Keene, New Hampshire (October 17, 2014) – Antioch University New England (AUNE) and the City of Keene have formally agreed to work together on strengthening community resilience and climate preparedness in the City. Keene Mayor Kendall W. Lane and AUNE President Stephen B. Jones signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to finalize and announce the public-private partnership aimed at strengthening the community’s ability to withstand and recover from environmental, public health, economic and social stressors.
“The City of Keene has a tremendous resource in Antioch University New England. I am very pleased to be able to formalize this partnership to enhance both the immediate and long term benefits of this relationship for the residents of Keene and the surrounding communities,” Mayor Lane said.
The multi-year effort will focus on implementing provisions in the city’s Master Plan, as well as the Climate Adaptation Plan. Individuals from both organizations, including City Manager John A. MacLean and Dr. Jones, will meet monthly to plan and implement initiatives that may include: civic leadership, public engagement and education; district heating and weatherization; downtown storm water management and community preparedness; economic development; food security; greenhouse gas inventory updates; health indicators; Keene energy and agriculture project; transportation management (including pathways expansion); and urban tree planting.
Together, AUNE and Keene will identify, evaluate, design and implement a range of resilience and preparedness actions. Additionally, they will pursue external grant funding necessary to accomplish these actions and collaborate with stakeholders and additional partners who can help ensure the effort’s success.
“AUNE’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience is focused on helping municipalities and regions recognize and plan for the myriad events – both planned and unexpected – that are unique to the local landscape,” said President Jones. “These are important strategies that address climate change, emergency preparedness and countless other areas, not just from a policy standpoint, but also in terms of communication and engagement.”
AUNE’s Center has launched its capacity-building Weathering Change: Local Solutions for Strong Communities webinar series, in partnership with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The series began yesterday with a presentation by the founder of BuildingGreen Inc. Alex Wilson on Resilient Design: Transitioning to the New Built Environment.
About Antioch University New England’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience
The mission of AUNE’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience is to prepare, respond and recover in the face of climate impacts and other disruptions through collaborative, innovative solutions. The center delivers applied research, consulting, and education and training. Through a solutions-oriented, pragmatic, participatory, and inclusive approach based on change leadership best practices and systems thinking, its focus is on stakeholder capacity building at the local scale (watershed, municipal, county, and region) of preparedness and resilience nationally and internationally, with an explicit awareness of social and climate justice.
About Antioch University
Antioch University is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education that serves adult students around the world, online and from its five campuses in four states in addition to its University-wide international and doctoral programs. The University lives by its mission every day by helping students realize their potential and achieve their educational goals through an innovative, rigorous and responsive learning environment Antioch University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1927. Antioch University New England is home to the first-in-the-country Environmental Studies and Educating for Sustainability graduate programs and Conservation Psychology Institute.