Expanding Community Engagement Support in Chicago

While many US cities have pioneered innovative urban greening initiatives, these projects have often disproportionately benefited higher-income areas. Yet marginalized communities often bear the brunt of the environmental risks associated with 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 Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Network (GLCAN) and its partner network the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), are dedicated to supporting local government and sustainability professionals throughout the Great Lakes region.

With funding from the Bezos Earth Fund, GLCAN and USDN will work with the City of Chicago 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 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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