GLOBAL GREEN USA SELECTS TWO COMMUNITIES IMPACTED BY HURRICANE SANDY TO RECEIVE SUSTAINABLE PLANNING AND REBUILDING ASSISTANCE VIA U.S. EPA GRANT

Sustainability Experts from Global Green USA to visit Hoboken and Staten Island

Los Angeles, CA (May 23, 2013)—Two American communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy will receive free neighborhood design consultation in 2013 from Global Green USA with the help of a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. A team of sustainability experts will conduct three-day visits this fall to the impacted communities to conduct a neighborhood assessment and develop comprehensive recommendations for infrastructure and policy changes aimed at helping the communities increase resiliency, resource-efficiency, livability, and public health.

Winners Announced

Hoboken, New Jersey and the Richmond Terrace neighborhood of Staten Island, New York were selected through a competitive process established by Global Green in response to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Selection of the communities for the free consultations was based upon criteria that include the degree of impact from the storm, need for the assistance, urgency, level of community engagement, and the implementation capacity of the community. The goal is to use state of the art sustainability planning tools to identify opportunities and strategies to aid the communities to increase their resiliency, be better prepared for future severe weather events, and adapt to climate change.

“For nearly two decades Global Green has been helping cities create sustainable plans for the future, said Walker Wells, Director of Global Green USA’s Green Urbanism Program. “We are excited to be able to bring our expertise to bear on the challenging task of increasing resiliency while simultaneously improving resource efficiency and livability on an ongoing basis.”

Global Green is already active in responding to Hurricane Sandy through its Solar for Sandy initiative, which installs renewable based back-up energy systems on community facilities. Starting in September 2013, the Global Green team will take a neighborhood approach by visiting both of the selected communities with other planning and sustainability experts from around the country. During the site assessment, the team will focus on a selected neighborhood in each community to identify that neighborhood’s existing positive qualities and severe weather event risk factors. The team will consult with community stakeholders in meetings and public workshops on needs and priorities. Through this process, Global Green will identify major opportunities to improve the resiliency and sustainability of each neighborhood in light of the risks, strengths, and opportunities identified.

At the conclusion of the visit, the team will present recommendations for both physical and policy changes that may include ecological restoration to reduce storm surge, green infrastructure for stormwater management, integrated district-scale energy and water systems, development

standards for in-fill and transit-oriented development in protected areas, and zoning code revisions to establish green standards for buildings and infrastructure.

The sustainability experts evaluating the communities will use the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) standard, a nationally recognized method for creating neighborhoods that are walkable, bikeable, resource-efficient, and equitable. Benefits of LEED-ND neighborhoods can include lower municipal operations costs, reduced infrastructure expense, increased use of alternate transportation, improvements to public health, protection of ecological buffers, and the creation of more resilient green infrastructure. LEED-ND was developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Natural Resources Defense Council. This is the first time that Global Green USA’s team will explore how LEED-ND can be used to help improve community resiliency to weather and climate-related risks.

The assistance to the communities is made possible by a grant to Global Green USA from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities under their Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. Since the grant was initiated in 2011, Global Green USA has visited thirteen cities across the country: Montgomery, Alabama; Oakland, California; Lakewood, Colorado; Lafayette, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Dearborn, Michigan; Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Camden, New Jersey; Cary, North Carolina; Greensboro, North Carolina; Toledo, Ohio; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin;

Recommendation reports for these cities can be found by visiting:

www.globalgreen.org/articles/global/59

For more information about LEED-ND visit:

www.nrdc.org/cities/smartgrowth/files/citizens_guide_LEED-ND.pdf

A guide for how LEED-ND can be used by local governments is available here:

www.usgbc.org/ndgovguide

More about US EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program is available here: www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/buildingblocks.htm

About Global Green USA

Global Green USA is helping the places, the people, and the planet in need through catalytic projects, transformative policy, and cutting-edge research. Global Green USA's signature programs includegreening affordable housing, schools, neighborhoods, and cities. www.globalgreen.org

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