Community & Human Development

Climate Action

The sustainability and climate change team works under the Community and Human Development Department to implement programs and projects that enhance sustainability and resiliency across the city and municipal operations. The team collaborates with other departments, governmental institutions, and community partners. 

Renewable Energy 

Renewable Energy

The Regional Renewable Energy Advisory Council (RREAC) advises the City Council as an Ad Hoc Committee on all matters related to renewable energy strategy and industry development. 

The RREAC’s Strategic Plan, approved in 2021, focuses on four pillars:  

  1. Education, Outreach, and Advocacy
  2. Municipal Energy
  3. Industry Development
  4. Renewable Energy Infrastructure

Municipal Energy 

Municipal Energy

With more than 200 assets and 1,000 energy accounts, the City of El Paso is one of the largest consumers of energy (electricity and natural gas) in the Region. Acknowledging this, the City included the development of an Urban Energy Plan as one of its 25 by 25 Strategic Projects. To develop it, the City has convened an internal Cross-Functional Team, based on the RREAC’s pillars, to produce and implement the plan. 

Municipal Energy Update Presentation

Resilient El Paso

The City of El Paso was part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative. In December 2014, El Paso joined leading cities around the world in hiring its first Chief Resilience Officer (CRO). The CRO is an innovative position in city government that reports directly to the city’s chief executive and acts as the city’s point person for resilience building, coordinating all of the city’s resilience efforts. 

Today, the City of El Paso has now permanently incorporated the role of the Chief Resilience Officer within its organizational structure. From March 2015 - December 2016, the City of El Paso conducted over 95 community engagement events, and 21 stakeholder work sessions and piloted 11 test projects. Our team communicated with just under 12,000 El Pasoans face-to-face and approximately 70,000 via digital means over the course of this work. 

Beginning with the approval of the strategy in February 2018, the Chief Resilience Officer is charged with stewardship of resilience practice as part of El Paso’s future strategic planning as well as in regular municipal operations.

The introduction of resilience thinking in the context of city strategic planning allowed an opportunity for integration across multiple areas of concern such as economic development, city planning, community development, and municipal operations just to name a few. 

Urban Heat

Urban Heat Mapping and Heat Perceptions Study: This two-year study (2020-2021) was supported by NOAA’s National Integrated Health Information System (NIHHIS) program, the North American Development Bank (NADB), and EPA’s 2020 US-Mexico Border Program.

In 2020, the Heat Watch Campaign was conducted with help from UTEP, community-based organizations, and the regional National Weather Service office. 41 volunteers collected more than 66,000 temperature and humidity measurements that were used to develop El Paso’s urban heat map. The area covered was 105 sq. miles within city limits. 

Additionally, to produce high-resolution descriptions of the distribution of temperature and humidity (heat index) across El Paso, the project successfully engaged with the community and created lasting partnerships to better understand and address the inequitable threat of extreme heat. 

In 2021, the second phase of the project focused on communicating the results and collecting feedback from the community. Two workshops took place with stakeholders and the community. UTEP’s Center for Inter-American and Border Studies (CIBS) developed a heat perception survey that was distributed to the community via digital platforms. The answers collected allowed to better understand how the community perceives heat and its inherent risks associated with it. 

Summary Report Heat Watch

Maps
Open Science Framework (OSF)
Web App
Web Map