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Assess with Multi-benefit Criteria

Once your project concept has been developed, assess the approach through the Multi-Benefit Criteria lens for an in-depth analysis of benefits and tradeoffs. This assessment tool will prioritize the integration of nature-based elements while ensuring a commitment to an equitable community.

 

Each project and community are different, and community-specific considerations should not be left out. We encourage project teams to better understand the communities they work in, paying particular attention to guiding documents, to assess and highlight priorities.

Equity

Reduces environmental injustices and systemic disparities experienced by marginalized communities and ensures equitable distribution of project benefits and burdens.

 

Long-Term Value

Prioritizes solutions that deliver multiple long-term benefits and value in line with the costs of design, implementation, and maintenance.

 

Ecosystem Benefit

Supports thriving ecosystems and biodiversity, balancing the needs of wildlife, landscapes, and natural resources without creating harm to the community.

 

Community Benefit

Creates community benefits that improve human health and well-being, community resilience, quality of life, and supports a prosperous and just economy.

Cross-Jurisdictional

Alignment

Bridges and strengthens connections between organizations, jurisdictions, etc. to work towards scaled solutions.

How To Use

Assess the impact of the resilience project or strategy by analyzing it through the multi-benefit criteria.

The criteria are intended to be used by city staff, project partners, engineers, and public works staff with expertise in the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of nature-based solutions to assess all stages of the project. Strategies or a project can be assessed with this tool relatively easily using a Google worksheet.

 

Each item is assigned a score of +, 0, – depending on if it will have a positive, neutral, or negative impact under each criterion.

  • All questions under the criteria must be scored.

  • Neutral or positive scores are accepted. Negative scores will not be accepted.

  • If the project yields a negative score, it must be redesigned to have a neutral or positive score.

Once you have analyzed your project under the criteria answer the following questions:

  • How does your solution change after being analyzed under the criteria?

  • Will you change your objective to cater to costs, benefits, and trade-offs?

  • How will you monitor and evaluate co-benefits across all stages?

How To
Women and little girl with crowd in background with bubbles.

Equity

The strategy reduces environmental injustices and systemic disparities experienced by marginalized communities and ensures equitable distribution of project benefits and burdens.

  • Does the project generate burdens (including financial, health costs), either directly or indirectly, to communities of color or low-income populations? If yes, are there opportunities to mitigate these impacts? 

  • Does the strategy offer a long-term commitment to maintaining equity through the budget, time, or other resources?

  • Does the project honor the cultural assets and traditions of marginalized communities?

  • Does the project have provisions to ensure ongoing collection of data and reporting to ensure accountability?

  • Does the strategy have community buy-in? Was the community involved in developing the project?

 

Long-term Value

The strategy prioritizes solutions that deliver multiple long-term benefits and value in line with the costs of design, implementation, and maintenance.

  • Does the decision-making process go beyond prioritizing economic benefits to address shared values? If not, why?

  • Is the project value greater than the cost of inaction?

  • Does the project provide ecosystem or community benefit?

  • Does the project have processes to monitor and evaluate benefits at key stages?

Image of a dry stream with grasses and rocks in front of a community center.
Close up of a black and yellow butterfly on purple flowers.

Ecosystem Benefit

The strategy supports thriving ecosystems and biodiversity, balancing the needs of wildlife, landscapes, and natural resources without creating harm to the community.

  • Does the proposed action substantially restore ecosystem health or reduce stress or harms caused onto ecosystems (as measured by local indicators)?

  • Does the proposed action support local and statewide sustainability and resilience goals?

  • Does the proposed strategy help to reconnect biological/ecological systems?

Community Benefit

The strategy creates community benefits that improve human health and well-being, community resilience, quality of life, and supports a prosperous and just economy.

  • Does the proposed action benefit all residents, and/or does it prioritize the most marginalized or climate-burdened communities?

  • Does the proposed action expand access to resources or opportunities that improve community resilience or quality of life?

  • Does the proposed action remove any barriers that prevent marginalized communities from fully benefitting from the strategy?

  • Is the community engaged and involved in a culturally responsive manner that builds capacity and provides resources for inclusive decision-making?

Image of long waterside walkway with native plantings at sunset.
Image of a building under construction.

Cross-Jurisdictional Alignment

The strategy bridges and strengthens connections between organizations, jurisdictions, etc. to work towards scaled solutions.

  • Does it align with OR embed NBS in governance processes, plans, and community documents (Climate action plans, general plans, etc.)?

  • Does the project have elements that make it more competitive to receive greater funding opportunities?

  • Does it help foster or build effective, long-term relationships and trust between communities and local governments?

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