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Report points to priorities and needs of low-income people in climate-resilience planning


The Movement Strategy Center in Oakland, Calif., recently completed a report titled “Pathways to Resilience: Transforming Cities in a Changing Climate.”

The report captures the thinking from an effort called the P2R Dialogues that led to a vision of climate resilience grounded in the realities of low-income communities and communities of color, as well as pragmatic pathways to achieve it.

Pathways to Resilience – or P2R – is a Movement Strategy Center Initiative launched in 2013 in partnership with Kresge, the Emerald Cities Collaborative and the Praxis Project. 

The report challenges the notion of “bouncing back” in the wake of disruptions accompanying changes in climate. It makes the case for advancing efforts to end the inequities and unsustainable resource use the contributors see as the heart of climate crisis.

A foreword by Kresge’s Lois DeBacker discusses the disproportionate impact climate change has on low-income communities.

“While climate change is a global problem, its effects are – and increasingly will be – felt locally in communities across the U.S. and the globe. Just as national and state-level action on climate change is required, local governments also have a critical role to play,” writes DeBacker, managing director of Kresge’s Environment Program.

“Past experience suggests that variables such as income, age, health, and disability status often influence an individual’s capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazardous events,” the foreword notes. “Universal climate-resilience goals will not be met without targeted strategies to address the unique circumstances of low-income communities and vulnerable populations.”

Kresge works to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities. Its Environment Program seeks to help communities build environmental, economic and social resilience in the face of climate change.

Available in individual chapters on the website, or as a PDF to download, the report grew out of a Kresge-sponsored gathering held in 2014. Participants in that gathering focused on what a climate-resilience agenda must include for it to be socially just. Information captured at the event was augmented through interviews, commissioned papers and related activities.

Download the PDF in the library