CASA was delighted to host four summer interns from Brown University who assisted us with research in support of the City of Alameda Climate Action and Resiliency Plan. Each intern conducted independent research, identified opportunities to expand policies, programs or infrastructure, made recommendations for next steps and contributed to projects by working directly with City staff and CASA members. 

Equitable Access – Elbie Seibert built on the vulnerability assessment that was developed for the Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (which focused on how vulnerable populations may be disproportionately impacted by climate change and sea level rise) and researched ways of increasing equitable access to greenhouse gas reduction practices. These included enhancing mobility and access to transit, as well as enhancing construction of affordable multi-family housing across Alameda specifically meant for low-income residents. Link to presentation.

Smart Cities – Kiley Kellum conducted background research on Smart Cities (for accessing unused fiber optic cable and creating wifi hotspots) and community-based social marketing (to identify strategies for encouraging continued telecommuting – after the shelter in place requirements are lifted). This research was performed to support a grant application on dark fiber and traffic signal synchronization. The dark fiber project could increase access to telecommuting, teleschool and telemedicine (which, in turn, will reduce traffic emissions pursuant to the City’s climate action goals).
Link to presentation.

Sea Level Rise Communication – Sophie Pollack-Milgate developed guidelines for sea level rise communication that could be undertaken by the City and its partners including CASA, recommended communication strategies and tactics for five of Alameda’s eleven priority flooding location projects, as well as projects at De-Pave Park and the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary, and developed questions related to sea level rise communication that can be incorporated into a citywide survey focused specifically on sea level rise. Link to presentation.

Electrification – Olivia Howe researched building electrification. Alameda Municipal Power delivers 100% clean power to Alameda, so Olivia looked at options for reducing natural gas use. She researched the current status of ordinances in other cities and how cities promote electrification. She evaluated funding options, including modifications to the Utility User Tax. Olivia also conducted a short study on the logistics of replacing gas water heaters with electric heat pump water heaters to meet the City’s emissions reduction goals. Link to presentation.