May 2018 Urban Sustainability Bulletin

GHG Reduction

Catalyzing Sustainability Impact - A City-Led Process to Invest in High Impact Practices

USDN member communities have led a process to identify High Impact Practices (HIPs) to help USDN and its partners increase impact through more strategic investments.
A review, conducted by CityScale, of USDN member plans and other research in the field identified six content areas and 61 individual practices that had the potential for impact.

A survey of over 150 member communities revealed which of these practices had the highest opportunity for short-term action. The member-led Committee is now combining this data with estimates of the GHG reduction potential of each action. They will use the combined data to select USDN HIPs by late summer 2018.
Read more about the practices and findings to date here
Photo from the CNCA Innovation Fund Product Report on The Thermal Beak Sheer Wall (below)
Thermal Break Shear Wall CNCA Innovation Fund Product: The Thermal Break Shear Wall CNCA Innovation Fund project that implemented dual energy efficiency and seismic resiliency improvements in standard housing stock project now has a product available. 
Bringing Renewable Thermal Solutions to Scale in New England Innovation Fund ProductThe Bringing Renewable Thermal Solutions to Scale in New England Innovation Fund product developed and implemented pilot programs designed to expand the early adoption of renewable thermal. 
Salt Lake City Releases Electrification of Transportation Roadmap: Salt Lake City recently co-authored an Electrified Transportation Roadmap that highlights best practices for Salt Lake City and other local governments in the state of Utah. 
West Hollywood Passes Electric Vehicle Charging Ordinance Amendment: West Hollywood's council passed an electric vehicle charging ordinance amendment requiring plug-in ready spaces for new development.
Climate Mayors Resubmitted Comments on Proposed Repeal of Clean Power Plan: 240 U.S. Mayors representing 52 million people from 48 states, through Climate Mayors, re-submitted a letter a letter urging the U.S. EPA not to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce GHG emissions from power plants 32% by 2030.

Climate Resilience

Game of Floods: A Resilience Board Game and USDN Innovation Fund Project
Resilience Hubs White Paper: Kristin Baja, USDN's Climate Resilience Officer, recently released a white paper on Resilience Hubs, which are community-serving facilities augmented to support residents and coordinate resource distribution and services before, during, or after natural hazard events.
Austin Releases Climate Resilience Action Plan: Austin released their Climate Resilience Action Plan that assesses the potential impact of extreme weather on city-owned assets and operations and strategies to mitigate those impacts
Design and Resilience Teams Innovation Fund Products: The Phase 2 Innovation Fund products from Design and Resilience Teams (DARTs) in Dubuque, Fraser, South Nevada, and Vinalhaven that reflect an interest in the DART's unique approach and DART's ability to help advance community conversations around resilience.

Social Equity

Photo Source: Title Page of the Roadmap to Solar for Affordable Housing
Multnomah County Releases Roadmap to Solar for Affordable Housing: Multnomah County recently completed a Roadmap to Solar for Affordable Housing that outlines opportunities and challenges for adding solar to affordable housing.
USDN Fact Sheet on Equity in Recruitment, Hiring, and RetentionThe purpose of this fact sheet is to provide guidance to hiring managers seeking to diversify their sustainability staff by applying an equity lens. Recent and historical studies have shown that sustainability and environmental fields lag in their ability to recruit, hire, and retain employees of color. 

Urban Sustainability

Photo Credit: Greenworks Philadelphia (
Philadelphia Releases Greenworks Review Annual Report: Philadelphia released their Greenworks Review that highlights sustainability achievements, including their climate preparedness and carbon neutrality goals and progress on accessible transportation and clean and efficient energy.
Reno Releases Sustainability Report: Reno released their first sustainability report and was recognized as a certified 3-STAR Community.
Evanston Recertified as 4-STAR Sustainable Community: Evanston recertified as a 4-STAR Sustainable Community for their work, including decreased community-wide greenhouse gas emissions, hiring an equity and empowerment coordinator, and investment in porous pavement bring the total number of USDN members certified by STARto 40.
Forging University and Municipality Partnership 2017 Conference Report: Conference report from the Forging University and Municipality Partnerships Toward Urban Sustainability that took place October 13, 2017 at Yale University
2017 Funds Reports Now Available: Reports outlining the progress and accomplishments of all four funds over the course of 2017 are now available at the links below: