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2023 Green Cincinnati Plan Launched

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Building on past efforts, the 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan (GCP) presents a comprehensive and ambitious roadmap that encompasses 30 goals, 40 strategies, and 130 actions aimed at advancing the city's sustainability, equity, and resilience. Developed with extensive community engagement and expert guidance, the 2023 GCP is a testament to the city's collective will around sustainability. After months of collaborative work, the GCP reached a significant milestone on April 19, 2023, when it was officially adopted by Cincinnati City Council.

Green Umbrella celebrated this occasion, which fell during Earth Month, at our monthly sustainability happy hour, Green Drinks. City Council Member Meeka Owens, who chairs the Climate, Environment & Infrastructure Committee of City Council spoke about the 2023 GCP at the April event, held at Urban Artifact in Northside.

people stand around a woman speaking in a gravelly beer garden
City Council Member Meeka Owens delivers remarks at Green Drinks at Urban Artifact

The 2023 GCP is the result of a collaborative effort involving various stakeholders and community members, including many Food Policy Council network members and the Backbone Support staff. The City of Cincinnati's Office of Environment and Sustainability, an FPC Consulting Member, led the drafting process, seeking valuable input from a diverse range of perspectives. The mayor appointed a Steering Committee with representatives from government, corporate, academic, non-profit, faith, and community organizations to guide the plan's development.

a group of adults stand over large pieces of paper and discuss, while wearing masks.
FPC Members participated in Food-focused community engagement sessions in late 2022.

To ensure the plan's inclusivity and relevance, the 2023 GCP process extensively gathered feedback from over 3,700 residents. The City hosted 42 community meetings, providing numerous opportunities for citizens to share their ideas and priorities. Online participation was actively encouraged, too. This transparent and participatory approach was intended to enrich the GCP with diverse perspectives and foster a sense of ownership across the community.

The plan emphasizes the principles of equity and resilience, prioritizing communities that have historically faced environmental and social challenges. By creating equitable access to nutritious food, affordable transportation, and green jobs, Cincinnati is working towards a more inclusive and thriving society.

The plan has been integrated into a dynamic dashboard, which allows users to filter based on the category of the planned action. Food actions are listed below, but there numerous food-relevant items across other categories, too, including Zero Waste, Equity, and Community Activation.


Implementations in Progress

Pilot and support small-scale community composting under 500 square feet


Suggested Implementations

Continue to support local food rescue, food security & food justice organizations through establishment & support of food access points and increased donation infrastructure for collection, transformation & distribution of surplus food


Develop a comprehensive Food System Plan for Cincinnati, taking into consideration its urban/rural connections and preparation for potential large-scale disruptions due to climate change

Research and Development

Develop a network of neighborhood distribution sites for local food


Develop career pathways & higher education opportunities with links to create living-wage farmer & food sector jobs

Research and Development

Engage community members on the impact of dietary choices on climate change, environment, & health - elevate the benefits of plant based options


Expand food waste prevention education and best practices for residential and business sectors

Informative Action

Grow food-related employment opportunities & training for youth (i.e. food gleaning & redistribution, Climate Corps, AgriCorps, etc)


Implement the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact related to good governance, sustainable diets & nutrition, social & economic equity, food production, food supply & distribution and food waste

Administrative Action

Increase funding for neighborhood gardens and urban agriculture managers

​Financial Action

Increase options for food access within food desert neighborhoods, including but not limited to farmers markets, food co-ops, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), corner stores, buying clubs, mobile markets, community gardens and food pantries


Increase utilization of locally-grown food at neighborhood food access points


Provide city & regional funding for community-driven and innovative food initiatives

​Financial Action

Restore & adapt underutilized spaces (vacant lots, indoor space & rooftops) for food production & ecological benefits and promote regenerative agriculture best practices


Building on past efforts, the 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan (GCP) presents a comprehensive and ambitious roadmap that encompasses 30 goals, 40 strategies, and 130 actions aimed at advancing the city's sustainability, equity, and resilience.



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