Planting trees along the stream bank to present erosion in Phil Rizzuto Park during Groundwork Elizabeth’s Earth Day Celebration.

Incorporating equity into adaptation responses is imperative for advancing climate justice in the Northeast. CCRUN’s Equity Group is collaborating with diverse stakeholders to co-develop frameworks, processes, and methods for incorporating equity into adaptation planning, implementation, and assessment. Through the coordination of a small grants program, the Equity team is strengthening existing ties and building new partnerships with community-based organizations in frontline communities. Through these efforts we are working to build capacity for local leaders responding to climate risk. The team is also participating in efforts to collect and share best practices in equitable grant management and co-production with grant managers in the region and across the CAP network.

Current Research:

Community Climate Resilience (CCR) Grant Program

CCRUN launched its inaugural small grant program, the Community Climate Resilience (CCR) Grant Competition, in the summer of 2022. Fours projects have been funded with grants of $25,000 and are set to conclude in January of 2024. The program was designed with multiple dimensions of equity—particularly distributional, procedural, and contextual equity—in order to build capacity and advance resilience partners in frontline and underserved communities in the urban Northeast. Projects include the development and validation of a community-led conceptual land swap plan (Eastwick United - Philadelphia, PA), the transformation and monitoring of a vacant lot into demonstration green space and development of community cooling strategies (GreenRoots - Chelsea, MA), the design of community engagement strategies and tree-planting plan and establishment of a Climate Safe Task Force (Groundwork Elizabeth - Elizabeth, NJ), and the development of community outreach and participation strategies in pursuit of the creation of Yonkers Climate Action Plan (Groundwork Hudson Valley - Yonkers, NY). For more information on the CCR Program, please click here. 

Additional Projects:

  • Assessment of the impacts of climate decisions on underserved populations and communities.
  • Build inclusive local and regional processes for equitable engagement in adaptation planning.

Recent Publications:

Leichenko, R., Foster, S., & Nguyen, K. (2023). Bringing Equity into Climate Change Adaptation Planning in New York City. In J. L. Rice, J. Long, & A. Levenda (Eds.), Urban Climate Justice: Theory, Praxis, Resistance (pp. 127–147). University of Georgia Press.

Nguyen, K. H., & Leichenko, R. (2022). Operationalizing Urban Climate Justice: A Case Study of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York City. Journal of Extreme Events, 2241004. https://doi.org/10.1142/S2345737622410044

Key Stakeholders:

Eastwick United CDC
Groundwork Elizabeth
Groundwork Hudson Valley
New York City Panel on Climate Change
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
New Jersey Climate Change Alliance

Team Members:

Dr. Robin Leichenko, CCRUN Co-PI
[email protected]

Katherine Cann, Equity Project Manager 
[email protected]