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Philadelphia Hitting Sustainability Stride in Mid-2011

by Adrienne DeAngelo May 16, 2011

Philadelphia Skyline 2007 Public Domain

Philadelphia skyline

In 2009, Mayor Michael Nutter set an ambitious goal of making Philadelphia the greenest city in America within six years. The plan, called Greenworks Philadelphia, sets 15 goals that the city hopes to reach by 2015. Since the Mayor's announcement, ICLEI has been following Philadelphia's innovations and sharing its successes with our network of local governments.

By 2010, the city had already made significant inroads, many of them the result of innovative public-private partnerships. Now, almost two years into the plan, the accomplishments keep coming.

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Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure

by Adrienne DeAngelo May 14, 2011

Tucson desert

EPA logoGreen infrastructure is an approach to wet weather management that is cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Green Infrastructure management approaches and technologies infiltrate, evapotranspire, capture and reuse stormwater to maintain or restore natural hydrologies.

The EPA has made available three resources to assist you in setting green infrastructure policy, getting training and learning from other municipalities.

small green arrow iconEPA Green Infrastructure: Case Studies Green Infrastructure Case Studies: Municipal Policies for Managing Stormwater with Green Infrastructure (PDF) (76 pp, 8.23MB)

small green arrow iconGreen Infrastructure in Arid and Semi-Arid Climates: Adapting Innovative Stormwater Management techniques to the Water-Limited West (PDF) (9 pp, 1.3MB)

small green arrow iconGreen Jobs Training: A Catalog of Training Opportunities for Green Infrastructure Technologies (PDF) (52 pp, 536K) - September 2010 edition


View more resources on EPA's Green Infrastructure page.

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Marshfield, MA, Set for Major Energy and Carbon Savings

by Gia Lane, Volunteer, Town of Marshfield, MA May 09, 2011

Town of Marshfield, MA buildings (credit: town of marshfield)

Photo credit: Town of Marshfield

Voters at a recent Town of Marshfield, MA, meeting approved a $5 million Energy Management Services project between the Town and an energy management services contractor (Trane).

Spread across approximately 14 town facilities, this project will replace outdated and inoperable heating systems and controls, improve comfort in classrooms and Town facilities, improve ventilation (air quality), increase efficiency of systems throughout the Town, connect facilities via a Building Automation System for monitoring and ensure ongoing maintenance to sustain equipment performance. Specific planned upgrades include new high efficiency boiler plants, new windows at Eames Way and Daniel Webster Schools, improved air handling units and classroom unit ventilators, building envelope improvements, a Building Automation System, and energy efficient lighting upgrades.

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Watch ICLEI’s Top 10 Sustainability Webinars

by Don Knapp May 09, 2011

green electrical outlet banner

Have you been tracking ICLEI USA’s webinars for local governments? Over the past year, we’ve featured dozens of sustainability innovators who have shared their experience and expertise so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Below, we’ve compiled our top 10 of the past 12 months. Click to watch them on demand, or download the presentation slides.

To keep up with our latest sustainability webinars, trainings, resources, news, and tips for local governments, subscribe to our free, bi-weekly ICLEI Connection e-newsletter.

Our Top 10, On Demand

Note: some webinars are for members only and require a website login.

Arrow icon1. Sustainability in the Master Plan and Zoning Code (Nov. 2010)
ICLEI’s most popular webinar of 2010. Midwest local government staff share perspectives on the role of the master plan and zoning code in creating sustainable communities.

Arrow icon2. Clean Energy and Sustainability as a Local Economic Development Strategy
Part 1: Saving Money, Expanding Markets, and Building a Talented Workforce
Part II: Leveraging Public Resources and Federal Funding
(Nov. 2010)
Connect the dots between sustainability and prosperity. Learn from the leading experts ICLEI brought together for this popular two-part series.

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Share Your Tips for Institutionalizing Sustainability

by Don Knapp May 09, 2011

City Hall building

Are you taking steps to make sustainability part of your local government culture, rather than a special project spearheaded by a specific person or department? If so, ICLEI wants to hear about it. We're compiling tips and strategies to share with the full ICLEI Network, since we often receive requests for this information.

We're eager to hear about changes to policies, organizational structure, and performance metrics, or other ways you've institutionalized sustainability throughout your operations.

