An Introduction to the Process
Climate Protection Program and Community Engagement staff from the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia have worked together to design a process that offers welcoming and inclusive participation opportunities for all members of our community.
This will include inclusive community engagement, consultation with partner organizations and subject-matter experts, and guidance from staff across both organizations. The two local governments’ Climate Protection Programs will lead and facilitate the process, in the following phases:
- Discover: In the discovery phase, we will build a shared understanding of how climate change will affect us locally. Staff will work to share information about increased hazards and impacts, but we also want to hear stories from community members about how their lives have been affected. We will provide both in-person and virtual engagement opportunities. The outcome of this phase is to prepare the community to engage in the design of climate adaptation and resilience strategies in a way that is informed and knowledgeable. Broadly, the goal of this phase is to build relationships, share information, and understand community members’ experiences.
- Define: In the second phase, Climate Program Staff will work primarily with stakeholders within each local government to define the scope and goals of the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans, informed by the discovery phase’s community engagement. We will invite feedback from staff across our organizations and a roundtable of key community stakeholders on proposed goals.
- Design: During the design phase, we will engage with community members, partner organizations, and government staff to develop resilience strategies and actions. The outcome of this phase will be the primary strategies for each entity’s Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan.
- Decide: Climate Protection Program staff will assemble the goals, strategies, and other content collected and developed in all previous phases into the draft plans. Once the drafts are written, they will be shared with key staff in our organizations, partner entities, and the community for feedback. This feedback will be used to revise the plans, which will be presented to each entity’s elected body for adoption.
- Do: Implementing the newly adopted plans will include committing local funds and submitting grant applications to fund specific projects, collaborating with partner agencies and the community to implement strategies, and monitoring progress and evaluating success at regular intervals.