US Climate and Health Alliance

Status and Progress in Engaging Communities of Color to Advance Resilience to Climate Change: Experiences of 15 U.S. Cities


Focused on 15 major U.S. cities representing a range of geographic, population, and climate-related dynamics, this study coalesced leading research and local policies, programs, and perspectives on integrating communities of color in climate change planning and adaptation especially to build community resilience. As such, the goal of this report is to offer content and perspective that contributes to climate change planning and adaptation in at least four concrete ways: Provide a snapshot of progress that a subset of major U.S. cities have made to build resilience to climate change in vulnerable communities of color, describing the nature and extent of progress they have made in related programs and policies; • Offer experiences, lessons, replicable models, and best practices with respect to engaging communities of color to build resilience to climate change; • Share common barriers and challenges that cities face to engaging diverse communities in climate change; and • Present specific opportunities and practical recomm endations for cities as they work to create, renew, or enhance efforts to build community resilience among vulnerable communities of color. Findings from this research are intended to provide new information and analysis on how major cities across the country are working to educate, engage, and empower vulnerable communities of color to build resilience to climate change. To our knowledge, this is the first report of its kind to document urban level experiences and innovations in cities across the United States around building climate change resilience for diverse communities. As such, these “ground level” portraits offer a unique opportunity to inform local, state and national advocacy and policy efforts to more fully engage and integrate vulnerable populations—and in particular, communities of color—into climate change planning. This report is intended for a broad audience, including public health practitioners, local emergency preparedness and sustainability officials, policymakers, community-based organizations, advocates, and others explicitly working to advance the ability of vulnerable communities of color to prepare for, prevent, and cope with the effects of a changing climate.

Resource Type
Maria R. Cooper Nadia J. Siddiqui Dennis P. Andrulis
Resource URL
December 2014
Texas Health Institute
Organization Type
Climate action plans Community engagement Vulnerable populations

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