Build Sustainable Cities

More than 80 percent of the U.S. population—and a major portion of our carbon pollution problem—can be found in urban and nearby suburban areas. For cities to become part of the climate change solution, we need a comprehensive approach that reduces pollution and addresses the income inequality that plagues urban neighborhoods. These strategies exist: We can reduce carbon pollution, increase climate resiliency, and become more equitable.

City Park in Denver, Colorado Dylan Priest/Offset


Through our All-In Cities project, NRDC is working to promote and expand promising local sustainability initiatives in four major U.S. cities: New York, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. These All-In Cities will serve as national testing grounds for innovative solutions that strengthen communities in multiple ways, such as improving energy efficiency, reducing storm-water pollution and urban flooding, cutting food waste, and enhancing transportation options.

We coordinate our approach with local leaders, community groups, investors, developers, and NGOs. We work on citywide solutions as well as neighborhood programs that have potential for scaling up. In Los Angeles, for example, our experts in energy, water, air, and land are helping develop the city's first sustainability plan. In the neighborhoods of Watts and Little Tokyo, we're helping ensure that redevelopment meets the needs of the local community through improved energy-efficient housing, public-transportation access, and green infrastructure.

Through this program, we incubate new ideas and put proven solutions into practice. This integrated work benefits specific communities by increasing resiliency to climate impacts, lowering energy bills, and improving access to fresh food and affordable transportation, all while providing solutions that can be replicated and scaled across the country.

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