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Greening the Gateway Cities Program

2018

The Massachusetts Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP) aims to increase tree canopy cover in the state’s Gateway Cities, which are urban centers facing economic and social challenges due to recent losses in industry and manufacturing power. The program is currently operating in 18 residential areas with the goal of covering 5% of each area in new tree canopy cover. This initiative aims to reduce heat stress as well as energy use and cost for Massachusetts residents. 

 

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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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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.

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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City of Evanston, Illinois Resolution to Support Environmental Justice

September 2020

The City Council of Evanston, Illinois adopted a resolution that acknowledges the harm that communities of color have experienced due to environmental injustices, and pledges to support environmental justice through initiatives such as creating a public engagement policy, incorporating environmental justice into City ordinances, policies, and processes, and developing a geographic information system (GIS) inventory of environmental justice areas in Evanston. By addressing the disproportionate impact that the climate crisis has on communities of color, the City of Evanston aims to foster a stronger and more climate resilient city.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Bristol Community Land Trust, United Kingdom

December 6, 2020

The Bristol Community Land Trust (Bristol CLT) operating in the City of Bristol, in the United Kingdom, presents an example of a CLT that is benefiting from low-cost transfer of city-owned surplus land and delivering sustainable, resilient, affordable housing options for lower-income residents. Bristol CLT is building shared-equity and affordable rental units that meet the highest standards of energy efficiency and incorporate renewable energy with back-up batteries, air-source heat pumps, shared green space, “car share,” and other environmental and social amenities. The city adopted a policy in 2020 that will help the CLT develop affordable housing by recognizing the social, environmental, and economic benefits delivered by a project as part of the “consideration” it receives in exchange for the transfer of the land. This policy will better enable Bristol CLT to access low-cost land by rewarding the unique values of CLT-housing, including engaging residents, building social cohesion, and delivering permanently affordable housing. It also demonstrates how cities can change policies related to how they dispose of surplus lands to facilitate transfers to community-led organizations that will redevelop these properties for publicly beneficial uses, like affordable housing.

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Grannis

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Resilience in Transportation Planning, Engineering, Management, Policy, and Administration (NCHRP Synthesis 527)

2018

This synthesis report, produced through the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, documents resilience efforts within transportation agencies, with a particular focus on how agencies are integrating resilience into their core functions and services - including planning, engineering, construction, maintenance and operations, and administration. The synthesis was informed by a literature review, a survey of transportation agencies, and five detailed case studies developed through agency interviews.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Caltrans District Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments (2019)

October 2019

Between 2017 and 2019, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) produced climate change vulnerability assessments and corresponding GIS mapping tools for each of its twelve districts covering the state to help build resilience through transportation decisionmaking. For each Caltrans district, the assessments include high-level overviews of climate change impacts (summary reports) and detailed technical reports on the processes used to identify relevant climate impacts. The reports and mapping tools are designed to help Caltrans planners understand impacts to the portions of the State Highway System (SHS) and other assets in each district, and plan projects accordingly to ensure resilience under future conditions.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Greening in Place: Protecting Communities from Displacement

October 2020

The Greening in Place guide serves to assist public agencies and developers in pursuing equitable green development and combating the displacement impacts that green investments can invoke. It includes an assessment of the displacement risks associated with green investment, a framework for equitable green development, several case studies, and a range of policies and strategies that can be used in partnership with the affected communities. By pursuing these strategies, park agencies and community advocates can advance racial and economic equity and promote healthy, sustainable, and inclusive green development.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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South Carolina Disaster Relief and Resilience Act

September 29, 2020

In September 2020, the South Carolina legislature passed the Disaster Relief and Resilience Act ("the act," S. B. 259, codified at S. C. Code Ann. §§ 48-62-10, 48-62-310, 6-29-510(D)) to increase the state's resilience to natural disaster and flooding events. The act establishes the position of Chief Resilience Officer and the South Carolina Office of Resilience to coordinate disaster recovery and resilience efforts within the state, creates the Disaster Relief and Resilience Reserve Fund to finance disaster recovery efforts and hazard mitigation projects, and creates the Resilience Revolving Fund to provide low-interest loans to local governments to perform floodplain buyouts and restoration.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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New Jersey Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) Program

In 1971, New Jersey implemented the Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) Program. Through this program, the state pays municipalities to protect and conserve open, undeveloped lands owned by the state and tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. This program was created to benefit environmental quality, quality of life, and economic health in New Jersey by conserving open space for natural resources and recreational purposes. While this program has been amended throughout its tenure, it is a noteworthy example of a state program that creates incentives for local governments to create open space by mitigating the impacts of lost tax revenue and land maintenance costs. In a managed retreat context, a similar program could be coupled with hazard mitigation buyouts and open space acquisitions to encourage local governments to conserve vulnerable properties impacted by sea-level rise and flooding. 

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