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Showing posts from July, 2011

Greening DC

Leading Water, Sanitation Organizations Launch Sustainability CharterThe D.C.-based WASH Advocacy Initiative has announced that more than twenty leading international water and development organizations have signed the WASH Sustainability Charter, a collaboratively developed set of principles designed to advance lasting solutions in water, sanitation, and hygiene education (WASH).Globally, nearly one billion people lack access to safe drinking water, while more than 2.5 billion do not have access to a toilet. Although progress in meeting these critical needs has been made, challenges remain. According to the Netherlands-based IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre Initiative, for example, approximately 30 percent of all hand pumps installed in sub-Saharan Africa have failed prematurely, while other studies suggest similar failure rates in various regions and across diverse WASH interventions. To remedy the situation, leaders in the field have developed a set of guidin…

This is Smart, very smart!

IBM Awards $1 Million in 'Smarter Planet' GrantsIBM has announced grants totaling nearly $1 million to eleven nonprofit and educational organizations working on projects in areas such as health care, energy, and food safety.Through the Centennial Grants program commemorating the company's hundredth anniversary, each grantee will receive up to $100,000 in monetary and in-kind support. Centennial Grant recipients include ATN Telecentre Information and Business Association in Brazil, which will support nonprofits in Latin America by expanding access to technology; El Agora in Argentina, which aims to facilitate the exchange of quality-of-life indicators across several cities to promote specific urban improvements; the Foundation for the Training and Protection of Mentally Handicapped Children, a Turkish organization that seeks to collect data on the country's disabled population in order to ensure they receive adequate public services; the Indian Institute …

It was love at first SIGHT: White Roofs Projects

Sun-Absorbing Black Roofs Need a Coat of White PaintIf you live anywhere in America other than the shores of the Pacific, you are probably sweating right now. A lot. And it's likely that the paint job and materials on your building's roof are making it worse. As we've reported on GOOD before, painting white the black roofs that top many of American cities can deflect 70 percent more sun, keeping interiors cooler, reducing the urban heat island effect, and curbing global warming. Luckily it seems like 2011 could be the summer where this idea goes mainstream, with the combination of powerful heat waves and politicians (Bill Clinton!) getting behind the idea.When temperatures heat up, white roofs can stay up to 30 degrees cooler than traditional dark roofs, generating a cooling effect throughout the building below, which means less electricity used for air conditioning. Interiors of a white-roofed building can linger at 80 degrees when it's 90 outside. As Pr…

Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities

Learning Summit and Awards Ceremony

National Building Museum, July 19, 2011

U.S. Department of Urban Housing and Development, July 20, 2011

Hosted by the American Planning Association, Ashoka, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Brazilian Ministry of Cities and the US State Department; with support from the Rockefeller Foundation
Tuesday, July 19
11:30 – 12:00 Registration
12:00 – 12:15 Welcome and Public Learning Summit Launch
Raphael Bostic, Assistant Secretary, Policy Development & Research, HUD
12:15 – 1:30 Sustainability Efforts in the Americas – the coming attractions
Representatives from Latin America will discuss prize competitions, outreach initiatives, and programs aimed at promoting sustainability in Latin American countries.

* Cid Blanco, Brazilian Ministry of Culture
* Carina Saito, Clube da Reforma/ABCP, Brazil
* Nicolas Maggio, FOVISEE, Argentina
* Moderator, John Reinhardt, APA

1:45 – 2:45 Housing Solutions Handbook
The team from Ashoka …

Even in the US we have the G--word

graffiti--that is.

July 18, 2011 Cities Report Surge in GraffitiBy SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Fresh blotches of graffiti decorate the backs of street signs here near the ocean. Tags have popped up on guardrails along the dirt trails near Griffith Park across town. There are, almost daily, fresh splashes on walls in the San Fernando Valley, on downtown Los Angeles buildings and on billboards along the highways. And Los Angeles does not appear to be alone in grappling with a recent upsurge in graffiti, which is turning up in some unlikely places. A bumper crop of scrawls is blossoming in many modest-size communities across the country — in places like Florence, Ala.; Bernalillo County, N.M.; Taylors, S.C.; and in larger cities like Nashville and Portland, Ore. — even as major cities like Chicago, Denver, New York and Seattle say vigilant antigraffiti campaigns have spared them thus far. “It’s popped up all of a sudden in the last six months,” said Tim …

Minnesota Government Shutdown

Government Shutdown Causes Problems for Minnesota NonprofitsAs the partial shutdown of Minnesota's state government enters its second week, many nonprofits are feeling the budgetary squeeze, the MinnPost reports.Uncertain how long the shutdown will last, nonprofits in the state are doing what they can to stretch their cash reserves and wondering about their legal obligations to deliver services under a suspended government contract, their obligations to laid-off employees, and whether or not the state will reimburse them for services rendered after the budget stalemate has been resolved. While Kathleen Gearin, chief judge of the Ramsey District Court, issued a ruling last week that aimed to clarify which services would continue to be funded, confusion and uncertainty remain. Indeed, Mikkel Beckmen of St. Stephen's Human Services in Minneapolis told MinnPost that he had received letters from the state informing him it could not guarantee reimbursement for services pr…