Climate, Health & Sustainability

Investments in climate resilience & justice

Providence is threatened by flooding exacerbated by climate change, and the impact plays out differently in different parts of the city. Neighborhoods like Washington Park exhibit unacceptably high asthma rates and other poor health indicators exacerbated by environmental conditions. We need to act now to safeguard Providence for future generations. Investments in our environment reap returns for our people, place, and economy. Change must happen globally, but there’s much we can do at the local and household levels, too. As Mayor, Gonzalo will:

  • Update and act upon goals set by the Providence Climate Justice Plan – created and driven by residents – to create an equitable, carbon-neutral, and climate-resilient future for our city – and allocate funds in the city’s annual operating budget towards the plan’s implementation priorities, starting with the Green Justice Zones. 

  • Pull together business, academic, and workforce development partners to foster a sustainable green and blue economy centered around the Port of Providence, and update zoning around the port to prevent future polluting industries from locating there (as suggested in the city’s Climate Justice Plan). It won’t happen overnight, but we can shift the port from being a visible symbol of dirty industrialism and environmental injustice to a signal of equitable renewal and innovation.

  • Invest in a Green Workforce Development program to create good jobs with strong benefits to support a clean, just economy through city partnerships with higher education institutions, local industry, and state entities that emphasize hiring locally. 

  • Invest in green infrastructure in key sites throughout the city, through management of city properties, resources for partner organizations, and incentives for developers. Identify & improve efficiency in the most inefficient city buildings. Retrofit surface parking lots in important locations around the city with green infrastructure to mitigate stormwater runoff. 

  • Grow the urban tree canopy by planting 5,000 street trees in locations based on tree equity scores and the PVD Tree Plan being developed by the Providence Neighborhood Planting Program and Movement Education Outdoors. 

  • Work with partners to develop a long-term risk assessment of how larger-scale infrastructure and economic or social systems are at risk from changing climate conditions and to create together a risk mitigation plan.

  • Review all City Hall policies, practices, and procedures through a climate lens, recognizing that climate will have an effect on every aspect of our city in the future.  

  • Ensure that large commercial properties carry out energy and emissions audits to develop a comprehensive plan to achieve zero building emissions by 2050.

  • Increase the energy efficiency of older homes by leveraging funding sources to broaden the eligibility for federal weatherization programs, and handle home repairs that unlock larger state energy efficiency programs. 

  • Develop resilient stormwater infrastructure and incentivize residential property owners to reduce stormwater runoff going into public waterways.  

  • Incentivize implementation and expansion of residential and commercial composting efforts in partnership with neighborhood and advocacy groups.

  • Begin the transition to an all-electric City vehicle fleet and install public charging stations in our commercial districts.