Community Plan Outreach

The objective is to identify the best approach for Mason to work with local communities in developing action plans. This is the part of the CESP initiative where we will organize and convene work groups comprised of government leaders and community members to discuss the greenhouse gas inventory results and engage in a process to facilitate the communities’ identification of goals and specific projects. This task requires detailed plans—a blueprint—for how we will engage with communities.

Research Assistant: Camila Anderson

Research Questions:

1. What are the best practices for implementing climate change action planning in Virginia with regards to: the number and division of groups, community representation (including under-represented and minority groups), organization and leadership, role of 3rd party facilitator, development of ideas, and conclusions?

a. Which of these best practices are more relevant and useful towards small, rural communities in Virginia versus moderate or larger sized communities?

b. How might a climate action plan designed for moderate or large sized jurisdictions be scaled for a smaller jurisdiction? What components might be eliminated? What must be retained? How can CESP achieve efficiencies in project implementation if it worked on multiple projects at the same time?

2. What are the changes or lessons learned from previous climate action planning efforts in Virginia and other locations? What do previous committee members, such as town/borough managers, elected officials and employees say about the process? How can we apply the lessons to smaller, rural jurisdictions?

a. How successful have small rural communities been in implementing climate action plans? How did they transition from plan development to plan implementation, and what challenges did community plans face compared to government-only plans? What were the major barriers for not completing one or more objectives? (e.g. financial constraints, technical capacity, etc.)