The City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability has been using the Greenlink Equity Map (GEM) for guidance on investments in energy burdens and climate justice in their Energy Burden Focus Groups to address disparity in Philadelphia communities. These Focus Groups provide the City an opportunity to directly hear from Philadelphians about their experiences with housing and energy use.
Image: City of Philadelphia. Hunting Park Neighborhood Advisory Committee Board with the shipment of air conditioners after convening energy burden focus group and spending the summer giving away 130 ac units and 30 fans to neighbors living in the hotter than average neighborhood, Hunting Park.
At each meeting, facilitators use the GEM maps to show energy burdens in different neighborhoods and how they relate to other indicators such as racial composition, asthma rates, eviction rates, housing type, and more.
They’ve found the maps to be useful when talking with community based organization leaders for joint-meaning making as well as for knowledge exchange to drive positive change.
As they continue to use the maps and facilitate these focus groups, the City is hoping to use the data GEM provides to expand conversations with residents about energy burden and energy equity.
For more information on how the City of Philadelphia is involving community members to address the most burdened neighborhoods, visit the City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability.
Image: City of Philadelphia. Heat Ambassadors in North Philadelphia talking about energy burden and distributing energy efficiency resources.