September 2019

 GHG Reduction

USDN Members Win U.S. Conference of Mayors' Climate Protection Awards: Fayetteville AR recently received the Small City Climate Protection Award for the Wastewater Solar Power and Storage Project, and Los Angeles CA received the Large City Climate Protection Award for the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. Honorable mentions included Asheville NC, Boston MA, Dallas TX, Milpitas CA, Minneapolis MN, New York City NY, and Salt Lake City UT.

USDN Members Top ACEEE 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard: Boston MA, San Francisco CA, Seattle WA, Minneapolis MN, Washington DC, New York City NY, Los Angeles CA, Denver CO, Austin TX, and Portland OR were among the top 10 on the ACEEE City Clean Energy Scorecard, a ranking of 75 large U.S. cities on what they are doing to reduce energy consumption in five key areas. 

Boulder County CO Approves New Climate Action Policies: Boulder County CO Board of County Commissioners adopted new state and local climate action policies that were recommended by Colorado Communities for Climate Action, a coalition comprised of 27 Colorado local governments advocating for stronger state and federal climate policies.

Durango CO Establishes 80% by 2050 GHG Emissions Reduction Goal: Durango CO City Council adopted municipal and community-wide 80% GHG emissions reduction and 100% renewable electricity by 2050 goals. 

Fort Collins CO Adopts Global Climate Emergency Resolution: Fort Collins CO City Council passed a resolution acknowledging the Global Climate Emergency and commits the city to center equity in its Climate Action Plan, Energy Policy, and Road to Zero Waste Plan update.

Iowa City IA Declares Climate Crisis: Iowa City IA City Council declared a climate crisis that accelerates previous carbon emissions reduction goals of 26%-28% by 2025 and 80% by 2050 to 45% by 2030 and to net zero emissions by 2050, and mandates the city to develop a strategy to reach the new goals.

Knoxville TN Sets New Carbon Emission Reduction Goals: Knoxville TN City Council approved new accelerated goals to reduce carbon emissions 50% from city operations by 2030 and community-wide emissions 80% by 2050.

Seattle Supports a Green New Deal: Seattle's City Council approved a resolution committing the city to become climate pollution-free by 2030, prioritizing public investments in underinvested neighborhoods that have experienced environmental injustices, exploring the creation consent policies with federally recognized tribal nations, and establishing dedicated revenue sources and an associated accountability body.

Toronto Reports on Climate Action Progress: Toronto ON released its first TransformTO Implementation Update report highlighting key accomplishments and progress towards goals including a 44% reduction of local GHG emissions from 1990 levels. 

Anchorage AK Unveiled Alaska's Largest Rooftop Solar Array: Anchorage AK unveiled the largest rooftop solar array installation on the convention center that will save nearly $700,000 in electricity costs during its lifetime.

Berkeley CA Becomes First City in California to Ban Natural Gas in New Buildings: Berkeley's City Council approved legislation to prohibit natural gas infrastructure in new buildings except for specific building systems that have not been modeled for all-electric by the state starting in 2020.

San Jose CA Signs 20-Year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for Solar and Battery Storage: San Jose Clean Energy, the new city-owned electricity supplier, signed a 20-year PPA for 100 MW of solar energy and 10 MW of battery storage.

Climate Resilience

Los Angeles CA Supports Emergency and Disaster Planning for Neighborhood Leaders: Los Angeles CA announced that it will offer free city-led training on emergencies and disasters for neighborhood preparedness officers and will work with residents to create neighborhood emergency response plans.

Philadelphia PA Releases First Community Heat Relief Plan: Philadelphia PA released its first community heat relief plan developed through a pilot project to understand how residents of a local neighborhood is coping with extreme heat and what they need to stay cooler.

Portland OR to Pilot Off-Grid Community Hubs: Portland OR, Portland State University, Portland General Electric, and MIT are partnering to launch a pilot program to improve disaster resilience and emergency preparedness by creating off-grid community hubs that will be available during a disaster providing crucial services like power, first aid supplies, and cell phone charging.

Seattle WA to Open Clean-Air Shelters During Wildfires: Seattle WA will be installing clean air filtration systems in five city-owned buildings that will be open to the public on high smoke level days caused by wildfires.

Social Equity

Asheville NC Receives GIS Award for Racial Equity Mapping Project: The North Carolina GIS Conference selected Asheville NC's mapping racial equity project for the G. Herbert Stout Award, an award for visionary use of GIS by local government in North Carolina.
Charlottesville VA to Fund Energy Efficiency Loans for Landlords: As part of a pilot program, Charlottesville will be offering 10 city-funded forgivable loans for building energy efficiency upgrades to landlords who are accepting housing vouchers for low-income residents.

Victoria BC to Provide Free Transit for Youth: The Victoria Regional Transit Commission approved the City of Victoria's purchase of youth monthly transit passes for its residents under the age of 18, which will be available for free and will be subsidized through its parking revenue.

Urban Sustainability

Photo Credit:

OurCounty - Los Angeles County Regional Sustainability Plan 

USDN/CNCA Members Selected as Finalists for Engaged Cities Award: The Cities of Service announced that Atlanta GA, Chicago IL, Lakewood CO, London UK, Orlando FL, and San Francisco CA were among the 10 finalists for the Engaged Cities Award, a program recognizing cities co-creating solutions with residents to address problems like vacant land, flooding, homelessness and improve quality of life.

Detroit MI Publishes Sustainability Action Roadmap: Detroit MI published its Sustainability Action Agenda, a roadmap to manage the city's resources in equitable and environmentally sustainable ways for the long-term health of the community, which was developed with input from more than 6,800 residents.

Fort Collins CO Announces Municipal Sustainability and Adaptation Plan: Fort Collins CO revealed its Municipal Sustainability and Adaptation Plan, an employee roadmap to reach internal sustainability, climate action, and adaptation goals.

Los Angeles County CA Releases First Sustainability Plan: Los Angeles County CA released its first comprehensive, regional sustainability plan, which recognizes and acknowledges the first people of its ancestral and unceded territory and include strategies to advance carbon neutrality by 2050, access to clean drinking water, and increase affordable housing.

Cleveland OH Hosted Largest Series of Community Clean Water Events in the U.S.: Cleveland OH recently hosted the Cuyahoga50 Anniversary Week, the largest week-long series of community clean water events in the United States, where over 50,000 people attended events. 

Evanston IL Receives National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Community Wildlife Habitat Certification: Evanston IL became the first community in Illinois to receive the NWF's Community Wildlife Habitat certification, a program where communities create or restore wildlife habitats on private and public properties and conduct education and outreach.

Plano TX Receive 4-STAR Community and LEED for Cities Certifications: Plano TX achieved a 4-STAR Community recertification and LEED for Cities certification, where both programs require communities to meet sustainability criteria.

Milwaukee WI Adopts Green Infrastructure Plan: Milwaukee WI's newly adopted comprehensive green infrastructure plan will direct funds to public schools for green school yards, add new requirements for large developments, and offer grants for depaving commercial parking lots. 

Minneapolis MN Approves Regenerative Agriculture and Biochar Resolution: The Minneapolis MN City Council approved a resolution that recognizes regenerative agriculture and biochar as impactful climate action and resilience tools and for the city to support and implement those practices.

Vox Highlights Consumption-Based Emissions Inventories (CBEI): Vox recently published an article highlighting CBEI, the USDN Sustainable Consumption Toolkit, and how Portland OR is using CBEI.