City of Austin
At a Glance
Climate Justice/Energy Equity, Engagement and Behavior Change, Goals/Targets
Evan Magallanes created a set of equity metrics to measure the City of Austin’s progress towards fulfillment of its equity goals within their Climate Equity Plan.
Measuring and tracking progress on equity-related climate action goals is challenging for municipalities. The City of Austin reports and tracks progress on climate goals, but there is no set of best practices for measuring the implementation of equity goals within climate action plans. Austin’s Office of Sustainability enlisted Evan Magallanes to begin developing equity metrics to complement the City’s existing climate metrics and measure the progress toward achieving the equity goals within the plan.
Evan approached this work through a four-part process:
- Developed a framework for the creation, selection, and evaluation of equity metrics for the City of Austin’s Climate Equity Plan
- Crafted a methodology for operationalizing the Plan’s equity language, evaluating successful implementation of equity-related goals, and applying an equity lens towards ongoing implementation of the Climate Equity Plan across the City
- Conducted internal stakeholder engagement with 10 partner offices across the City, including local utilities, the Offices of Equity, Resilience, Housing, and more. Stakeholder engagement included presentations to division managers, DEI managers, and other key figures within each office.
- Developed equity metrics through the use of spatial correlation techniques in ArcGIS, in conjunction with the EPA’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST).
The development of these equity metrics represents the first step towards tracking, reporting, and achieving the City of Austin’s equity goals outlined in its Climate Equity Plan. It serves as a replicable strategy for equity-centered municipal climate action. The metrics are a framework for future federal funding opportunities.
These metrics, and their underlying methodology, provide a usable framework for the City of Austin’s Offices to pursue federal funding streams in accordance with the Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, including the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) funding available through the Inflation Reduction Act.