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Climate Equity is the Main Priority in Indianapolis’s Plan to Achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2050

Indianapolis, IN, USA
In Collaboration With
City of Indianapolis

Government Champion

Office of Sustainability


500 Thousand USD

Project Status

Operational since 2022

At a Glance

The City of Indianapolis prioritized equity, community resilience and sustainability when creating an actionable strategic plan - Thrive Indianapolis - the first of its kind in the city. Indianapolis is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and needed a clear plan on how to get there

Problem Addressed

In March 2017, Indianapolis committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 but didn't have a clear plan on how to get there. City leaders wanted a plan that not only provided strategies for reducing emissions, but also prepared for the changes the community - particularly the most vulnerable - were and would be facing as the climate changes.

City of Indianapolis used/is using strategic planning from Kim Lundgren Associates to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

The City opted to create a comprehensive strategic plan, named Thrive Indianapolis. It set a vision, goals, and specific actions to improve energy, economy, transportation and land use, public health and safety, built environment, waste and recycling, food and urban agriculture, and natural resources. Thrive Indianapolis was the first strategic plan of its kind for the City.

The plan includes 59 specific actions that the City and its stakeholders will move forward by 2025, along with a number of calls to action for community members to be part of the solution.

The City selected KLA to lead the development of their Sustainability & Resilience Action Plan process. The 7-firm consultant team was tasked with delivering a 12-month, equity-driven action plan that was deeply rooted in building local social capital and capacity. The work included the development of greenhouse gas emissions inventories that were compliant with the Global Protocol for Community Scale GHG Inventories and the Local Government Operations Protocol, a city-wide climate vulnerability assessment, a multi-hazard mitigation plan, branding, weekly social media posts and newsletter content, and the creation of an online community dashboard to support continued engagement upon the completion of the plan.

The final plan - Thrive Indianapolis - was approved by the City-County Council in 2019.


  1. Through the equitable engagement process employed for Thrive Indianapolis, the City was able to reach a diverse mix of over 265,000 people.
  2. The city hosted more than 150 events throughout the community to gather input from residents!
  3. A Social Vulnerability Index created through the process will help the city prioritize equity in project implementation.
  4. The plan lays out 16 key objectives and 59 ambitious actions that Indianapolis will strive to accomplish by 2025.
  5. Community engagement platform includes unique features like Game of Floods: an interactive way to learn about tough decisions that need to be made to create a more resilient community.

Something Unique

Based on the work done through the Thrive Indianapolis development process, the City was one of only 20 cities selected to receive a grant as a part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies' American Cities Climate Challenge in October 2018!

Who Should Consider?

Any local government looking to develop a comprehensive sustainability, climate action, and/or resilience plan, which prioritizes equitable engagement and implementation.

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