The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas (UG) is dedicated to addressing climate risks and developing a resilience plan that protects the citizens of Kansas City, Kansas (KCK) and the built environment. This endeavor requires interdisciplinary and intersectional approaches, including culture change strategies to engage stakeholders who are not yet actively supporting climate resilience. The UG will partner with FUSE to customize a regional plan for KCK, establish a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) dashboard, and build internal capacity for long-term climate resilience work. FUSE Executive Fellow Caroline de Filippis will personalize climate risk assessments, research successful program models, finalize a climate resilience action plan, and act as a liaison during program implementation. This project aims to enhance climate resilience, address disparities, and promote environmental justice for historically marginalized communities.
Starting in October 2023, Caroline will collaborate with city, community, and private stakeholders to finalize and implement a climate resilience strategy aligned with the UG’s goals. She will consolidate climate risk assessments into an integrated plan with recommendations, incorporating regional plans and policies that influence decisions on climate resilience-related infrastructure, programs, and incentives. Prioritizing vulnerable communities, Caroline will develop strategies focusing on high-risk, historically marginalized areas. She will research successful programs worldwide to apply sector-specific best practices and lessons learned. The collected information will be used to create a data-driven dashboard, tracking the impact of policies and strategies supporting climate resilience activities in Wyandotte County, ultimately increasing accessibility and integration of climate crisis-focused improvements. Caroline will establish frameworks and mechanisms for implementing the new plan, and tracking goals, programs, and policies through the dashboard. Collaborating closely with City and community stakeholders, she will prioritize projects based on community needs and address legacies of inequity throughout KCK.