“Brendle Group did an excellent job of facilitating the development of our Climate Protection & Resiliency Plan. They brought on a locally based change management consultant and then worked with City staff to hire Climate Justice Workers and a Climate Intern to center uniquely Kansas City based perspectives, challenges, and solutions. Their approach to working with city staff, stakeholders, and community was instrumental in building an equity-centered roadmap to reach our goal of climate neutrality by 2040.”

Andy Savastino, Chief Environmental Officer for Kansas City, MO

Equity-Centered Planning

Brendle Group helped Kansas City, Missouri, develop a Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan – with the goal to create an equity-centered actionable plan that will ensure the long-term success of Kansas City. This plan is built on the City’s strong history of climate action and charts a path for a carbon-neutral, equity-focused, and resilient Kansas City by 2040.

To achieve this goal, we identified six Climate Action Sections – with climate justice at the heart, and community resilience, financing and innovation, and community empowerment woven throughout Mobility, Energy Supply, Natural Systems, Food, Homes & Buildings, and Waste & Materials.

Throughout this process, equity was brought to the forefront – acknowledging that climate change does not impact all people equally and will likely exacerbate existing racial and economic inequities within the city. To ensure that the implementation of the climate action plan promoted equity across the community, Kansas City committed to an equitable planning process consisting of these key components:

  • Equity Guiding Principles: Using the work done by Byran Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative, we led major planning meetings and workshops by walking through the seven equity guiding principles. These helped to reframe the approach toward community engagement, solutions development prioritization, and action planning.
  • Neighborhood Scale Engagement: We focused on building upon the existing foundation of a regional climate plan, allowing the City to focus on plan development from the inside out – starting at the neighborhood scale and emphasizing both engagement and localized implementation. Neighborhood-level engagement helped the City understand what community members and neighborhood organizations were already doing, as well as how to expand that impact. Results were cataloged by area and the plan reflects those priorities.
  • Climate Justice Workers: We hired local climate justice workers to support one-on-one and small-scale community engagement efforts, with the goal of engaging community members who do not typically participate in climate action planning efforts. The purpose of these conversations was to understand how climate hazards impact residents’ day-to-day lives as well as priorities around and motivating factors for climate action.

Read the full plan here.