Prioritizing Social Equity in Building Climate-Safe Infrastructure

Prioritizing Social Equity in Building Climate-Safe Infrastructure

Organizer: 
Juliette Finzi Hart
USGS
Time Slot: 
Working Groups and Trainings 1
Session Type: 
Working Group
Abstract: 

Through recent legislation in California, the state established the Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group, which was tasked with identifying barriers to and strategies for how CA state architects and engineers can incorporate forward-looking climate information in their infrastructure planning, design and implementation. It became evident quickly that this was not a project just about science. Lack of infrastructure investment and deferred infrastructure maintenance has plagued the state for decades. Due to underinvestment and redlining, low-income communities and communities of color often confront the most outdated school buildings, the leakiest pipes, and the worst connectivity to modern transportation, communication and other infrastructure. Similarly, inadequate engagement during the infrastructure planning and decision-making processes, systemic disadvantages through misguided decision criteria and cost-benefit requirements, and long-standing institutionalized racism further exacerbate inequitable investment in infrastructure.

We will provide an introductory presentation about the “Climate-Safe Path for All” framework developed by the working group. We will have a brief panel with leading experts who will provide insights on how to ensure social inclusion in all aspects of infrastructure planning, financing and implementation. We will then have world café-style discussions in which attendees will work through the five parts of our framework to action: 1) what science is needed; 2) how do we ensure inclusivity in planning; 3) what are key governance barriers; 4) what are key financing barriers; 5) how do we implement equitably? Discussions will be shared among attendees. We will close with brainstorming on how to bring these discussions back to each attendees’ respective states.

Cross-Cutting Themes: 

Co-organizers:

Omar Carrillo Tinajero, Center for Community Investment
Chione Flegal, PolicyLink
Susanne Moser, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting
Christy Veeder, Jobs to Move America