Climate Action in Small-Town America: Thinking Globally and Acting (Very) Locally

Authors: David Prytherch*, Miami University
Topics: Sustainability Science, Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Geography
Keywords: climate action, planning, local government
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 1:45 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Granite B, Hyatt Regency, Third Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the absence of federal and state climate leadership, a growing number of American municipalities have joined the Global Covenant of Mayors, a network of cities committed to climate action in line with the Paris Climate Accords. Many signatory cities are large with commensurate staffing and other resources. But a significant number includes small cities - even villages -- in rural settings. This paper asks: How have small signatory cities integrated climate action within local governance? More specifically, how have they reframed local public welfare to encompass broader climate goals? And how have they linked climate action to existing institutional processes like comprehensive planning or land-use regulation? This research reviews the climate action strategies of small U.S. signatory cities (population <50,000), how they have framed climate issues, set goals and strategies, and organized municipal and community resources to confront a global and epochal challenge.

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