March 2020

Like you, we at USDN are closely monitoring the COVID-19/Coronavirus developments. We're sensitive to the uncertainty affecting all of us at this time and are committed to supporting our members and our broader network in any way we can.

At this time, our members are increasingly finding themselves in new work situations and are figuring out how to carry on their work virtually. We see how our preparedness for pandemics and climate change are related, spotlighting the importance of resilient communities and proactive preparation. USDN and its members, partners, and funders are committed to supporting communities in becoming more resilient in light of climate change impacts.

 GHG Reduction

Asheville NC Declares Climate Emergency: Asheville NC's City Council approved a climate emergency declaration, becoming the first city in the state to do so and setting a goal to end GHG emissions by 2030 through equitable and just actions.
Saanich BC Adopts Climate Plan: Saanich BC recently adopted a climate plan setting goals to cut emissions 50% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050, transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, and outline actions to address climate change.
New York City NY Proposes New Climate Actions: New York City NY's mayor proposed new climate actions during his State of the City address, including increased investment in renewable energy, reducing single-use plastics, and eliminating fossil fuels. 
Los Angeles CA Commits to Carbon-Free Buildings: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced that all new or substantially rehabilitated municipal buildings will be 100% carbon-free in an effort to reduce GHG emissions.
Pittsburgh PA Approves Building Energy Zoning Amendment: The Pittsburgh PA Planning Commission approved a zoning code amendment requiring new municipal buildings or those undergoing major renovations to be net-zero ready.
Portland ME Joins Solar Energy Consortium: Portland ME's City Council voted to join a renewable energy consortium that will allow the city to purchase electricity from local solar farms being developed, which will provide two thirds of electricity for city and school district operations.

Climate Resilience

Photo Credit:
City of Savannah
Houston TX Releases Resiliency Plan: Houston TX recently released a resiliency plan that invests in and strengthens the capabilities of neighborhoods, communities, and the region to address, withstand, and quickly recover from physical, social, and economic shocks and stresses.
Boston MA Adopts Local Wetland Ordinance: Boston MA's Mayor signed the Local Wetland Ordinance, giving the city greater authority to protect the wetlands that are essential for managing floods and protecting neighborhoods and green space.
Savannah GA Provides Trees to Eastside Community: Savannah GA's Office of Sustainability collaborated with local partners to give away over 50 fruit trees to residents of the city's Eastside neighborhoods to support beautification and expanding the urban canopy.

Urban Sustainability 

USDN Members Recognized as A List Cities: CDP selected 38 USDN members across North America for their list of 105 cities who are leading the transition to a climate-safe future and setting examples for other cities to follow.
New York City NY Works with Local Utility to Increase Public Charging Stations: The New York City Department of Transportation is partnering with the local electric utility to pilot a public curbside electric vehicle charging network to incentivize EV ownership.
Ann Arbor MI Sets New Electric Vehicle Goal: Ann Arbor MI approved a community-wide goal that 20% of all registered vehicles will be electric by 2030 to help advance their goal of becoming carbon neutral.
San Francisco CA Makes Busiest Street Car-Free: San Francisco CA's Municipal Transportation Agency approved a plan to ban passenger automobiles and for-hire ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft on Market Street and increase infrastructure for bikers and pedestrians.