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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October 2020


 GHG Reduction


Tucson AZ Declares a Climate Emergency: The Tucson AZ City Council declared a Climate Emergency, committing to a 10-year carbon neutrality plan that includes electrifying public transit, incorporating green infrastructure in community design, planting more trees, increasing water conservation, and eliminating 50% of waste.

San Luis Obispo CA Adopts Climate Action Plan: The San Luis Obispo CA City Council adopted the proposed Climate Action Plan for Community Recovery, committing to a community-wide goal of carbon neutrality by 2035, sector-specific goals, improve community equity, and address economic recovery in light of COVID-19.

Portland and South Portland ME Release Joint Draft Climate Action Plan: Portland and South Portland ME released a joint draft climate action plan that proposes requiring net-zero for all new buildings starting in 2032, drastically reducing carbon emissions for existing buildings, and eliminating virtually all waste in the next 30 years.

Washington DC Releases 2020 Progress Reports: Washington DC released three reports detailing the achievements towards their climate action, sustainability, and clean energy goals, including the expansion of solar energy, the planting of over 15,000 trees in one year alone, and the hiring of local residents for green jobs.


Climate Resilience 


Photo Credit:
 
Charleston SC Launches Program to Combat Flooding: Charleston SC launched the Rainproof program where volunteers will install rain gardens and rain barrels on business and residential properties and track data on captured rainwater that is diverted from the central stormwater drainage system.
 

Ann Arbor MI Launches First Solar Resilience Hub: Ann Arbor MI worked with a local organization to install a 23 kW solar energy and battery storage system at a community center to supply nearly 100% of its electricity and provide up to three days of power in case of an outage, which designates the center as a resilience hub to provide assistance and care during or after a disaster.


Social Equity and Community Engagement


 

Richmond VA Launches Community Participation Initiative: Richmond VA launched a community participation initiative that provides residents options based on time commitments to get involved in the city’s equity-centered climate action and resilience planning initiative.

Evanston IL Approves Environmental Justice Resolution: The Evanston IL City Council voted to adopt an environmental justice resolution that acknowledges disproportionate harm communities of color have experienced due to environmental injustices and outlines corrective actions to support and protect the health and well-being of all residents.

Chula Vista CA Providing Internet Access to Vulnerable Communities: Chula Vista CA’s City Council voted to adopt a Digital Equity and Inclusion Plan, aiming to provide vulnerable communities in the city with Internet access and technology devices.


Urban Sustainability 


Photo Credit:
Project Room
 

Los Angeles CA Selects New Streetlight Design: Los Angeles CA selected Project Room as the winner of a competition to design a new streetlight standard that provides text space on each pole for community personalization and shade to help ease the impacts of the climate crisis.

Philadelphia PA Awarded Funding to Tackle Food Waste: Philadelphia PA received a USDA Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Project grant and technical assistance from the NRDC Food Matters Project to tackle food waste in multiple sectors.

NRDC Launches Food Matters Regional Initiatives: NRDC’s Food Matters team has launched a Food Matters Regional Initiative to help further larger-scale change related to food waste in the Mid-Atlantic, including USDN members Jersey City NJ, Philadelphia PA, Pittsburgh PA, and Washington DC; and the Southeast, including Asheville NC, Atlanta GA, Memphis TN, and Orlando FL.

Boulder CO Funding Sustainable Takeout Items: In light of COVID-19, Boulder CO is funding a subsidy to support the purchase of up to $1,000 worth of recyclable and compostable takeout containers for local restaurants on a first-come, first-served basis.

Boston MA Deploys Electric-Assist Tricycle: Boston MA acquired its first electric-assist cargo tricycle to be used by city employees as a step toward their climate action plan goal of reducing emissions from municipal sources.