Building Stronger Relationships with Community-based Organizations for Nature-based Solutions

While many US cities have pioneered innovative greening initiatives, these projects often disproportionately benefit higher-income areas. Yet marginalized and underserved communities, who already bear the brunt of the environmental risks associated with climate change, lack the direct access to green spaces and nature that can help build resilience to the impacts of climate change, improve community health outcomes, and increase opportunities for fellowship.

The successful implementation of nature-based solutions that support all urban residents equally requires close collaboration between city government officials, community organizations, and the community itself. Green Cities California is dedicated to supporting local government sustainability professionals throughout California and their commitment to partnerships with community-based environmental organizations.

With funding from the Bezos Earth FundGreen Cities California, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, will work with the City of Los Angeles to provide additional staff support for their engagement with community organizations in their implementation of greening projects. This initiative will also provide a supportive peer-network for the City of Los Angeles to connect with other California local governments to learn from and share best practices and opportunities for building stronger relationships with community-based organizations around nature-based solutions. In addition, the USDN will provide local government skill building, coaching, and training.

This project will leverage tools from the USDN’s Nature-Based Climate Solutions Initiative to measure the impacts of community greening projects throughout their implementation, considering indices such as enhanced local knowledge, fulfillment of community needs, and societal impacts such as economic inclusion and workforce development. These project impacts will then be amplified through GCC peer-to-peer learning opportunities designed to share lessons learned from the initiative and that transfer best practices from this project to other California jurisdictions and beyond.

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