Strengthening Hartford’s Economy & Promoting Public Health through Climate Action Planning

Year Complete: 2018
Grant Amount: $125,000
Local Government: City of Hartford, CT
Local Foundation: Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Project Purpose

To establish a full-time Sustainability Director position and develop, adopt, and begin implementation of a climate action plan addressing energy, land use, transportation, waste, and water.

Key Lessons Learned

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

It is important to ensure a team-based approach to the work with stakeholders ranging from city staff to residents to funders. For example, energy contracts are completed only with the collaboration of various city departments (such Public Works, Development Services, Management and Budget, and Corporation) and stakeholders (outside consultants and industry experts). In the area of water, the Retain the Rain program was a culmination of efforts led by the Sustainability Office, but supported by UConn (CIRCA, CLEAR, and NEMO) and the local water utility.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

Strong backing from a city’s Mayor and the local foundation community is an essential component of efforts to convene and collaborate with stakeholders.

Additional Information and Resources

The Hartford Climate Action Plan has been completed and was formally adopted by the city council in January 2018.  A few months later, in celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day, the Sustainability Office implemented an educational Tree Value Tag Activity, which was intended to communicate the value of trees to residents. The event garnered attention on social media, and was picked up by local news.