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Reaching Higher Ground: Avenues to Secure and Manage New Land for Communities Displaced by Climate Change

May 2017

From the Center for Progressive Reform, this paper provides an analysis of the legal, policy, and corporate tools to acquire and govern land to relocate a community. It presents the most promising approaches that could feed into workable strategies for land acquisition, with the aim of protecting people and property in the short term, promoting climate resiliency in the long-term, and maintaining important cultural and economic assets. A number of case studies are included, many of which are focused on Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, since sea level rise and in turn coastal relocation is a present issue among these communities.

Related Organizations: Center for Progressive Reform

Authors or Affiliated Users: Maxine Burkett, Robert R.M. Verchick, David Flores

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Making Nashville a More Livable and Sustainable City for All

March 9, 2017

This report summarizes efforts, under Mayor Megan Berry, to make Nashville the “greenest city in the Southeast. ” The authors argue that, while recent planning by the Nashville-Davidson Metropolitan Planning Commission are likely to enhance environmental quality, more must be done to address poverty and historical inequities. Specific to climate adaptation, the report delineates how regional climate change will disproportionately impact low-income communities in Nashville, and describes how proposed initiatives can be expanded or adjusted to enhance equitable outcomes.

Related Organizations: Center for American Progress

Authors or Affiliated Users: Miranda Peterson, Cathleen Kelly

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Case Study: Harlem Heat Project

February 23, 2017

The Harlem Heat Project is a community-based initiative that began in New York City in the summer of 2016. It combines crowd-sourcing, data reporting, and narrative journalism to tell the story or urban heat islands in New York City. Non-profit journalism and community-based organizations came together to provide low-cost heat sensors to homeowners in "heat-vulnerable" areas of Harlem in New York City. The data was used to tell the story of disproportionate risks to extreme heat for lower-income and communities of color as a result of increasing temperatures from climate change.

Related Organizations: WE ACT for Environmental Justice, AdaptNY, I See Change

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Opportunities for Equitable Adaptation in Cities: A Workshop Summary Report

February 15, 2017

This summary report describes the conversations and discussions of participants during a two-day workshop help in April 2016 focusing on on city-level actions that would support social justice goals and better prepare communities for the effects of climate change. The workshop convened nearly 50 thought leaders on equity and climate adaptation, including city officials, representatives of environmental justice and social justice organizations, state and federal partners, and funders who support this work.

Related Organizations: Georgetown Climate Center

Authors or Affiliated Users: Melissa Deas, Jessica Grannis, James DeWeese, Sara Hoverter

Resource Category: Planning

 

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California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool - CalEnviroScreen 3.0

January 30, 2017

Developed by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment at the request of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), CalEnviroScreen is a science-based tool that identifies the California communities most burdened by pollution from multiple sources and most vulnerable to its effects. The tool uses existing environmental, health, demographic and socioeconomic data to create a screening score for communities across the state. Specifically, the tool uses data on 20 indicators covering pollution and population characteristics to create scores for each of the state’s 8,000 census tracts.

Related Organizations: California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Drought and Equity in California

January 9, 2017

Drought and Equity in California is the first statewide analysis of the impacts of the five-year and ongoing drought on California’s most vulnerable communities. Three major impacts of the drought are the focus of the report, including water supply shortages, drought charges and water affordability, and the drought impacts on salmon fisheries. The Pacific Institute finds that water shortages and price increases affected access to safe, affordable water for Californians, with the most severe impacts on several vulnerable populations.

Related Organizations: Pacific Institute, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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The Kresge Foundation Climate Resilient and Equitable Water Systems (CREWS) Initiative

2017

Climate Resilient and Equitable Water Systems (CREWS) consists of 24 nonprofits - Kresge Foundation grantees - who are building solutions for low-income communities in U. S. cities to adapt to climate enhanced storm and flood impacts. CREWS programs are transforming urban stormwater and wastewater systems with climate resilient integrated water-management practices and socially equitable solutions. CREWS is an initiative of the Kresge Foundation’s Environment Program, focused on climate resilience through adaptation, mitigation, and social justice.

Related Organizations: The Kresge Foundation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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EPA Environmental Justice 2020 Action Agenda

October 27, 2016

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Justice 2020 Action Agenda (EJ 2020) is the Agency’s environmental justice strategic plan for 2016 to 2020. The plan focuses on the environmental and public health issues for the nation’s minority, low-income, tribal and indigenous populations - and includes information on EPA’s climate justice initiatives. The goals of the agenda are to further integrate environmental justice considerations in all of the Agency’s programs; strengthen EPA’s collaboration with federal, state, tribal, community, and industry partners partners; and demonstrate progress on significant national challenges facing minority and low-income communities.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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National Equity Atlas

The National Equity Atlas, created by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, is an online tool that allows users to find information on demographic changes, racial and economic inclusion, and potential economic gains from racial equity. Data is available for the largest 100 cities, 150 metropolitan regions, and all 50 states in the United States. While this resource does not address climate change, it can provide useful information to frame environmental justice and equity challenges that may be exacerbated by climate change.

Related Organizations: Policylink, University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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ClimateCARE Resiliency Work Plan

September 28, 2016

This proposal, which was funded in 2016, maps out the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc. (NOAH)’s Climate: Community Action for Resilience through Engagement (ClimateCARE) program in East Boston. ClimateCARE seeks to a) strengthen community engagement, b) partner with the City of Boston to advance its Climate Action Plan, and c) convene agency stakeholders in an Adaptation Planning Working Group which will facilitate coordinated, actionable climate resilience plans. In addition to detailing these initiatives, the report describes the climate-related risks in East Boston and their workplan for 2016-2018.

Related Organizations: Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc. (NOAH)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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