Climate Equity Benchmarking Analysis Report
In 2021, the City of Cincinnati's Office of Environment and Sustainability commissioned Green Umbrella to complete a benchmarking survey and analysis examining sustainability plans, ordinances, and initiatives that center equity in their recommendations and strategies. The report and matrix serve as an idea bank for regional governments and community-based organizations in Greater Cincinnati to move sustainability, resilience, and equity actions forward in their communities. Read the full Climate Equity Benchmark Analysis Report and strategies matrix. View a presentation on this report starting at 25.20 in the video linked here.
Climate Safe Neighborhoods Partnership
Green Umbrella works with Groundwork Ohio River Valley to lead the Climate Safe Neighborhoods partnership, which explores the relationship between historical, race-based housing segregation and the current and predicted impacts of climate change. Along with the City of Cincinnati's Office of Environment and Sustainability, the team worked to develop an equitable engagement process that centers the voice and priorities of historically undeserved communities in climate planning. The process was piloted in Lower Price Hill in Spring 2021. Since then, the partnership has led Climate Advisory Groups in Bond Hill, Roselawn, and the Beekman Corridor. Read a recent blog post on this work from the National League of Cities and coverage in WVXU.
In 2023, the Climate Safe Neighborhoods Partnership is working to deepen equitable opportunities in Cincinnati neighborhoods and expand regionally to additional tri-state jurisdictions.
Climate Research Incubator
The Climate Research Incubator (CRI) is focused on leveraging local knowledge and expertise to create a community of practice to respond to climate-related challenges and rise to opportunities. To do this, the CRI facilitates the coming together of community partners, scholars, and government officials to co-create useful projects that propel climate resilience in the region to reach climate goals. Through this mission, the CRI provides training in science communication and public engagement, fosters opportunities for relationship building among participants, and supports actionable seed projects. Please submit your application here and contact Dr. Kristy Hopfensperger (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Engaging Elected Officials
For candidates and elected officials, Green Umbrella is committed to 1) raising their awareness of climate, environmental justice, and sustainability issues and 2) fostering opportunities for them to create and act upon climate platforms. To this end, in April 2021, Green Umbrella partnered with Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund to host an educational event about the Green Cincinnati Plan. Candidates then provided the opportunity to work directly with OEC policy experts to develop their platforms in preparation for a fall pitch event. In October 2021, Green Umbrella hosted a Local Candidate Climate and Sustainability Forum where both mayoral and 18 council candidates attended (event co-hosts include Action Tank, Cincinnati NAACP, Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library, and Groundwork Ohio River Valley). Coverage of the event is available here. Green Umbrella and partners implemented a similar engagement series for County Commissioner candidates in OH, KY, and IN and State Representative/Senate candidates in OH. Check out our recent webinar Climate Action Opportunities for County and State Officials.
In summer 2023, Green Umbrella hosted two educational sessions and announced the fall Climate Candidate Forum for Cincinnati Council and School Board (register here for the October 4th event).
Regional Action Playbook
A key goal of the Regional Climate Collaborative is to enhance local alignment and regional coordination on sustainability, equity, and resilience efforts. A regional action and implementation plan will not only be key to reduce climate impacts and improve outcomes, but will help Greater Cincinnati qualify for state, national, and federal funding. In 2023, Green Umbrella staff will work with the Regional Funding and Resources Working Group to develop a Regional Action Playbook – a menu of solutions across issue areas that are tailored to Greater Cincinnati’s regional environmental, economic, and social context.
Climate Action Communications
Green Umbrella's Climate Policy program publishes a quarterly newsletter (sign up to receive the newsletter here) and regularly hosts webinars. Recordings for all webinars can be found on Green Umbrella's Climate Policy Youtube Playlist. More webinars and additional communications materials will be generated through the Regional Funding and Resources Working Group in 2023.
Resilience Fellowship Program
Green Umbrella is working with Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute to adapt its Indiana Resilience Cohort model into Ohio and Kentucky. The program leads city, town, township and county governments through creating climate action plans and implementing strategies. Participants join a cohort of peers and each jurisdiction receives one-on-one guidance, attends cohort training webinars hosted by Green Umbrella and partners, and can apply for additional staff capacity by hosting a 10-week summer intern. More information on the fellowship program will be announced in fall 2023.