Sustainability and Resilience

Join our sustainability efforts today to preserve our tomorrow.

After visiting Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Austin during its Urban Water Series trips in 2014, the Foundation saw the power of sustainable development at work. Sustainable development is the intersection of environmental health, economic prosperity, and social equity for today and tomorrow. All three cities have sustainability plans that originated from the city mayors’ offices. These sustainability plans provide city government with vision, direction, and the ability to align policies and regulations. Aside from setting a vision and a path of what sustainable development looks like, these plans facilitate coordination among different agencies of city government.

In 2015, the City of New Orleans embarked on the development of its Resilient New Orleans plan. GNOF convened community advocates from various sectors to kick-off the development of this plan. GNOF was also involved in various working groups during the planning process for the Resilient New Orleans plan. The plan was launched during the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation would like to elevate the conversation on sustainable and resilient development for the region in partnership with city government and local stakeholders. The Foundation would like to catalyze New Orleans – government, businesses, residents, and civic organizations – to develop and implement plans to ensure that New Orleans’ growth is sustainable for future generations.

In line with this, GNOF has:

  • Been the main funder of the Love Your City initiative overseen by LifeCity. Love Your City supports the development of the impact economy and growth of for-benefit organizations in Louisiana. Love Your City’s Regional Sustainability Committee (RSC) is made up of is composed of backbone organizations of various sectors that impact the sustainability and resilience of our region such as housing, water management, food, waste management, economic opportunity, transit, health, and culture. Through a collaborative approach, the RSC combines decades of experience and expertise in addressing the city’s most important issues.
  • Co-funded with the City of New Orleans the FUSE Fellow that led the development of the City of New Orleans Climate Action Strategy
  • Convened the ResilientNOLA Community Advisory meeting in June 2018 in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities and the Office of Resilience and Sustainability
  • Overseen the Climate Action Equity Project in partnership with the City of New Orleans Office of Resilience and Sustainability (ORS) and the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice. Mindful of the fact that the challenges of climate change are heightened by social inequity, the goal of the Climate Action Equity Project is to engage residents of color and low-income residents communities in making equity a priority in the implementation of the City of New Orleans’ climate action strategy.

Advisory Group

The advisory group is the centerpiece of the Climate Action Equity Project. The advisory group is responsible for recommending detailed recommendations on how to implement the climate action strategy in an equitable manner while contributing to New Orleans’ climate action goals.

The advisory group is comprised of six community leaders and four individuals with expertise and advocacy experience in the areas of focus of the City’s climate action strategy – energy, waste reduction, culture/workforce, and transportation. The community leaders were recommended by community-based organizations serving residents of color, low-income residents and/or immigrant communities in each of the City’s council districts. The subject-matter experts/advocates were recommended by peers in the field.

Advisory group members developed an initial set of recommendations for equitable implementation of programs, policies, and projects involving the four areas of focus. These recommendations were then presented to residents, at seven community forums held across the city’s council districts.

The Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) was the consultant which oversaw the community forum phase of the Climate Action Equity Project. For these forums, GCCLP developed and facilitated a program with the following goals:

  • Create a venue for residents to learn about the City of New Orleans’ Climate Action Strategy and the four focus areas — energy, transportation, waste, and culture related to workforce and small business development.
  • Create an activity for residents to express their ideas on how equity could be achieved through each of the four focus areas of the City’s Climate Action Strategy.
  • Provide a safe space for residents to have frank conversations about the barriers and feasibility of recommendations made by the CAEP Advisory Group to advance equity.
  • Engage and support residents in building an equity platform and a voice on climate change policies and initiatives in New Orleans.

Seven Climate & Equity Forums were convened in eight days in each council district in the City of New Orleans in the following neighborhoods where there is a greater presence of socially vulnerable populations: Hollygrove (District A), Central City (District B), Treme (District C), Algiers (District C), Gentilly (District D), Lower Ninth Ward (District E), and New Orleans East (District E).

The Climate Action Equity Project is financially supported by GNOF and Partners for Places, an initiative of The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.

Want to know more?

To learn more about our environmental work at the Greater New Orleans Foundation, get in touch with Ella Delio.