Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
Kayaking, Canvassing, and Cooking Classes: Cities Experiment With Climate Outreach
With the federal retreat on environmental leadership during the Trump era, American cities are taking a lead role in addressing climate change. Public outreach generally is a big part of the effort. City governments, with their limited manpower and resources, can’t tackle the problem alone; in addition to keeping their constituents informed about their climate actions, they need to motivate them to be part of the solution.
As communications director of the nonprofit Urban Sustainability Directors Network, Julia Trezona Peek helps city officials throughout the U.S. and Canada develop outreach strategies. She said that while all the municipalities she works with understand the importance of connecting with their citizens, these efforts play out very differently from place to place.
“Everyone is working on communications and public engagement in some way,” she said. “But they also have widely varying time, staff, and financial resources to do that – and, of course, varying political realities and contexts.”
This article provides case studies of climate outreach and engagement in Miami, Miami Beach, Cleveland, and Somerville, Massachusetts.