Please answer three brief questions. ICLEI will synthesize the results into a fact sheet and share with ICLEI members in the near future. Thanks in advance!

small green arrow icon Share Tips >>

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Your Input on Energy-Saving Guidance Materials

by Art von Lehe, Senior Policy Officer May 08, 2011

Solar Panel Building









ICLEI seeks the input of local governments to help guide the development of an aggressive new Department of Energy effort to spur energy savings.

DOE’s State Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) is a federal-state-local collaborative effort designed to identify and address individual and multi-jurisdiction needs in pursuing greater investment in energy efficiency. The goal is to help the nation achieve cost-effective energy efficiency measures by 2020 through assisting state and local governments in their implementation of energy efficiency policies and programs.

Within SEE Action, the Commercial Building Retrofits Working Group is developing the blueprint for how to build the industry to achieve aggressive energy savings nationwide through retrofits in commercial and institutional buildings over the next five years. Part of this blueprint includes the assembly of new tools and the distillation of best practices and case studies for local governments interested in engaging the commercial buildings sector to drive improvements in efficiency.

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San Antonio Ordinance Promotes Green Events Scorecard

by Katelyn Orenchuk May 08, 2011

San Antonio event by cbcastro

San Antonio, TX. Photo credit: cbcastro on Flickr

In April, the city of San Antonio adopted a Green Events Ordinance to help make events in the city more environmentally friendly by requiring the submission of a “Green Events Scorecard” along with permit applications or event contracts. The ordinance applies to medium- and large-scale events with attendees and staff totaling more than 1,000 people, matching any of the following criteria: the event takes place on city-owned property; the event is funded by or receives sponsorship from the city valued at half or more of event costs; the event requires a right-of-way permit.

How the Green Events Scorecard Works

The Green Events Scorecard lists a range of actions, including providing recycling opportunities to attendees or double-sided printing of promotional items, that event coordinators can take to achieve merit points for their events. Once the initiatives have been implemented and the scorecard is totaled, the event will be green certified Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Verde. The City will next create a Green Events Planning Guide with tips for how to organize green events and achieve certification.

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Chula Vista Adopts First Climate Adaptation Plan in Southern California

by Rena Ragimova May 08, 2011

Chula Vista downtown by Allan Ferguson











Downtown Chula Vista, CA. Photo credit: Allan Ferguson on Flickr

On May 3, the city council of Chula Vista, CA, unanimously approved plans to implement 11 strategies to reduce the community's vulnerability to climate change. The decision made Chula Vista the first local government in Southern California to adopt a standalone, comprehensive climate adaptation plan.

Responding to Climate Impacts

The climate adaptation plan (pdf) was developed in light of expected local impacts that include hotter, drier weather, diminished imported water supplies, more poor air quality days, frequent wildfires, shifts in habitat and species distribution, and increased rates of sea level rise.

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How Recycling and Composting Help Reduce GHGs

by Bill Smith and John Davis May 05, 2011

Stacked Cardboard

Guest Bloggers: Bill Smith and John Davis, Co-Chairs of the West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum and U.S. EPA Regions 9 and 10

You are probably already aware that recycling and composting provide many environmental benefits. But did you know that diverting recyclable and compostable materials from the waste stream can lead to significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions? In fact, within California, Oregon, and Washington, recycling or composting many of the commonly found items in the disposed waste stream could reduce GHG emissions by more than 32 MMTCO2e, (million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent), the equivalent of taking 6.3 million cars off the road for a year.  EPA Report Cover: Reducing GHGs with Composting and Recycling

We are pleased to share this finding from a new report, “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Recycling and Composting,” produced by the West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum, an EPA-led partnership of western city, county, state, and tribal governments.

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Boulder County's PACE Program Spurs Economic Growth, Saves Energy

by Adrienne DeAngelo May 05, 2011

Boulder ClimateSmart Loan Program Logo

A new case study from the Department of Energy's Solar America Communities shows that property-assessed clean energy (PACE) programs like Boulder County's ClimateSmart Loan Program (CSLP) can have impressive economic impacts at the state and local levels.

PACE Case Study Economic Impact CoverThe study, titled "Economic Impacts from the Boulder County, Colorado, ClimateSmart Loan Program: Using Property-Assessed Clean Energy Financing," examines the economic effects of PACE for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at the local level, including job growth, economic activity, and energy savings.

The study focused on the economic impacts from the ClimateSmart PACE program developed by Boulder County for residential and commercial installations. The report provides an economic-impact analysis of program spending and energy savings using an input-output model.

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