Urban Solutions

Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Generation

Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Generation

Existing buildings typically generate more than half of the carbon pollution in cities. Urban Solutions is investing over $20 million over three years through three projects aimed at scaling market and policy approaches to increase existing buildings' efficiency. The City Energy Project is a national initiative to cut energy waste in large buildings by partnering with the mayors of 10 cities and supporting their efforts to adopt proven policies and programs. Energy Efficiency for All targets the affordable multifamily housing sector, staging a 12-state campaign to secure at least $80 million in additional utility investments, engaging networks of advocates and building owners in the fight for an equitable share of funding resources. The High Performance Tenant Demonstration Project helps commercial and multi-family housing tenants see the financial benefit of managing energy use. Read more »

Storm Water and Urban Resilience

Storm Water and Urban Resilience

One of the most pressing challenges cities face is dealing with urban flooding and polluted run-off. Urban Solutions is partnering with NRDC's Water program to help increase the use of private-sector financing in green storm water infrastructure, and to work with cities and regional agencies to develop comprehensive strategies to reduce the impact of flooding from extreme storms in urban neighborhoods. Read more »

Transportation and Land Use

Transportation and Land Use

Urban form and the transportation systems that support mobility are equally important sectors to drive down climate pollution, as well as create strong, just and resilient communities. The California Climate Initiative takes a holistic approach to implementing the state's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets by working with state, regional and local agencies to scale investments that lower vehicle miles traveled by building connected communities and increasing low carbon mobility options to meet residents' needs. Recent work has focused on the potential for shared-use mobility options such as carshare and bikeshare to further reduce carbon pollution, most recently evidenced through our Live.Ride.Share conference in Los Angeles. Read more »

Neighborhood Revitalization

The national policy team engages in the fight for policy reforms at the federal level that support climate-friendly inclusive communities by working with key national partners. Using LEED-ND, a rating system that NRDC helped create, we work with community leaders and public officials to develop innovative and actionable strategies that revitalize distressed neighborhoods and lead to city-wide policy reform. The Green Neighborhoods team works directly with local leaders in distressed neighborhoods to design and implement the next generation of green, inclusive and thriving communities. Read more »

Food and Food Waste

Food and Food Waste

Access to healthy food options is a critical component to creating thriving communities. This initiative aims to build on pilots from New York City to scale people's access to healthy and fresh food, particularly for underserved populations by building purchasing pathways for schools and other anchor institutions. Municipal composting and other organic waste management strategies may also be included in this work. Read more »

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Urban Solutions Explained

Climate change and economic inequality are the two most urgent challenges of our time. Urban Solutions is designed to address both challenges simultaneously by piloting new strategies for the ways we build our cities and by scaling up best practices to dramatically accelerate the pace of change. Urban Solutions strategies and tools help cities answer 21st century challenges, lowering energy bills, reducing flooding, improving access to healthier food, and making it cheaper for everyone to get around. By providing 25 percent of our project budgets to local partners, we provide a bridge between community-level solutions and full-scale implementation to create strong, just and resilient communities.

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