BuroHappold co-hosts Los Angeles County equity and resilience workshop
At the end of October BuroHappold co-hosted an “Equity and Resilience” workshop, the eleventh stakeholder workshop convened to provide input for Our County, the first-ever countywide sustainability plan for Los Angeles County.
Acting on behalf of the L.A. County Chief Sustainability Office, the BuroHappold-led consultant team has gathered over 600 attendees from nearly 300 organizations to contribute actionable strategies to support healthy communities, environmental stewardship, and a just economy.
Each of the first ten workshops discussed the issues and opportunities related to a specific set of topics, including water, energy, climate, transportation, waste, resource management, ecosystems, public health, and air quality. The equity and resilience workshop represented the culmination of those discussions, providing a dedicated opportunity to apply the lenses of equity and resilience to the plan as a whole.
Workshop participants emphasized the crucial need to place equity considerations front and center in the sustainability plan, in order to realize a bold, inclusive future for Los Angeles County that provides access to opportunity and achieves positive health and wellbeing outcomes for all residents. This need is becoming even more urgent with climate change, as increasing temperatures and weather events disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.
Equity strategies that have emerged from the workshops include maximizing benefits to and minimizing harmful impacts on disadvantaged communities, increasing environmental literacy, and implementing meaningful community engagement and inclusive decision-making processes.
For this sustainability plan, BuroHappold partnered with the Liberty Hill Foundation and UCLA to design and implement a stakeholder engagement process that ensures all stakeholders are granted access to participate in the development of Our County. One of the main actions supporting this goal is the provision of stipends to community-based organizations representing low-income communities of color. This will enable their participation early in the process by increasing their capacity to study briefing materials and actively participate in workshop discussions.
The Our County team is working hard to incorporate stakeholder input and robust data analysis into a discussion draft to be released in Spring 2019, with opportunities to provide feedback in person and online. To learn more and to sign-up for updates, please visit OurCountyLA.org.