Disciplined leadership in advancing sustainability

Responses to a Quickly Evolving Landscape

  • Pittsburgh Planning to Invest in Entrepreneurs in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

    We can’t achieve equity without allocating resources. Small business investment in underinvested communities is a key step.  But there have been many failed small business investment efforts over generations.  It is exciting to see a set of cities stepping up.  I look forward to learning how to do it right.  

  • Decision to Engage: Grants to Bring an Equity Lens to Urban Sustainability Work

    I am pleased to see the Partners for Places Equity Pilot that I helped design helping city governments across the nation to bring an equity lens to their urban sustainability portfolios.   

  • City of Chicago :: Chicago's Smart Lighting Project

    Chicago’s Smart Lighting Project will generate significant electricity cost savings that will be utilized to pay for the modernization. As important, the project advances equity in four ways: 

    1.  The smart lighting grid management system will eliminate reliance on 311 calls about street lights that are out. Complaint based systems tend to disadvantage immigrant and low income communities.  

    2. More than half of the light fixtures will be assembled at a plant in the City of Chicago.

    3.  Ameresco has committed to using City residents to perform at least 50 percent of the work on the project.

    4. For the first year, streetlight fixture replacement will be focused in those neighborhoods with heightened public safety concerns, primarily on the west and south sides. 

  • The Test Just Began for the Community Benefits Movement

    In November 2017, Detroit voters approved a groundbreaking ordinance that will require developers of the city’s biggest taxpayer-supported projects to sign a city-negotiated community benefits agreement (CBA) before a shovel goes into the ground. This kind of CBA ordinance could make pursuing greater equity in development easier.  

  • City of Seattle Building Stronger Connections With Community Liaisons

    Hiring community liaisons from historically underrepresented neighborhoods builds long-term relationships, allows local government to take care of problems residents already have, and increases willingness to participate in planning processes when city government needs it.  

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