Friday, May 11, 2012

Council gives Green Cincinnati Plan teeth

At its meeting on May 2, Cincinnati City Council took several steps to re-energize the implementation of its Green Cincinnati Plan.

The first step was the appointment of new members to a steering committee, charged with making recommendations to Council on how to grow that plan. The steering committee's members include:

Additionally, Council unanimously passed ordinances:
  • Authorizing an application and acceptance of a $15,000 grant from the Seasongood Good Government Foundation for the "What's Your Green Umbrella" marketing and outreach campaign, with a goal of reducing Cincinnati's carbon emissions by 300,000 tons before this October. The grant would fund a neighborhood challenge in which Cincinnati's 52 neighborhoods will compete to see how much energy savings and carbon footprint reduction they can achieve through the "Umbrella" website. Winners in each of the City's five police districts, based upon both public participation and carbon reduction, will have a green project funded.
  • Authorizing an application and acceptance of a $15,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation for further enhancing marketing and outreach of the plan.
  • Authorizing an application for a $35,000 Local Sustainability Matching Grant from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities for strengthening the capacity of Green Umbrella and to market energy improvements of Cincinnati residences and businesses through the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance. Green Umbrella would be the recipient and manager of the grant, if awarded. The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation has pledged $25,000 in matching funds, and the Charles H. Dater and PNC foundations have pledged $5,000 each.
  • Authorizing an application and acceptance of a $20,000 grant from the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training to fund the design, development, and building of educational signage for green resource centers at two or three community gardens, to be installed in low-income, minority neighborhoods. A partnership between the University of Cincinnati, Marvin's Organic Gardens, and the Civic Garden Center, the project's goal is to impact obesity, diabetes, and other issues of minority health.
Developed in 2008 under the leadership of then-Councilmember David Crowley, the Green Cincinnati Plan is a list of more than 80 recommendations meant to beautify the City, make the City more sustainable, reduce maintenance, save money, and create local jobs.

New Community Development Advisory Board

In an unrelated matter, Council at the same meeting established a new Community Development Advisory Board.
The new members are:

Previous reading on BC:
Green Cincinnati RFP winding down (1/24/11)
Motion supports making urban gardening program permanent (11/18/09)
Notwithstanding ordinances push community gardens forward (4/28/09)
Cincinnati Farm program could be in place by spring (1/12/09)
Crowley: Make vacant City parcels available for farms, gardens (10/30/08)