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The Unsettling Attacks on Green Cities and Counties

by Michael Schmitz, ICLEI USA Executive Director Feb 13, 2012

Philadelphia Skyline 2007 Public Domain

Michael SchmitzBack in 2010, when Colorado gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes accused Denver’s bicycle sharing program of being part of an insidious United Nations conspiracy to take over America’s communities, a nation chuckled at the absurdity. "Cities Engage in Vast Biking Conspiracy (Shh!)" read a New York Times headline.

More than a year later, the same bizarre conspiracy theory is no laughing matter for anyone who cares about their community’s future. Across the country, a loud minority of protestors, many aligned with the Tea Party, have made it their mission to derail not only the green programs of cities, towns, and counties, but the broader planning efforts of local governments to improve local transportation, safeguard public health, and increase economic competitiveness. Last week the success of their efforts landed them back in the Times, only now on the front page.

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Increasing Energy Efficiency in Existing Multifamily Buildings

by Don Knapp Feb 09, 2012

East Bay Hills Oakland Berkeley view (credit: avrene via flickr)

Photo credit: avrene via flickr

BEES report thumbThe cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville, CA, have released a collaborative report that provides an overview for policymakers of the challenges, opportunities and policy tools that can be used to increase energy efficiency in existing multifamily buildings.

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More from the Report's Executive Summary:

This report is designed primarily for local government policy makers. It is one component of a joint project between the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville aimed at developing effective strategies to increase energy efficiency in our communities’ multifamily properties, including apartment buildings, cooperatives, and condos. The project, called Building Energy Efficiency Solutions (BEES), seeks to develop local solutions to the formidable barriers tenants and building owners face when trying to lower their energy and water consumption and reduce their utility bills. Solutions to address these barriers must not only be designed to increase energy efficiency, but must also be consistent with our communities’ existing commitments to diversity and to providing healthy, affordable housing for residents.

Common barriers to increasing energy efficiency in existing multifamily buildings include:

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