Peer Learning

Empowering Community Resilience

Houston, TX

Peer Learning Recap

U.S. cities are experiencing a groundswell of action by neighborhoods, households, and individuals focused on building stronger, more resilient communities in the face of climate change. Cutting-edge city leaders recognize that citizen engagement and strong social networks are a critical component to resilience. They are responding by empowering citizens in resilience planning. The days of citizens having to choose between cooking dinner for the kids or being involved in their community are numbered. Instead, there are a host of innovative methods and tools which empower citizens to co-create plans and policies with city staff that are most relevant to their needs and interests.

This is not easy; government must engage with an active, and vocal, electorate while maintaining an orderly planning process, and citizens must leverage their collective voice and keep goals achievable.

In this Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy (SCLA) on Empowering Community Resilience, we will share the most effective ways to foster citizens’ momentum for real and lasting community resilience. We will cover the following:

  • The best practices for empowering communities by connecting policymakers to real-world issues in local neighborhoods while building a foundation for community participation in resilience planning.
  • Effective ways to galvanize local action for resilience by delivering demographic-specific messaging, which makes the meaning of – and need for – resilience hit home with community members.
  • Approaches to inclusive planning such as participatory facilitation techniques, crowd-sourced idea generation, and visualization tools for scenario planning.


Presenters, Advisors, and Staff:

Presenters, Advisors, and Staff:
Dan Barry, Municipalities Sector Director, ecoAmerica/MomentUS
Jason Biermann, Deputy Director of Emergency Management, Snohomish County
Petula Burks, Public Affairs Officer, Public Affairs Office, City of Fort Lauderdale
Mike Crowley, Senior Program Officer, Institute for Sustainable Communities
Don Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Justice and Sustainability Associates
Nancy Gassman, Director, Sustainability Division, Public Works, City of Fort Lauderdale
Erin Gill, Director of the Office of Sustainability, City of Knoxville
Dan Guilbeault, Sustainability Programs Analyst, District of Columbia Department of the Environment, Office of Policy and Sustainability
Jennifer Hirsch, Cultural Anthropologist & Community Sustainability Specialist
Kate Johnson, Climate Programs Analyst, District of Columbia Department of the Environment, Office of Policy and Sustainability
Anita Ledbetter, Executive Director, Build San Antonio Green (BSAG)
Steve Nicholas, Vice President of US Programs, Institute for Sustainable Communities
Heidi Pruess, Community Plan and Sustainability Officer, Mecklenburg County
Robin A. Roberts, Chair, Sustainable Energy Advisory Committee for Senator Jose Rodriguez, El Paso
Ken Snyder, CEO and President, PlaceMatters
Sarita Turner, Senior Associate, PolicyLink

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES

An international nonprofit organization, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has 26 years of practical experience working with local leaders to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. ISC’s programs are designed to facilitate peer learning and engagement among local leaders charged with the work of making their communities more sustainable. ISC has led more than 110 projects in 30 countries, and currently works in Asia and the United States. Learn more at: http://www.iscvt.org/

Sponsors

The event was a rare opportunity for these teams to connect in a private and productive environment with peers and with leading national experts.

Team Name:
City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, NC
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Team Name:
East Tennessee
East Tennessee
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Team Name:
El Paso, TX
El Paso, TX
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Team Name:
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Team Name:
Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City, UT
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Team Name:
San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, TX
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Team Name:
Snohomish County, WA
Snohomish County, WA
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RELATED RESOURCES

A brief introduction, team profiles and resource team profiles.


This guidebook is designed to help City Managers, Mayors, Directors of Sustainability, Communications Directors, other department heads, and project managers in local governments learn how to use digital tools for engagement.


This guide, published as part of the Sustainable Communities Initiative, which is poised to catalyze new networks of relationships, new problem-solving methods, and new, inclusive decision-making tables, is intended to help deepen an understanding of the community engagement process and what it will take to create new ways of planning for a sustainable future. This guide includes discussion on the benefits of community engagement, guidelines for meaningful community engagement, and lessons learned from cities across the country.


Read more and access the appendices at: http://placematters.org/blog/2014/03/12/engagement-tech-for-all

Over the last decade, decision-makers of all sorts, from corporate to governmental, have been increasingly looking to technology to help them make better decisions. Both day-to-day operational decisions and long-term strategic decisions require information, and technology has been seen as a way to quickly and efficiently gather that information.


This report summarizes PlaceMatters’ findings and recommendations to Salt Lake City on how to evaluate the effectiveness of digital outreach methods, and how to synthesize (compile and summarize) the input gathered through these methods into a format that is useful for local government planners and decision-makers.