Resilience in Indianapolis, IN
In March 2017, Mayor Joe Hogsett signed Resolution 21, committing the City of Indianapolis and Marion County to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The same year, the City of Indianapolis was the first in the country to recertify through the STAR Community Rating System, and through this process identified opportunities for improvement in the “Climate and Energy” goal area. Paired with the ambition to attain carbon neutrality, these opportunities presented a challenge to the city – to improve its collective resilience. Charged with leading this task, the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability’s current priority is the preparation of the city’s first-ever Sustainability and Resilience Action Plan, to include a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory, a hazard vulnerability assessment, and a solid waste minimization study. Such a plan, to be completed by January 2019 at the direction of Mayor Hogsett, will identify both short- and long-term municipal and community mitigation and adaptation actions to minimize impacts associated with a changing climate.
As a part of an effort to improve the quality and equity of public engagement, the City will host an installment of the People’s Planning Academy. Launched in the Fall of 2017, the People’s Planning Academy is an exciting new program that combines education and hands-on engagement activities to train Indianapolis residents to be Planning Ambassadors. Planning Ambassadors have both the opportunity to engage more deeply on City plans and the support to take on their own projects. This installment of the People’s Planning Academy will be a collaboration between the Department of Metropolitan Development, the Office of Sustainability, and non-profit community partners. Workshops will tie directly to the Sustainability and Resilience Action Plan. Through the People’s Planning Academy, the city aims to provide all residents, but especially those who have been historically underrepresented in city processes, with the skills and knowledge to be community leaders.