"Green Boot Camp" at Harvard to Draw Top Officials from 17 U.S. Cities and the Obama Administration
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Living Cities offers city and state officials an unprecedented opportunity to learn new strategies and share best practices on creating green jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through city-wide retrofitting. WASHINGTON--(Business Wire)-- The event, "Green Boot Camp: Recovery Through Retrofitting," to be held May 31-June 2 at Harvard Kennedy School, will bring together national experts and multi-disciplinary teams of senior officials from 17 U.S. cities for intensive training and peer learning on ways to improve, accelerate and scale up their building energy retrofit programs. The Green Boot Camp is sponsored by Living Cities, a philanthropic collaborative of 21 of the world`s largest foundations and financial institutions, and is hosted by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. The Institute for Sustainable Communities is program coordinator. Ben Hecht, President & CEO of Living Cities notes that, "The Camp is a distinctly large-scale step toward activating a truly integrative approach that simultaneously engages cities, states, philanthropy, the private sector and the federal government on a focused agenda." Hecht adds, "the substantive difference is also important in that we are explicit about ensuring a truly inclusive green economy that generates real jobs for low-income people. If you don`t intentionally build in the systems for responsible spending, smart policy, and comprehensive workforce development you won`t get it." A primary goal of the Green Boot Camp is to enhance the capacity of the participating city-led cross-sector teams to significantly improve, expand and accelerate the retrofitting of buildings in their communities. Further, participants will explore in detail the design and implementation of building energy retrofit initiatives that ensure new jobs, career pathways and energy cost savings. The event will feature key figures from the Obama Administration, including Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Large-scale efforts in U.S. cities to increase building energy efficiency through retrofitting hold great promise for not only saving energy, but also reducing climate pollution. According to Living Cities` recently released Green Cities Report , buildings consume more than 70% of the electricity and account for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. "Public sector innovation is a necessity in these increasingly difficult times," said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard Kennedy School`s Ash Institute. "Sharing ideas and best practices is a must for cities to serve their constituents efficiently and effectively. We are pleased to be working with Living Cities and the Institute for Sustainable Communities to host the Green Boot Camp - such events are at the core of the Ash Institute`s mission to foster the dissemination of innovation across the country." The Camp`s agenda and curriculum will focus on four "challenge areas" identified by the participants themselves: 1) developing sustainable funding streams and financing mechanisms; 2) building effective green workforce development systems; 3) using a combination of policy instruments, marketing strategies and community action campaigns to increase participation; and 4) weaving these components into an integrated and sustainable building energy retrofit system. "ISC is excited to collaborate with Living Cities and the Ash Institute on the program," says Steve Nicholas, Director of Climate and Environment Programs for the Institute for Sustainable Communities. "We think we`ve put together a program and resource guide that will give cities the solid information and inspiration they need to seriously ramp up their building energy retrofit programs." About Living Cities Founded in 1991, Living Cities is a philanthropic collaborative of 21 of the world`s largest foundations and financial institutions. Over the past 18 years, Living Cities has invested more than $600 million in American cities-leveraged into $16 billion and making a demonstrable difference in neighborhoods throughout the nation. Our members are not simply funders. They participate at the senior management level on the Living Cities Board of Directors and contribute the time of 80+ expert staff toward crafting and implementing an agenda that is squarely focused on improving the lives of low-income people and the urban areas in which they live. Members: AARP Foundation, AXA Community Investment Program, Bank of America, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase & Company, Deutsche Bank, Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, MetLife, Inc., Prudential Financial, The Rockefeller Foundation, Surdna Foundation Affiliate Members: The Cleveland Foundation, The Skillman Foundation www.LivingCities.org. Living Cities Andrea Martone Mobile: 917.929.0527 email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2009