"Green Boot Camp" at Harvard to Draw Top Officials from 17 U.S. Cities and the Obama Administration

Mon Jun 1, 2009 7:30am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

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
amartone@livingcities.org

Copyright Business Wire 2009