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Chicago Participatory Budgeting Project and Rulebook

In 2009, the Chicago 49th Ward Alderman, Joe Moore launched the first participatory budgeting process in the United States in the City of Chicago, Illinois. When participatory budgeting was first introduced in the City, Alderman Moore used the process to engage with his constituents regarding how the community would spend its $1.3 million in discretionary capital funds. Since this initial introduction, the participatory budgeting process in Chicago has proved a rousing success. In 2012, the Great Cities Institute partnered with the Participatory Budgeting Project and community-leaders from the area to launch PB Chicago to spread the budgeting process throughout the city. PB Chicago has now engaged with over 13,000 residents in 12 different communities, allocating over $18 million in funding to community-chosen projects varying from tree planting to establishing bike lanes. By focusing a majority of their outreach on marginalized and underserved communities, PB Chicago ensures not only that policymakers and city officials hear these residents’ voices, but that these same voices have the opportunity to effectuate change within their own communities as well. 

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Well Farm Stormwater Management Project - Peoria, Illinois

May 2018

 

 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New York City Participatory Budgeting and Rulebook

2011

In 2011, four New York City Council Members partnered with several community-based organizations and launched a Participatory Budgeting process to allow residents to vote to allocate a portion of the council’s capital discretionary funds. The Participatory Budgeting New York City (PBNYC) process involved the city allocating funds to finance physical infrastructure projects, such as schools, parks, and public housing that benefit the public, that cost at least $50,000 and have a lifespan of at least five years. Residents were able to visit the website to review eligible projects and then submit an idea for consideration. The process gave residents the opportunity to vote during a nine-day Vote week for the city’s fiscal budget and implemented by city agencies. PBNYC is one of the largest and the fastest-growing participatory budgeting process in the United States which also ensures that low-income people and people of color can participate in the process. Currently, the majority of participants, around 57%, are identified as people of color. 

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Minneapolis Resolution Establishing "Green Zones"

April 28, 2017

On April 28 2017, the Minneapolis City Council approved a final Resolution establishing a Green Zones policy to facilitate community-led planning in socioeconomically vulnerable neighborhoods in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the goal of prioritizing city initiatives to combat a range of resiliency challenges. Within Green Zones pilot areas, city officials will work with the community to develop work plans, focused on specific neighborhoods, that will be designed to prioritize initiatives and link city policies on economic development, gentrification, racial equity, and climate resiliency, to achieve an equitable distribution of resources.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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California’s Urban Greening Program

September 2016

California’s Urban Greening Program, created by SB 859 in 2016, is a competitive grant program that funds local green infrastructure projects to reduce emissions, expand green space, and create more sustainable communities. Administered by the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), the program is part of "California Climate Investments," which refer to the more than three dozen programs that are funded by the state's cap and trade auction revenues. Urban Greening projects can be used for improvements such as tree planting, park creation or enhancements, green streets and alleys, greening of public lands and structures, and more. The program's selection criteria ensure that projects proposed by, benefiting, and building partnerships in disadvantaged and critically underserved communities will be prioritized for funding.

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We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective, Detroit, Michigan

August 2016

We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective (WPD CRC) is a collaboration among community activists, academics, researchers, and designers in Detroit, Michigan studying the impact of water insecurity, water policy, social equity, and health among local residents. The research process included (1) mapping the geographic impact of water policies on the city; (2) conducting a city-wide community survey to assess the health needs after a disaster; (3) a citizen science project to test the impact of water shutoffs on residential water quality; and (4) a story mapping project to support youth in telling individual and collective narratives about the impact of austerity on their community. The community based participatory research process has provided statistically significant data to demonstrate the impact of policy interventions on water insecurity and psychological distress among residents.  WPD CRC serves as an example of how community participatory research led by community-based organizations can effectively collect qualitative data from local communities and further apply to policy development. 

Resource Category: Organizations

 

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USDA Urban and Community Forestry Program

This U.S. Forest Service program aims to promote forest health and enhance community resilience in both urban and rural communities through information and technical assistance. One of the program’s strategic focus areas (as outlined in the 2016-2026 Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan) is Diversity, Equity, and Leadership, with program goals including engaging underserved communities in urban forestry efforts, increasing workforce development opportunities in community forestry, promoting expanded collaboration, and more. To promote the goals underlined in its Action Plan, the U.S. Forest Service provides grants under its National Urban Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant Program. 

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Portland, Oregon Tree Code

2011

In 2011, the City of Portland, Oregon developed a new tree code in order to preserve the urban forest and to actualize goals in the city's 2007 Urban Forest Action Plan. Prior to the new tree code, tree-related regulations were inconsistent with city policies and processes relating to planting and removal of city, street, and private trees. Recognizing that trees provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the city, the City of Portland established a legal framework and clear permitting processes to regulate trees in both development and non-development situations.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Washington D.C./District of Columbia Stormwater Ordinance - 2013 Rule on Stormwater Management and Soil Erosion and Sediment Control

2013

In 2013, the District Department of the Environment (now D. C. Department of Energy and Environment, or DOEE) released an amended Rule on Stormwater Management and Soil Erosion and Sediment Control to require that major development and redevelopment projects  incorporate additional measures to retain stormwater and reduce runoff. The District offers compliance flexibility by allowing for some off-site retention, the ability for developers to pay an in-lieu fee, or the option to buy stormwater retention credits.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies - Oakland, California

July 29, 2020

Oakland, California’s Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies (CORE) program is a free educational and training program offered by the Oakland Fire Department that promotes the creation of emergency preparedness in the face of a disaster event. Offered mainly to individuals, neighborhood groups, and community-based organizations, CORE training focuses on teaching its students how to become more self-sufficient during emergency events for a period of up to 10 days following a disaster. Outreach to attract participants has focused on reaching lower-income communities, multilingual individuals, disabled residents, and other groups or people with access and functional needs. The overall purpose of the CORE program is to not only improve access to disaster response training, materials, and services, but also to reduce risks associated with current and future climate events. Since its founding, CORE has reached over 20,000 people throughout the Oakland community.

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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