Opportunities for Collaboration on A Better City’s Equity in the Built Environment Projects

In the coming months, A Better City is excited to advance two vital initiatives that tangibly advance equity in the built environment: the PowerCorpsBOS Buildings Operation Cohort #2 and the new Temperature Sensor Pilot. In 2021, A Better City launched an Equity in the Built Environment Action Plan to more deliberately and strategically advance this work. A Better City’s Energy & Environment Advisory Committee moved to adopt an equity-centered vision statement and to prioritize several equity-focused goals and initiatives that are reflected in the Energy & Environment Policy Agenda


PowerCorpsBOS Buildings Operation Cohort #3: At the end of 2021, A Better City was asked to partner with the City of Boston on a new equitable workforce development program called PowerCorps Boston (PowerCorpsBOS), to develop a building operations program to help reduce greenhouse gases in large existing buildings. The program works with unemployed and underemployed 18–30-year-olds, with a priority given to marginalized youth. Participants receive foundational and technical training, as well as in-service learning with the goal to transition into employment at the end of the program. Thanks to several A Better City members, Cohorts #1 and #2 were a success and Cohort #3 launched in May. A Better City is now working to connect with member companies interested in hosting a PowerCorpsBOS trainee for an in-service learning to employment opportunity, beginning in October 2024 and running through the end of February 2025. This work had been made possible by generous support from Linde Family Foundation and the Barr Foundation. Please contact Yve Torrie to get involved or to learn more.


Temperature Sensor Pilot: This summer, A Better City will be working with the City of Boston, The Boston Foundation, and C-HEAT to deploy 15 temperature sensors across heat island environmental justice neighborhoods in Boston to demonstrate differences in lived experiences during heat events, and to make the case for why Boston should consider incorporating live temperature data from heat island neighborhoods into its emergency response. Currently, the official temperature reading for Boston is taken at Logan Airport, which can oftentimes be 10-15 degrees cooler than heat island neighborhoods. A Better City is now working with property owners in the heat island neighborhoods of Allston-Brighton, Chinatown, Dorchester, East Boston, Mattapan, and/or Roxbury to host temperature sensors, which are about the size of a human hand. The hope is for this pilot to be a precursor to a semi-permanent temperature sensor network, paired with a publicly accessible live data dashboard and website. This work has been made possible by generous support from The Boston Foundation. Please contact Isabella Gambill to get involved or to learn more. 

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