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Case Study: Community Engagement in Austin, Minnesota

2016

In the summer of 2016, the City of Austin, MN surveyed minority, immigrant and refugee people to determine their knowledge of climate change and how it impacted them personally. Surveys were completed over a two-week period at a local non-profit called the Welcome Center, which helps new residents and immigrants transition into the city, find economic opportunities, and become part of Austin's multicultural community. Following the survey, the City compiled the results and convened a focus group with Karen women, primarily from southern and southeastern Myanmar.

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Minnesota Sentinel Lakes Program

The Section of Fisheries of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is leading a statewide collaborative effort to develop a system to monitor and record biological and chemical changes that occur in a sample of lakes that are representative of the state’s most common lakes. The program is designed to understand and predict the consequences of land use and climate change on lake habitats. This research builds off of the Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment program, or SLICE, that began in 2008.

Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting

 

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Rural Climate Dialogues: Minnesota State Convening

September 2016

This brief report summarizes “Dialogues” or discussions between Minnesota state agencies and local community members to begin planning for climate change and resilience in rural Minnesota.  The Jefferson Center and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy convened three Rural Climate Dialogues - in Stevens, Itasca, and Winona Counties - generating “deliberative public engagement” and a shared community response to address climate change. A common priority expressed by all three communities was the need to support local initiatives through state agencies and programs.

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Minnesota DOT Flood Mitigation Program

The state of Minnesota created a $50 million Minnesota Department of Transportation (“MnDOT”) Flood Mitigation Program (“Program”) to increase the resilience of transportation system after severe spring floods in 2010 caused over $64 million in damages in the state. The Flood Mitigation Program will fund repairs, elevations, and realignments to road and bridges, as well as improvements to drainage structures. Although the program documents do not explicitly cite to climate change, MnDOT lists the Flood Mitigation Program as an adaptation action that the agency is taking to prepare for climate change.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Minnesota Climate and Health Profile Report

February 2015

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Climate and Health Profile Report 2015, “An Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on the Health & Well-Being of Minnesotans,” provides a comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts and potential health implications for the state. In addition to describing climate trends and projections, the report identifies datasets and the data gaps that could affect the development of quantitative measures of health outcomes. The report concludes with a brief discussion of next steps required for an effective response to the identified public health climate hazards.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Minnesota Options to Increase Climate Resilience in Buildings

January 2015

In this report Georgetown Climate Center explores steps that Minnesota state agencies and the Minnesota Legislature can take to enable more building resilience to climate impacts at the local level, as well as some actions municipalities may already have authority to implement. Minnesota faces increased frequency and severity of flooding, and building and site design can either contribute to or help to mitigate the frequency and severity of this flooding.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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MN EO 19-37: Establishing the Climate Change Subcabinet and the Governor's Advisory Council on Climate Change to Promote Coordinated Climate Change Mitigation and Resilience Strategies in the State of Minnesota

December 2, 2019

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 19-37 establishes a Climate Change Subcabinet to be comprised of leaders from across 15 state departments and agencies. The Subcabinet will identify state policies and strategies to build climate resilience, and to significantly mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The order acknowledges the disparities facing vulnerable populations, and commits Minnesota to develop climate adaptation strategies with and for frontline communities. 

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Minnesota GreenStep Cities

June 2010

GreenStep Cities is a state-wide voluntary program for Minnesota cities to assist in implementing sustainable best management practices. Managed by a public-private partnership, this free continuous improvement program provides technical assistance and recognition for cities that adopt best practices in sustainability and resilience.   The GreenStep program identifies 29 best practices that cities can adopt to plan for climate impacts, increase energy efficiency and green and resilient buildings, foster green businesses and jobs, among other practices.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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. 

 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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