With heat waves, hurricanes, storms, flooding, and pollution, the City of Orlando is interested in staying active on overall city resiliency. Because buildings in Orlando account for 70% of the city’s carbon footprint, they have been using the Greenlink Equity Map (GEM) to create and evaluate policies and programs that support higher performing buildings.
These policies would set parameters for buildings in terms of how they should be performing from an energy and water standpoint. By using GEM and their own Tax Assessor data sets, the City has been able to study and identify some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods in terms of energy burden in Orlando.
These policies and programs would also identify where the building’s performing standards intersect with issues of equity such as cost of living, income stress, livability, and racial distribution. By taking an equitable approach, they’re able to holistically create policy parameters from a community perspective.
They have also been using the GEM Process Guide as a roadmap for engaging from a more collaborative approach to create a sense of ownership among the other organizations and partners they’re working with. The GEM tool and the Process Guide has been useful for community partners interested in clearly identifying what energy burden looks like in the City of Orlando and how it’s related to equity and race.
Community partners have taken this data to work directly with neighbors and community residents on their energy burden concerns. This data will help inform the City on how to best support higher performing buildings in a more sustainable data-driven and equitable way.
For more information on how the City of Orlando has been using GEM, contact Sustainability Manager at the City of Orlando, Ashley Van Stone.
Photo by Mike Haupt