City seeks input from residents, businesses on Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan

Special to The Dallas Examiner

CECAP Dallas City Hall 002
CECAP Dallas City Hall

With a focus on public safety, the purpose of the Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan is to inform how Dallas can become a healthier, cleaner and better city.

The city of Dallas is seeking the public’s input. The city’s Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability will begin a second round of community meetings to gather feedback from residents and businesses to help shape its first comprehensive plan.

Six public meetings are scheduled to give residents an opportunity to provide their input. The first meeting was held Tuesday and will continue through Oct. 3.

“Because city operations form such a small part of our overall carbon footprint in Dallas, we have to collaborate with our residents and businesses to find innovative ways to reduce our community-wide emissions, prepare for a changing climate and enhance quality of life through equitable and sustainable planning of our community’s environmental assets,” explained James McGuire, director of the Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability.

The city is working with AECOM, a global infrastructure firm, to develop this plan. Previously, AECOM supported development of the Resilient Dallas Strategy in collaboration with 100 Resilient Cities. The firm also supports the Carbon Disclosure Project and the World Bank as well as over 50 cities around the world with climate action, adaptation and sustainability planning.

Extreme heat, prolonged droughts and other climate change-related impacts could have detrimental effects on a city and the health of its residents. According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment 2017/2018, Texas alone could see up to 60 additional days per year of temperatures exceeding 100 degrees if carbon emissions aren’t significantly reduced. When complete, the CECAP plan will focus on reducing the root causes of changing weather and the development of benchmarks and strategies for adapting the city to changing local conditions.

“The effects of climate change on our cities are becoming more intense every year. We need to collaborate as a society to facilitate meaningful change,” said AECOM Senior Urban Planner Tatum Lau, deputy project manager for the CECAP plan. “It will take the entire community of Dallas to ensure it’s ready to build a safe future and enhance the quality of life for all residents.”

The contract to develop the CECAP plan, which was first approved by the Dallas City Council in January, is expected to be unveiled on Earth Day 2020.

Scheduled public meetings, at locations around the city, will be held to solicit the community’s ideas and goals before the final plan is unveiled. Light snacks and children’s activities will be provided as well as Spanish translation services.

The survey is available through Oct. 27 at http://www.dallasclimateaction.com.

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