Urban resilience to climate change is particularly important to look at from an environmental justice perspective, given that many cities can release high levels of greenhouse gases and that underserved populations often experience some of the worst effects of climate change. The City of Raleigh, North Carolina, asked for ERG’s help in implementing its Community-Wide Climate Action Plan, which aims to engage diverse stakeholders in improving the City’s climate mitigation efforts and setting new greenhouse gas reduction goals. Specifically, the City needed help in mobilizing the public, especially Raleigh’s underserved communities, so they could provide meaningful input to the plan.
ERG worked closely with the City and its stakeholders to establish an equity planning and engagement framework that drew on ERG’s direct experience collaborating with Raleigh-area communities diverse in ethnicity, income, age, and English proficiency. ERG engaged and empowered underserved populations in the planning process, using a community advisory committee; partnerships with community leaders, organizations, nonprofits, and educational institutions; translation and interpretation services; and community testimonies and stories. ERG compiled climate adaptation measures for each of the major vulnerabilities and associated risks that the City identified, focusing on climate mitigation strategies tailored towards Raleigh’s most vulnerable populations.