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In 2003, building-related construction and demolition (C&D) debris totaled more than 164 million tons a year, up from 136 million tons a year in 1993.1 The largest share of this debris comes from building demolitions (53%), followed by building remodeling and renovation (38%) and finally construction (9%).2 Together, it comprises nearly 40 percent of the combined C&D and municipal solid waste stream.3 Landfilling this material incurs a significant economic cost. In 2004, the national average landfill tipping fee was $35 per ton,4 putting the national bill for landfilling construction and demolition debris at something on the order of $5.7 billion.Moreover, landfilling this debris also generates a considerable environmental cost. Landfill space is used up and fossil fuels are expended to transport and store debris; fossil fuels are used, natural resources depleted, and toxins generated in the production and transport of replacement materials. An environmental cost calculator prepared by the Deconstruction Institute and the University of Florida provides some examples:5Some 33 million tons of wood-related construction and demolition debris are buried each year in the US, releasing about 5 million tons of carbon equivalent in the form of methane gas. These greenhouse gas emissions are equivalent to the annual emissions of 3.7 million cars.The average (2,000 square foot) American home, if demolished, would produce 10,000 cubic feet of debris. Recycling the steel and plastics in it would save almost 3,000 pounds of CO2 emissions. Salvaging the wood could yield 6,000 board feet of reusable lumber - equivalent to saving 33 mature trees.The building materials in the average American home contain about 892 million Btu of embodied energy -- the total amount of energy used to produce, transport and assemble the materials into a home. This amount is equivalent to 7,826 gallons of gasoline. Reusing or recycling these materials would recapture much of this embodied energy rather than wasting it.One year of construction and demolition debris is enough to build a wall 30 feet high and 30 feet thick around the entire coast of the continental United States (4,993 miles long).Lastly, landfilling this debris represents an opportunity cost for the many people and organizations that could have used the materials if they had been salvaged.
Though many people consider Portland, Oregon, a model of 21st-century urban planning, the region's integrated land-use and transportation plans have greatly reduced the area's livability. To halt urban sprawl and reduce people's dependence on the automobile, Portland's plans use an urban-growth boundary to greatly increase the area's population density, spend most of the region's transportation funds on various rail transit projects, and promote construction of scores of high-density, mixed-use developments. When judged by the results rather than the intentions, the costs of Portland's planning far outweigh the benefits. Planners made housing unaffordable to force more people to live in multifamily housing or in homes on tiny lots. They allowed congestion to increase to near-gridlock levels to force more people to ride the region's expensive rail transit lines. They diverted billions of dollars of taxes from schools, fire, public health, and other essential services to subsidize the construction of transit and high-density housing projects. Those high costs have not produced the utopia planners promised. Far from curbing sprawl, high housing prices led tens of thousands of families to move to Vancouver, Washington, and other cities outside the region's authority. Far from reducing driving, rail transit has actually reduced the share of travel using transit from what it was in 1980. And developers have found that so-called transit-oriented developments only work when they include plenty of parking. Portland-area residents have expressed their opposition to these plans by voting against light rail and density and voting for a property-rights measure that allows landowners to claim either compensation or waivers for land-use rules passed since they purchased their property. Opposition turned to anger when a 2004 scandal revealed that an insider network known as the "light-rail mafia" had manipulated the planning process to direct rail construction contracts and urban-renewal subsidies to themselves. These problems are all the predictable result of a process that gives a few people enormous power over an entire urban area. Portland should dismantle its planning programs, and other cities that want to maintain their livability would do well to study Portland as an example of how not to plan.
Research Center for Leadership in Action;
This ethnography examines the components that allow quality solidarity work to happen between organizations with leadership and constituencies that are primarily people of color and primarily white, respectively. CAUSA (an immigrant rights coalition) and the Rural Organizing Project (ROP) of Oregon have developed a working relationship over ten years that has contributed to numerous victories for immigrant and farm worker rights, as well as greater consciousness among white rural activists of what it means to provide support as anti-racist allies. Because Oregon has a relatively small population (three million), and progressive organizations tend to know each other, the relationship provides an opportunity to study how such organizations manage power and historical inequalities in a manner suited for success. Ethnographer Lynn Stephen has conducted in-depth interviews with organizational leaders and members as a way to explore the history and lessons learned from the collaborative work between the two organizations. Key findings include the importance of both in-depth and sustained dialogue around the key values of work, and staff training around the issues involved with connecting to the other organization. The organizations use these techniques to build common ground. Hence, collaborative capacity can be mobilized quickly to support each other's actions as needed.
