USDN Innovation Products on Social Equity

Table of Contents

Innovation Lab - Concept Developing and Prototyping: Learning resources to understand the topic.

Innovation Lab - Refinement: Tools and guides to inform developing programs.

Adoption Accelerator - Standards Emerging and Scaling: Implementation examples to show how it is being done.


Innovation Lab - Concept Developing and Prototyping: Learning resources to understand the topic.

Collaborating for Climate Preparedness - Insights from a 2015 Workshop: A 2015 workshop of local government and community organization representatives about how they can better collaborate within local communities to enhance climate preparedness and equity, highlighting secrets to successful collaborations and examples of collaboration for climate preparedness. (USDN Special Project, 2016).
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Deep Carbon Reductions in the Transport Sector - Impacts on Affordability and Displacement: A case study on Portland OR and the impact of deep carbon reductions in transportation on displacement and gentrification, including household research on the neighborhood, a literature review on transit-oriented development and gentrification, a rental properties typology report, a memo on population change, and an emissions summary. (CNCA Innovation Fund, 2016).
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Equity and Sustainability Scan: A scan of best practices for how local governments have defined equity and incorporated it in sustainability programming, lessons they have learned, innovative tools they can use, and opportunities to collaborate to build on these successes. (USDN Special Project, 2014). 
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Innovation Lab - Refinement: Tools and guides to inform developing programs.

USDN Fact Sheet - Equity in Recruitment, Hiring, and RetentionThe purpose of this fact sheet is to provide guidance to hiring managers seeking to diversify their sustainability staff by applying an equity lens. Recent and historical studies have shown that sustainability and environmental fields lag in their ability to recruit, hire, and retain employees of color. This can be due to a variety of systemic factors including access to social and professional networks and exclusion from the practices of environmental campaigns and organizations, as well as implicit and explicit racial bias in hiring processes.
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A Guide to Equitable, Community-Driven Climate Preparedness PlanningFew climate adaptation guides address equity issues through specific adaptation solutions, inclusive community engagement tactics, or the root causes of inequities in climate risk. This document addresses these gaps and provides guidance to local governments in designing and implementing a more inclusive, equitable planning process. The Racial Equity Evaluation Tool, a companion to this guide, is an interactive tool to assess racialized power in climate preparedness planning. (USDN Innovation Fund, 2017).
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Seattle Extreme Heat Scenario-Based Pilot-Project in Frontline Communities - Racial Equity Evaluation: A pilot program in Seattle to understand how these municipal agencies can better support low-income communities and communities of color during extreme heat events. (USDN Innovation Fund, 2016).
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Southeast Equity and Energy Efficiency Toolkit: A toolkit to help build capacity for the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN) members to integrate meaningful equity considering into their implementation of municipal sustainability policies and practices. (USDN Innovation Fund, 2016). 
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Adoption Accelerator - Standards Emerging and Scaling: Implementation examples to show how it is being done.

Open Space in Underserved Communities in Los Angeles CA: A project to provide more open space in underserved communities in Los Angeles—a city where only 33 percent of children are within walking distance of a park—by transforming nine schoolyards into parks for use during non-school hours. (Partners for Places, 2016).

Equitable Access to Solar in Berkeley CA: A project to bridge the solar divide and ensure that all residents have access to renewable energy sources by providing solar installations for low-income communities, including multifamily affordable housing developments, and offering free hands-on solar job training. (Partners for Places, 2016).

Green Infrastructure in Low-Income Neighborhoods in Bridgeport CT: A project to engage residents in developing a plan to create more tree canopy, open spaces and stormwater solutions that will reduce flooding in a low-income area of this city. (Partners for Places, 2016).

Stormwater Management in Burlington VT: A project to improve the water quality in Lake Champlain by developing pilot stormwater management projects on public schoolyards. (Partners for Places, 2016).

Urban Farm Jobs in Atlanta GA: A project to create green jobs for unskilled workers through a training program that employs residents from one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods on an urban, aeroponic farm (Partners for Places, 2016).

Complete Street Planning in Northampton MA: A project to develop a Complete Streets plan for Northampton, with an emphasis on equity and prioritization of projects based on socioeconomic status of residents and connectivity. (Partners for Places, 2015).

Diverse Participation in Environmental Progress in Seattle WA: A project to create opportunities for all residents, especially people of color, immigrants, refugees, low-income, and those with limited-English proficiency, to fully participate in and benefit from Seattle’s environmental progress. (Partners for Places, 2015).

Food Security through Urban Ag in New Bedford MA: A project to increase food security in New Bedford and advance the Sustaining New Bedford Plan goals by promoting use of the SNAP benefits program at city farmers’ markets and enhancing engagement with community gardens. (Partners for Places, 2015).

Lower-Income Home Energy Retrofits in Blacksburg VA: An energy retrofit program in homes of lower-income older adults in Blacksburg and the New River Valley in order to extend their independence and expand adoption of energy efficiency practices. (Partners for Places, 2015).

Neighborhood Greening in Louisville KY: A project to implement a neighborhood-scale greening plan in a socioeconomically and environmentally-deprived neighborhood; this project will assess the impact of the natural environment on human health. (Partners for Places, 2015).

Neighborhood Resiliency in Baltimore MD: A project to increase and enhance resiliency in neighborhoods most vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards and climate change. (Partners for Places, 2015).

Residential Climate Change Adaptation in Cleveland OH: A project to mitigate and adapt to climate change by engaging residents in improving tree canopy, transportation mode shift, and entrepreneurship, delivering tangible outcomes for neighborhood resilience and equity. (Partners for Places, 2015).

A Chinatown Community Engagement Program in San Francisco: An effort to engage immigrant and monolingual communities to identify strategies to sustain Chinatown's unique culture and affordability by raising the environmental performance of the neighborhood’s infrastructure and buildings. (Partners for Places, 2014). 

Equity in Climate Action in Cleveland: An equitable model that develops and funds neighborhood projects that align climate action with the assets, concerns, and priorities of Cleveland residents. (Partners for Places, 2014). 

A Mobile Food Market in Low-Income Communities of Chattanooga TN: A mobile market system/pilot to deliver fresh and locally grown produce to low-income families. (Partners for Places, 2012). 

Tools for Climate Equity in the Portland OR Climate Action Plan: An effort to integrate equity metrics and criteria into the Portland OR / Multnomah County Climate Action Plan. (Partners for Places, 2012). 
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