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The Equitable and People-Centered Pathway

Create a community where everyone has a voice.

Build more just, livable and inclusive communities fit to address the systemic causes of poverty and injustice while safeguarding the natural support systems for human health.

Equity's Key Role

A truly resilient community is only achievable when natural and built environments support cohesive communities in which all residents have a voice, and where diversity and cultural identities are woven into the social fabric.

Our Approach to Equitable Development


Learn from your Community

“Early and often” is our motto for community involvement in local government planning. The 3 Dimensions of Social Equity outline an Access-Participation-Opportunity model piloted in industrial-legacy cities.


Integrate Equity into your Operations

ICLEI’s GreenClimateCities framework outlines an Assess-Act-Accelerate model that stands on three pillars: Equity, Climate Adaptation, and Climate Mitigation. ICLEI members that adopt this integrated climate action framework follow steps to ensure each pillar is integrated through the process.


Collaborate and Lead the Movement

Learn from the Urban Transitions Alliance, ICLEI’s post-industrial legacy cities that are putting equity at the core of building a green economy.

ICLEI USA People-Centered Projects

More Projects

  • The CityFood program is a flagship program of ICLEI that aims to accelerate local and regional government action toward sustainable food systems transformation. It spans a number of projects and initiatives across all of ICLEI’s Regional Offices and brings together local and regional governments as well as critical global and regional partners. 
  • Integrated Climate Action Planning cohorts walk local governments through a multi-month, live group-training experience.
  • Social equity in planning workshops offer governments an interactive opportunity to engage with the who-why-how of equitable planning. 
  • ICLEI members Baltimore and Pittsburgh are using spatial mapping and local champions to establish a baseline for equitable planning, sometimes presented as equity indicators.
  • Hayward, CA, and ICLEI’s Unite2Green pilots a youth climate ambassador program in an underserved neighborhood.

ICLEI USA People-Centered Cohorts

Cohorts are guided group technical assistance programs that guide communities to results. Learn More

ICLEI USA People-Centered Resources


Equity in Climate Planning

This document expands on the Equity: First Steps Guide by sharing trends and best practices for incorporating equity into local climate action planning. This report

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More Resources

  • Learn from The Urban Transitions Alliance, ICLEI’s network of industrial-legacy cities including Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati, in an equity-centered webinar series.
  • Join the conversation! The ICLEI Community Climate Equity “neighborhood” is our facilitated discussion group for members to engage with the pathway.

People-Centered Testimonials

"As a coastal community, Hoboken has directly felt the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels and more frequent storms. At the same time, we’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars adapting to the realities of climate change, Big Oil companies have engaged in a decades-long campaign of misinformation that has contributed to global warming which has disproportionately impacted our residents. It’s time these companies pay their fair share and be held accountable for their actions."

Ravi Bhalla
Mayor of Hoboken, NJ

"Reaching carbon neutrality by 2030 will require strong leadership and dedication, and while it will be hard, Flagstaff can meet this challenge and turn current risks into future opportunities that are accessible to all residents equally. We are indebted to the community members that brought this initiative forward, specifically Flagstaff’s youth, and look forward to working with them to achieve this critical goal."

Coral Evans
Mayor of Flagstaff, AZ

“[ICLEI’s equity] workshop opened our eyes to how important stakeholder ownership is for achieving engagement in climate resiliency activities within our city government. It helped us address the paralysis caused from the perceived enormity of mitigation actions; we now recognize that the steps we can take will not be as hard as people imagine, and will ultimately save money. Over the next 12 to 18 months, we are planning to use the ICLEI workshop as a catalyst for additional dialogue-inducing workshops.”

Jeremy Pathmanabhan
Program Manager Climate Change, City of Los Angeles, CA