- Published on Friday, 08 March 2013 17:34
Boulder County, CO was one of two communities to receive an EPA Organizational Leadership Award for its emissions reduction efforts and leadership in its internal response to climate change through public outreach and collaboration with surrounding cities, like Boulder and Longmont.
The EPA gives the award to organizations that not only have their own comprehensive GHG inventories and aggressive emissions reduction goals, but also exemplify leadership in their internal response to climate change through engagement of their peers, competitors, partners, and supply chain, and addressing climate risk in their enterprise strategies.
- Published on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 19:15
Financing complex mixed-use, transit-oriented development (TOD) projects can be as difficult as it sounds, but over the past few decades, it has been getting easier. And not just for big cities like Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Smaller communities like Denver, Tucson, and sprawling Las Vegas and finding innovative ways to fund TODs. On their heels, are Grand Rapids, Salt Lake City, Fort Collins; they all have proposed lines in the works.
Still, there are continuing challenges financing these complex and less familiar projects. Enter the Infrastructure Financing Options for Transit-Oriented Development guidebook recently released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities.
This report offers a comprehensive guide of tools and strategies available for financing and funding infrastructure for TOD projects. Covering dozens of financing mechanisms and strategies including direct fees, debt tools, credit assistance, equity tools and many others, this guidebook is seriously comprehensive.
- Published on Monday, 28 January 2013 22:05
If you only had 30 seconds to talk to your mayor about a critical issue in your community, what would you say? This is the question that National League of Cities covers in their Communications Lab on the Sustainable Cities Institute clearinghouse. You can find the original template here.
Let’s say you want to start a green fleet or implement a fleet reduction program. Transportation accounts for nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions and it is the fastest growing GHG emission source in the U.S. Beyond climate change, what comes out of tailpipes cause health problems for everyone, including young ones and the elderly. So implementing a green fleet or fleet reduction program can go a long way fiscally and in terms of the health of your community.
Check the Facts
Before you get started, check your facts. What is the state of air quality in your community? What are your main causes of concern? Who is being impacted by low air quality? Knowing the facts will help you build a better case for your cause and inspire your municipal leader to start thinking about the benefits of making some changes. It is also important to get the numbers on the current fleet. How many vehicles are in operation? What are the total operations and municipal costs? How much does the city pay replacing vehicles each year? What are the average vehicle miles travelled? Getting the right facts and knowing them well will help you develop the right plan of action.
- Published on Monday, 19 November 2012 23:03
Photo Source: Peter McBride. Colorado River.
Since the 1880's, scientists have been taking measurements of the Earth's surface temperature at thousands of locations. The analysis of this data shows that the Earth's average temperature has increased by more than 1.4° over the past 100 years, with much of this increase experienced in the past 35 years, and it is evident that the temperature is continuing to rise. These rising temperatures may seem minimal; however, even small increases can have significant impacts on ecosystems, weather patterns, and the health and safety of residents in a community.
- Published on Thursday, 06 December 2012 22:51
(Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: Chris M. Richards)
In December, Western Lands and Communities hosted a webinar called "Climate Change Preparedness Planning" a review of climate adaptation practices in the West. Viewers heard from Lisa Friend, Sustainability Officer for Boulder County and Stephanie Smith, Sustainability Specialist from the City Flagstaff about recent adaptation developments in their communities. Erika Mahoney, Program Associate for the Sonoran Institute gave an overview of some key principles of planning within uncertainty and future risk. This webinar inspired a lively conversation concerning the climate adaptation process.
Below are some key takeaway points that presenters made during this webinar session:
"Adapt the process as you go"
Flagstaff set out to create a climate preparedness plan, but changed course and opted for an in-depth study, which guided the adoption of a resolution, which has the goal of institutionalizing resiliency into city decisions and allocated municipal resources.
"The power of leadership"
Flagstaff and Boulder County have strong leadership contingents that encouraged the adaptation planning process. This leadership can come from within the organization.
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