate residents, and coordinate resource distribution and services before, during or after a natural hazard event. The USDN Resilience Hub guidance document is a living framework designed to assist communities in planning for, implementing and operating a community Resilience Hub - geared towards local governments, community-based organizations, and other practitioners.

Related Organizations: Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN)

Author or Affiliated User: Kristin Baja

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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