Past Initiative News

Clean Energy and Transport Solutions in an Urban Hemisphere: Lessons from the Americas

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Experienced practitioners from four communities across the Americas will discuss successful strategies and tools that promote the use of clean energy and innovative, practical transportation solutions. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with these experts to share ideas for creating similar sustainability initiatives around the world. Implementers from San Jose (Costa Rica), Salt Lake City (USA), Baja Verapaz Department (Guatemala), and central New York (USA) will present their experiences in developing sustainable transport and clean energy projects, including the role of community engagement. These four projects were supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Showcase Communities Program and the Organization of American States (OAS) Sustainable Communities in Central America and the Caribbean Project. This event will include an introduction to the urban sustainability resources available through U.S. EPA and the OAS. The OAS will also announce the second phase of its Sustainable Cities and Communities in the Americas Project, which includes new grant opportunities. This event is co-sponsored by OAS, U.S. EPA, and the U.S. Department of State.

Sustainable Transport Solutions

Sustainable Transportation for a Sustainable Future

Salt Lake City, Utah
To reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, Salt Lake City is using community-based social marketing to improve existing vehicle travel reduction programs run by the city, county, and state government. To improve these programs and reduce vehicle miles traveled and the accompanying emissions, the City is working with state agencies and consultants to develop effective community-based social marketing. First, targeted research was conducted into the barriers and benefits for each major travel group. Then, three to four programs were retooled, including the development of initiatives for corporations, community groups, and local schools. The programs were launched, and the results are being assessed. The team will then take the resulting Sustainable Travel for a Sustainable Future toolkit to launch vehicle travel reduction programs in at least two other Utah communities. The toolkit will be refined based upon feedback from these communities. The project will reduce vehicle miles traveled and, as a result, improve air quality for county residents. In addition, the project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program is expected to help prepare the community for other sustainability initiatives in Salt Lake City.
Promoviendo sistemas alternativos y articulados de transporte urbano en Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica
The project seeks to contribute to the implementation of an alternative integrated urban transport system in the greater metropolitan area of Costa Rica by identifying opportunities and obstacles related to expanding the bicycle paths and the interconnection with the urban train. Likewise, this initiative will contribute to the development of bicycle paths by installing infrastructure such as traffic signs and bicycle parking while raising awareness within the local authorities to promote bicycle use.

Clean Energy Solutions

Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program

Central New York
The Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program aims to improve energy efficiency in municipal operations, increase the use renewable energy, and encourage land use and transportation policies that manage GHG emissions and reduce vehicle miles traveled. The Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) will achieve these goals by:

  • providing energy reduction, renewable energy, and climate change management sub-grants to local governments, and
  • providing technical assistance through education programs and outreach materials to local government staff.

Each year, the Innovation Program awards competitive sub-grants to three local governments to support energy efficiency retrofits, measures to introduce alternative-fuel vehicles and fueling systems, vehicle travel reduction projects, transportation efficiency improvements, and feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. The Innovation Program provides technical assistance to local governments grantees.

Promoting the development of sustainable communities through good environmental practices and clean energy production with a focus on productive uses and resilience to natural disasters

Baja Verapaz, Guatemala
The project seeks to promote the integral development of four communities through a sustainable approach by reducing carbon emissions and indoor pollution from the use of wood through the implementation of organic waste biodigestion technology for the production of biogas, strengthening the productive use of organic composting and adopting sustainable environmental practices in the micro watersheds of Xeúl Canchel and Chibalám Chimachó. All this, through participative methods where the community members are the main actors in the transformation of their community into a sustainable one.

For further information on this project please contact Richard Huber at, or click, here.