Greenovate Boston kicked off the Greenovate Neighborhoods initiative on September 29th to better facilitate communications between the City and the community, fulfilling an action of the 2014 Updated Climate Action Plan.

Greenovate Boston is excited to launch a more dedicated, and strategic initiative with influential community groups in Boston to better facilitate climate action in our City. Greenovate Neighborhoods will be the foundation for better exchanging information and resources. And although it seems like there is never enough time to grapple with the many facets of climate and sustainability, a core group of Boston community leaders met to get started on this project.

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The first convening of the Greenovate Neighborhoods project attempted to strike a balance of structure and being open to feedback. Many people are excited to get to work and help, but a few logistical and foundational pieces still need to be established. Those include things like....

Who? Who is in the room, speaking up about this issue, and who isn't? If a group or community isn't engaged and represented right now, why is that? What can we do to change that, immediately and in the long-term.

The group also got to catch up with old friends and meet new neighbors from across the City who care about the same quality of life issues, but live in different circumstances. This gathering was a chance to start to build those connections and stronger bonds needed for the resiliency that will make us stronger when addressing climate change.

What? What are we even going to be talking about, and what is the structure? For the beginning of this program, Greenovate staff will play a strong role, with the Climate Action Plan serving as a working framework. In the coming months as more group norms are established, there will be a lot of room to shape how and when the community can influence this program.

When? In a very logistical sense, we wanted to know how often people are interested in meeting. Most people preferred in-person meetings once per week; as a lot of people volunteer their time as climate leaders, we will strive to make our information as accessible as possible and are always open to suggests for ways to improve.

Where? Additionally, the space in which we meet in important. Not only can we experiment with in-person meetings to facilitate meaningful community connections, we can also branch out to meet at cultural spaces in different kinds of communities. We have a huge multifaceted City; we only have room to grow in being more informed about a full and equitable response to climate action in Boston - from West Roxbury to the West End, we want to make sure we're addressing all communities' concerns.

Why? To the Greenovate team, it's important that this program fulfills the Climate Action Plan action (which was influenced by community input!) to facilitate clear and accessible communications to the community about all things climate and sustainability from the City. We're hear to listen and to have two-way conversations in the best ways possible; so please join us.

To draw all these pieces out, Greenovate facilitated conversations and a few activities to start to document people's current thoughts and opinions about the above questions in order to build a supportive structure that can later be adapted to be improved.

2014 Updated Climate Action Plan Progress

In addition to the very act of meeting demonstrating Climate Action Plan progress, Greenovate also outlined the highlights of Climate Action Plan progress since 2015. There have been many advances directly shaped by the Climate Action Plan priorities, but there is a lot of room for improvement in reporting out those highlights and making that information available. It is a project Greenovate is hoping to address more fully in the coming months.

Photo_Sep_30__1_13_55_PM.jpgNext steps

We will continue to refine this program and remain flexible in the months to come. Want to get involved? Start by emailing greenovate@boston.gov (Jessica will be sure to answer!) and we can get you and your group up to speed about how to join these dedicated community leaders in making climate action happen in their own communities.

See below for links to more detailed feedback questions. Overall, this group is eager to help make climate action happen in Boston's neighborhoods to improve our quality of life, now and for generations to come. We're so lucky to have such an enthusiastic group!

In direct response to the feedback, the group will meet as a whole for more general business in a few months (November 2016). If you would like to be included, please email greenovate@boston.gov to be notified.

Additionally, many people offered their help for working groups and whatever else is needed to make this project successful. Greenovate will be notifying the whole group of those opportunities soon as well. First needs include: documenting baseline preferences of the group, communications, and top priorities. Next will include feedback for a bit of a website refresh - stay tuned for more on these updates! 

Related information

Below, find the materials that were used at the September 2016 event. This webpage is meant to be a summary, but please feel free to reach out to get a fuller picture, or join us next time.


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