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Austin, United States

Community Climate Resilience Pilot (AUS0006)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Austin, United States Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: City of Austin Office of Sustainability

Support Institution(s): City of Austin Departments may include, but not limited to, Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Watershed Protection, Informal issue groups (e.g. Flood Mitigation Action Team, Travis-Austin Recovery Group), Neighborhood groups and associations (e.g. Public Green and Wild), Regional non-profits (e.g. Austin Parks Foundation, Austin Free Net), Places of worship

Policy Areas

Environment and Climate, Infrastructure & Transport, Land & Spatial Planning, Private Sector, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Subnational, Sustainable Development Goals, Water and Sanitation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Commitment 1: Community Climate Resilience Pilot
To further the city’s Strategic Plan goals of Health & Environment, Safety, and Government that
Works, and the United Nations Goal of Sustainable Cities and Communities, we commit to
fostering transparency and civic engagement by co-creating a unified community vision for city
owned land and assets that guides public and private investment and stewardship of the
regional green space network in Southeast Austin.

1.1 Current Problem:
The Southeast Austin is home to many passionate, engaged residents and community groups
that are working tirelessly to address health disparities and socioeconomic inequities in their
neighborhoods. While various related efforts are underway in the area, there is no cohesive
framework for City and community projects together to address green infrastructure and the use
of public land.

1.2 Main Objective:
Improve transparency and civic engagement with city climate resilience planning by developing
a model for department and community plan co-creation that results in a city effort that meets
community resilience needs.

1.3 Commitment Description:
The City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability and community organization Go! Austin /¡Vamos!
Austin are collaborating in Southeast Austin to pilot the creation of a unified community vision
for city owned land and assets that will guide public and private investment and stewardship of
the regional green space network.This commitment will create a model for department and
community co-creation that results in a city effort that meets community resilience needs.
The city and community teams collaborating on this commitment will take a holistic look at
aspects of community well-being to address resilience and community connectivity in a
co-created manner that can be successfully adapted and repeated in other city neighborhoods,
including climate resilience (may include green infrastructure, flood mitigation projects, etc.), and
community empowerment (enabling communities to guide investment in their neighborhood).
This effort will result in improved climate resilience and ecological greenways. The work may
improve the health of waterways, and mitigate the urban heat island effect by improving and
expanding the greenbelt of parks, wildlife habitats, urban agriculture, and recreational spaces
spanning both Onion and Williamson Creeks. We’ll also see improved neighborhood
connectivity that increases use of active transportation and provide safe connectivity to parks,
creeks, and other public spaces and facilities by creating a accessible, family-friendly
transportation networks.

The current accountability cadence includes biweekly meetings convened by the Office of
Sustainability, attended by community and city department representatives.

1.4 Anticipated Transformative Results:
● Open Government Partnership Values: (2020)
○ Identify opportunities to revise community engagement strategies to improve the
public role in city decision making and empower community members to have a
sense of ownership over the physical, program, and policy decisions made in
their neighborhood. This improves civic participation by engaging residents in
new ways for community buy-in, better decision-making processes that are
community-led, and new relationships and partnerships between the City,
community, and other relevant stakeholders. (Open Government Partnership:
Civic Participation)
○ Share information such as meeting notes, decisions made, milestones, and
progress on an easy-to-access public platform. This improves transparency by
sharing new decision making information on an easy-to-access public platform.
(Open Government Partnership: Transparency)
● City Strategic Plan Metrics (2023):
○ More community members with access to parks and open spaces through newly
constructed sidewalks and urban trails (City Strategic Plan 2023: the Health &
Environment goal and its Accessibility to Parks indicator category)
○ More community members with natural disaster information, education, and
preparedness (City Strategic Plan 2023: the Safety goal and its Emergency
indicator category)
○ More city engagement with community members resulting in dialogue and
resident satisfaction (City Strategic Plan 2023: the Government That Works For
All goal and its Stakeholder indicator category)
● United Nations Goals (2030)
○ Contribute to universal access to safe, inclusive, and accessible green and public
spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons, and persons with
disabilities (United Nations Goal 2030: Sustainable Cities & Communities)

1.5 Collaborators:
Civil Society partners:
● Lead: Go! Austin /¡Vamos! Austin Contact: Carmen Llanes Pulido, Executive Director
● Informal issue groups (e.g. Flood Mitigation Action Team, Travis-Austin Recovery
Group)
● Neighborhood groups and associations (e.g. Public Green and Wild)
● Regional non-profits (e.g. Austin Parks Foundation, Austin Free Net)
● Places of worship
Government partners:
● Lead: City of Austin Office of Sustainability. Contact: Marc Coudert, Environmental
Program Manager
● City of Austin Departments may include, but not limited to, Parks and Recreation, Public
Works and Watershed Protection

1.6 Exploration Questions:
Open questions that we may need to answer in order to reach our desired outcomes include:
● How are the green spaces currently being used?
● What resources are available to fund short term projects? Which projects should be
prioritized in order to build community trust and buy-in?
● Is there an appetite for, and commitment to, this kind of coordinated planning from
relevant department directors?

1.7 Project Milestones: (see Appendix for phase descriptions)
1.7.1 Clarify Phase:
Expected deliverables:Community-driven Guidance Document
Co-create a project plan with the community, especially communities of color or lower-income
communities that will be impacted by the outcomes of the plan. Devise a way to that
incorporates the wisdom of the community to increase existing neighborhood resilience.
1.7.2 Framing Phase:
Expected deliverables:Report, map and presentation materials
Collaborate with community to identify neighborhood strengths, assets, and climate hazards,
including an assessment of social and environmental adaptive capacity, vulnerabilities, climate
risks, and the underlying causes of social stressors.
1.7.3 Conceive/Prototype/Test Phase:
Expected deliverables:Long-range (10 years+) Vision Document and Short-term (1-3 years)
projects for Dove Springs
Collaborate with community to determine the guiding principles and vision for the initiative.
Develop an equity framework that includes an understanding of unintended consequences of
actions and potential impacts on equity in the alternatives analysis. Identify and prioritize
solution based on equity analysis.
1.7.4 Plan/Build Phase:
Expected deliverables:Annual reporting to community groups and executive staff
Partner with community during implementation to reduce the risk of creating new inequities or
worsening existing ones. Collaborate with the community to update strategies and program
implementation based on lessons learned from monitoring