In November 2021, the Mauricio Gastón Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston partnered with the Woods Hole Group (WHG) to develop a community outreach strategy for the Climate Change Deep Dive Model, Alternative Analysis, and Targeted Outreach & Engagement project in the Point/Palmer Cove neighborhood (El Punto), in the city of Salem, MA. El Punto, including its residents, workers, infrastructure, and development areas, is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts (such as sea level rise, storm surge, precipitation, and heat waves). Researchers from the Gaston institute engaged El Punto residents to:
- Increase the community’s knowledge of current and future climate change risks, vulnerabilities, and opportunities in El Punto;
- Learn from the community the best solutions to implement to prepare for climate change and reduce its impacts; and
- Build trust and strengthen relationships between the community members and the City of Salem for future collaboration and communication.
We conducted: interviews with key informants who work in community organizations in the community and facilitated Community Mapping and Body Map Storytelling activities.
Our engagement activities, which enabled us to hear what residents think about climate change, revealed a large set of other issues that compound the effect of climate change. If those issues are not addressed, it will be difficult for the City to get buy-in from the community for their climate change initiatives.
Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. //scholarworks.umb.edu/engage
Sweet, Elizabeth; Torres-Ardila, Fabián; Bravo, Daniela; and Jara, Leandra, "Reimagining Community Engagement to Increase Resilience to Climate Change in El Punto Neighborhood, Salem, Massachusetts" (2022). Gastón Institute Publications. 290.