Resilience in Denton, TX
Located at the northern edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Denton bears the brunt of the region’s pollution. From 2014 to 2016, EPA data on air pollution indicated that Denton had the highest levels of ozone in the state of Texas. Ozone is highly problematic to human health and can trigger a variety of issues ranging from bronchitis and emphysema, to asthma. As the Denton and Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex populations grow and climate impacts intensify, the resulting sprawl, traffic and hotter temperatures may threaten the health of Denton’s residents.
In response to these risks and climate impacts, the city of Denton has been tracking its GHG emissions for the past ten years and conducting annual inventories that demonstrate an overall reduction in per capita emissions. Recently, the city partnered with Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) to complete a GHG Contribution Analysis, and an Assessment of Climate Hazards and Vulnerabilities, with the goal of developing a comprehensive Climate and Air Quality Action Plan. In 2017 and 2018, the city conducted a series of surveys and held three community meetings to engage with the public on climate and sustainability issues, then used this feedback to update the city’s Sustainability Plan.
Feedback gathered from the community indicated that there continues to be widespread support for the city’s climate and sustainability programs, and a desire for even more outreach and information. Since that time, Denton has increased citizen engagement on topics like air quality and water and energy conservation, but the city remains eager to include historically underrepresented communities in these ongoing conversations.
With NLC’s support, the city of Denton will hold a series of engagement events to inform and activate residents on local resiliency issues, and likewise, solicit feedback from all of its diverse communities on the Climate Action Plan; leverage its relationship with local universities and student bodies; and use the input gathered from residents and other stakeholders to shape the city’s future climate policies.