Equitable Climate Action in Cleveland: Building Thriving, Healthy, and Resilient Neighborhoods

Year Complete: 2018
Grant Category: Equity Pilot Initiative
Grant Amount: $60,000
Local Government: City of Cleveland, OH
Local Foundation: The George Gund Foundation; The Cleveland Foundation

Project Purpose

To improve outcomes in health, access to green jobs, resiliency, and engagement through equitable climate action planning and implementation.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

Resident-led projects and the stories provided by project leaders about their motivations to act on climate are the most moving and impactful mechanisms to engage community and build equity into the process. The project team had resident project leaders speak about their efforts during the community forum and it was reported as the highlight by many of the attendees.

On top of developing a shared language around systemic racism, the project team learned that by framing climate change as a health and quality of life issue, resident priorities that surfaced were more easily connected to climate. From these discussions and exercises in framing, the language was re-worked throughout the plan in a way that would resonate more with residents. Many of the focus areas and objectives were renamed throughout the process in order to adopt the language residents used during the workshops to talk about climate.

Additional Information and Resources

Read more about the city’s 16 projects that were funded in the first round of projects.