A new study released by the Sierra Club, America’s largest grassroots environmental organization, profiled the clean energy efforts of ten leading American cities in an effort to determine the key motivating factors driving their success. Behind these ambitious efforts, the study suggests, the most influential factors not based in environmental activism or concern, but rather in economic considerations. The study’s concluding report includes ten detailed case studies which detail the cities’ achievements and the contextual factors which influenced the decisions leaders made.

In conclusion, the report determines that while each city’s individual achievements reflect the specific context they find themselves in, economic considerations became a theme which united many of these decisions on a deeper level. Ranging from reduced energy costs in coastal areas with heavy winds, such as East Hampton, New York, or ample sunshine, such as Georgetown, Texas; securing the city’s attractiveness to tourists, such as the city of Aspen’s efforts to protect its ski industry from the effects of global warming; or increasing revenue for local businesses, such as San Diego, California.

The study is part of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 program which challenges 100 U.S. cities to commit to a transition to entirely clean, renewably-sourced energy. The campaign’s director Jodie Van Horn believes that while they contribute considerable portions of the world’s emissions, cities can also key supporters in the development of new clean energy solutions.

This study’s findings align neatly with the WALCC’s focus on urbanization and innovation in urban centers. The WALCC’s fall forum will reflect these themes and explore related developments in the fields of smart city development and urban energy, exploring how today’s cities can integrate new forms of energy production, distribution, and conservation technologies.

Read the full report at the Sierra Club’s website as well as more about the 100 project. 

And don’t forget to check out the agenda for the Alliance’s fall forum! Early bird rates available through August! 

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Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

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