Building Collaborative Governance Models to Accelerate Equitable Greening

While many US cities have pioneered innovative greening initiatives, these projects have often disproportionately benefited higher-income areas. Yet marginalized communities often lack direct access to green spaces and nature, and therefore lack the benefits associated with those spaces, from health to opportunities to fellowship, to resilience to climate change.

The successful implementation of nature-based solutions that support all urban residents equally requires close collaboration between city government officials, the community itself and community organizations. The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN), and its partner network Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), are dedicated to supporting local government sustainability professionals throughout the Southeast and US respectively. SSDN has a longstanding relationship with Atlanta sustainability practitioners, and has supported them in their partnerships with community-based environmental organizations.

With funding from the Bezos Earth Fund, the SSDN and USDN will work with the City of Atlanta to provide additional staff support for their engagement with community organizations in their implementation of greening projects. This support will include 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.

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