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Climate Adaptation Investment and the Community Reinvestment Act

June 2019

This report was conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Harvard University to explore the connection between climate adaptation and resilience and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which encourages banks to invest in and address the credit needs of low- and moderate-income areas and underserved rural areas. The CRA was enacted in 1977 and, according to the Federal Reserve, “requires the Federal Reserve and other federal banking regulators to encourage financial institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they do business, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Jesse Keenan, Elizabeth Mattiuzzi

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Prince George's County, Maryland Environmental Justice Commission

April 2019

In 2018, the Maryland General Assembly enacted the Maryland House Bill 183 (HB183) establishing the Environmental Justice Commission to address the environmental and public health concerns in Prince George's County. HB 183 lists the composition of the Commission, outlines the missions and duties of the Commission, mandates a findings and recommendations report along with a plan of action within two years and a month. Enacting the commission to facilitate environmental justice in Prince George's County can help improve inequities of low-income and minority residents in the area impacted by climate change. After the Commission had submitted the first final report in February 2019, the General Assembly further acknowledged the Commission’s work and passed HB 1362 in April 2019 to extend the termination date of the Commission to June 30th, 2020. The final report was submitted on January 10th, 2020.

 

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Wells-Goodfellow Neighborhood Green Space Project - St. Louis, Missouri

August 2017

The Green City Coalition (Coalition) -- a partnership between the Metropolitan Sewer District, the City of St. Louis, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the St. Louis Development Corporation -- is leading the conversion of approximately 9 acres of vacant land into greenspace for stormwater management and recreation purposes. The Wells Goodfellow neighborhood in St. Louis has the highest proportion of vacant land in the city, and also struggles with combined sewer overflows, basement backups, and street flooding that affect the Bissell Point Watershed broadly.

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Neighborhood Gardens Trust - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Neighborhood Gardens Trust has been operating as an entity that protects community gardens in the City of Philadelphia since 1986. Working with community gardeners, local leaders, and neighborhood organizations, NGT is a land trust that helps these individuals or groups secure ownership or long-term lease contracts for these gardens to prevent redevelopment or reuse of the land. The organization focuses the majority of its land acquisition and assistance services in lower-income areas throughout Philadelphia, with a specific emphasis on serving underrepresented communities. Since its founding, NGT has protected 48 community gardens throughout Philadelphia, and is on track to protect at least 70 by 2022. 

 

Resource Category: Organizations

 

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Community School Parks Program - Los Angeles, California

2012

The Community School Parks program is a partnership service agreement and shared use policy that enables community members in under-resourced neighborhoods to access school parks and playgrounds during off-school hours when they would normally be closed to the public. People for Parks, now a program of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT), opened the first Community School Parks in 2012 and has expanded the program since with the partnership with LANLT and the development of the shared use policy with the LA Unified School District that enables expanded access to school parks. These Community School Parks (CSPs) provide opportunities for youth, families, and neighbors within the community to connect, recreate, and enjoy green and open space in a safe environment. The program targets dense neighborhoods, typically low-income and communities of color, that are park-scarce and would not otherwise have access to open space within walking distance. In addition to Community School Parks, LANLT works to create new green space in communities of color, engaging community members from concept development through to implementation and park stewardship. 

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City of Minneapolis, Minnesota Neighborhoods 2020: Community Engagement Working Group

December 2018

The City of Minneapolis’ Neighborhoods 2020 initiative is a process to restructure how the City serves and supports neighborhood organizations. As part of this process, Minneapolis formed a Community Engagement Policy Work Group, which created a framework for a Citywide Community Engagement Policy. This framework outlines the processes and stakeholder commitments necessary to improve the City’s engagement with community members, and places an emphasis on a thoughtful, integrated community engagement policy that extends to all members of Minneapolis. 

 

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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.

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LA Green Zones Program: Groundtruthing

2018

The Los Angeles County, California, Department of Regional Planning (DRP) developed the Green Zones Program in 2015, to attain equitable development for the next 20 years, and to help update the Los Angeles County General Plan. Centering on environmental justice and community engagement, the program aimed to ensure that residents of all income levels can enjoy the development of the County under the changing climate and severe heat. The program addressed the contamination problems in the unincorporated communities, and also secured affordable housing to avoid displacement of the existing residents due to development. The Green Zones Program Framework contained four elements: land use policy, community engagement, environmental justice screening map, and prevention and mitigation. "Groundtruthing" was the main procedural tool utilized by the program to collect and study the potential environmental hazards information in the communities. It emphasized the importance of collaboration with community members and community-based organizations. Groundtruthing was not a one-time event, but a continuing effort between the government and the local communities. 

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Making Public Participation Legal

October 2013

A publication of the National Civic League, this report offers legal frameworks and tools for state and local governments to use in order to enhance public participation within their communities. The paper presents the argument that the vast majority of public meetings are run with little citizen input, interaction, or deliberation. It includes model ordinances such as “A Model Municipal Public Participation at the Local Level,” “A Model State Public Participation,” and “A Model City Charter Language for Citizen Advisory Bodies.” These tools can be used to increase the scope and duration of public participation, garnering a greater range of collaboration and insight.

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