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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. 

Resource Category: Funding

 

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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.

Related Organizations: City of Minneapolis, Minnesota

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.

Related Organizations: California Natural Resources Agency

Resource Category: 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. 

Related Organizations: We the People of Detroit

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. 

Related Organizations: U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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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.

Related Organizations: City of Portland, Oregon

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.

Related Organizations: District Department of Energy and the Environment (DDOE) - Washington DC

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.

Related Organizations: Oakland, California Fire Department

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Catalyst Miami Disaster Matched Savings Account

The Catalyst Miami Disaster Matched Savings Account was established as a resource for low- and moderate-income individuals within Miami, Florida neighborhoods to help families build financial stability, and better withstand disaster events. The program helps households build assets and savings through the use of financial coaching, credit coaching, and lending circles. The program encourages savings behavior and offers a 1-to-1 match as an incentive. In addition, Catalyst Miami distributes disaster preparedness kits to those who partake in the Program by saving the full amount of the cost of the kit. It also provides important information about hurricane season, along with emergency preparedness resources available from local government and community partners both before and after storms. By supplying communities with these disaster preparedness kits, as well as with teaching participants how to bank and save responsibly, Catalyst Miami helps low-income, underserved communities better withstand the shocks – economic and otherwise – often associated with disaster events. 

Related Organizations: Catalyst Miami

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Our Power Puerto Rico: Moving Toward a Just Recovery

2019

The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) Our Power Puerto Rico report demonstrates how the "Just Recovery" model can be utilized to help the island recover from Hurricane Maria of 2017, which devastated Puerto Rico’s agriculture and rural farms. Just Recovery is a model centered on frontline communities' ability to respond, recover and rebuild from climate accelerated disasters. The model is created through the accumulation of hands-on cases conducted by Climate Justice Alliance which is an organization with 67 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks. The goal is to lay the groundwork necessary to activate community participation in both immediate emergency responses and long-term rebuilds. It also emphasizes that the process must be led by those who have been treated unequally in everyday life - the queer, trans, working-class, folks of color, disabled, immigrants, and/or femmes on the frontlines. By doing so allows frontline communities to build their own power, agency and self-determination while achieving climate adaptation. The report also includes a list of practical steps for conducting the Just Recovery model. 

Related Organizations: Climate Justice Alliance

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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