USDN now helps partners, sustainability professionals, and our followers stay up to date with USDN members' innovations through the Urban Sustainability Bulletin, formally known as the Innovation Report. This newsletter highlights key updates from USDN as well as key accomplishments from our member communities to give you a sense of what is happening in the field of urban sustainability and particularly our three focus areas - GHG Reduction, Climate Resilience, and Social Equity.

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May 2021


 GHG Reduction


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Burlington VT on Track to Meet 2030 Net Zero Energy Goal: Burlington VT is on track to meet their goal of net zero energy by 2030 due to lower fossil fuel use and GHG emissions in 2019 and 2020 compared to their 2018 baseline and will continue to take action as part of their Net Zero Energy Roadmap.

San Antonio TX Releases 2019 GHG Inventory Results: San Antonio TX released the results of their 2019 GHG Inventory, revealing that on a per capita basis between 2016-2019 emissions decreased by four percent, despite an increase of population by four percent.


Climate Resilience 


Photo Credit:
The State
 

New York City NY Adopts Climate Resiliency Law: New York City NY has adopted Intro.2092, a local law that requires the development of climate resiliency design guidelines and a resiliency scoring system for city-funded capital projects to support their climate action goals.

Los Angeles County CA Begins Process to Update Safety Element: Los Angeles County CA is updating the Safety Element in their General Plan to incorporate climate adaptation and resiliency strategies and prioritize disadvantaged communities.

Charleston SC Releases Draft Climate Action Plan: Charleston SC’s Resilience and Sustainability Advisory Committee voted to move their draft climate action plan to City Council consideration with goals and strategies including powering buildings with renewable energy, increasing public transit use and pedestrian infrastructure, and increasing composting and recycling.


Social Equity and Community Engagement


Photo Credit:
NBC
 

Evanston IL Approves Allocation of Reparations Fund: Evanston IL’s City Council acknowledged and took the first steps towards repairing historic harm to the African American community caused by past racial discriminatory housing policies and practices by approving their first allocation to a $400,000 in housing assistance and mortgage relief fund for eligible residents in their Local Reparations Restorative Housing Program.

Seattle WA Releases Transportation Electrification Blueprint: Seattle WA released a city-wide electrification blueprint to support an equitable transportation system with increased electric mobility options, reduced GHG emissions, and green jobs and workforce diversity.

Philadelphia PA Creates Challenge to Address Meal Distribution: Philadelphia PA launched a Pitch & Pilot challenge and is collecting RFPs for a platform that supports the logistics and distribution of food insecure residents.


Urban Sustainability 


Apartment Guide Selects USDN Members as Top Green Cities for U.S. Renters: Based on a criteria of providing green amenities such as solar panels and LEED certified buildings, Apartment Guide selected 11 cities for their list of top 10 green cities for U.S. renters including USDN members Atlanta GA, Austin TX, Boston MA, Charleston SC, Plano TX, Richmond VA, San Antonio TX, Tacoma WA, Tempe AZ.

Breckenridge CO Recognized as Sustainable Destination: USDN member Breckenridge CO received a certification as a sustainable mountain resort destination using the Mountain IDEAL standard which uses over 40 sustainability criteria in their evaluations.

Minneapolis MN Receives Inspiring Efficiency Award in Innovation: Minneapolis MN received an Inspiring Efficiency Award in the Innovation category during the Midwest Energy Solution Conference for their success in passing a time-of-listing energy disclosure policy for single-family homes.

Lansing MI to Upgrade Municipal Buildings: Lansing MI launched a Healthy Infrastructure initiative with Johnson Controls to replace outdated infrastructure management systems, like HVAC, lighting, and building envelopes, with new technology that will provide energy and cost savings and create local jobs.

Jersey City NJ Launches Energy Savings Program and Microgrid Project: Jersey City NJ and Schneider Electric are implementing the Energy Savings Improvement Program to reduce operational costs, improve energy resiliency, and leverage energy savings for future projects, including a self-sustainable microgrid.

Boston MA Provides Free Public Transit to Employees: Boston MA is providing pre-paid transit passes for up to 1,000 city employees in an effort to provide more equitable and sustainable transportation.

Shoreline WA Releases 2020 Annual Sustainability Report: Shoreline WA released its Annual Sustainability Report with an overview of their 2020 progress in areas including climate, waste, mobility, ecosystems, resilience, and their COVID response.

Montgomery County MD Transmits Building Energy Performance Standard to Council: Montgomery County MD’s County Executive transmitted Building Energy Performance Standard legislation to their Council, which includes a Trajectory Model to provide long-term certainty and flexibility for building owners as they work to meet their zero GHG emission goals.

Las Cruces NM to Transition Fleet to Zero-Emission Vehicles: Las Cruces NM adopted a resolution to transition approximately 50 percent of their fleet to zero-emission vehicles by 2030 to help meet their GHG emissions reduction goals.

Berkeley CA Seeks Public Comment on Draft Electrification Strategy: Berkeley CA is seeking public comments for a draft Existing Buildings Electrification Strategy with guidelines on the substituting gas appliances with clean, safe, and highly efficient all-electric alternatives in existing buildings.