Green for All;
Green For All teamed up with the City of Portland to help implement a cutting-edge green jobs program. Clean Energy Works Portland is an effort that will cut energy bills, create green jobs, reduce pollution and expand business opportunities. In addition, it will ensure that Recovery Act investment dollars reach those hit hardest by the recession. It's not a silver bullet, but it is a great model on which to build an important component of a new clean energy economy.Green For All's report details why Clean Energy Works Portland has such special appeal. The program includes a revolving loan fund with innovative "on-bill financing" and a Community Workforce Agreement that creates jobs in the communities that need them most.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA);
Animal shelters focus much of their efforts towards decreasing euthanasia and one of the best ways to reduce euthanasia risk may be to prevent cats and dogs from ever entering a shelter. This study, conducted in Portland, Oregon, relied on the capabilities of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to precisely and scientifically identify an intervention area (with high shelter intake) and to identify control areas to compare the project results with community-wide trends. The intervention itself was designed and implemented in a comprehensive way by seeking numerous paths to engage pet owners and reduce shelter intake of cats and Pit Bull type dogs. This research highlighted the ability of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to significantly improve a community's capacity to identify the most appropriate locations to focus resources and to closely track and measure interventions. Portland's targeted intervention to reduce shelter intake utilized many outreach tools with varying levels of impact. The overall intervention yielded a reduction in intake of owned cats that was greater in total numbers and percentage than four control areas. Furthermore, this work identified a percentage of cat spay/neuter out of the estimated number of owned, originally intact cats within the intervention and control areas. As percentages approached or surpassed 20%, those areas realized larger intake reductions than control areas with lower percentages.
This case study documents the journey of one organization, Green Canopy Homes – and its financingarm, Green Canopy Capital – toward more systematically thinking about, measuring, and managing itsimpact. While developing the impact thesis for its resource-efficient homes, Green Canopy applied atheory of change tool, an approach common within the social sector, to systematically map the causalpathways between its strategies and intended impact. Its rationale for adopting this approach wassimple: use it to maximize impact, and understand and minimize possible harm. The tool also effectivelypositioned Green Canopy to measure and communicate about its social and environmental performance,and to make client-centric adaptations to its business.The case study provides an illuminating example of how investors can adapt theory of change toserve their impact management needs. By demonstrating the relevance and transferability of this toolfor articulating, measuring, and managing impact, the hope is that this case study can contribute tostrengthening other investors' approaches, in turn contributing to building the evidence base for the"impact" of impact investments.
Details Triple Aim pilot programs designed to offer patient-centered medical homes and multidisciplinary case management in an effort to improve population health, enhance patients' experience, and slow cost growth.
Northwest Area Foundation;
This report provides essential information to inform policy discussions about foreclosure recovery. It presents information about the foreclosure crisis and its consequences, describes the federal program created to help communities recover from the impacts of foreclosures, shares case studies of foreclosure recovery efforts in three regions in the Northwest -- Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland, and Seattle -- and suggests policy recommendations for ensuring equitable recovery.
Migration Policy Institute;
The 1990s marked a distinct shift in the destinations of newcomers to the United States from traditional reception cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston and increasingly towards small- and medium-sized cities. In response to this shift, a unique pilot project conducted in three mid-sized metropolitan areas shows that broad-based community coalitions can proactively integrate newcomers who are increasingly transforming Main Street, USA.Reflecting the changing face of urban migration, the Building the New American Community Initiative (BNAC) undertook inclusive community-building through the formation of three integration coalitions in Lowell, MA; Nashville, TN; and Portland, OR. Each BNAC site was selected on key criteria that included being cities in which the number of foreign-born residents grew substantially in the 1990s, cities lacking adequate infrastructure to facilitate the demands of newcomer settlement and those with little recent experience in newcomer reception. Recognizing the differences in social, political and economic conditions across these three sites, the coalitions developed their own approaches to integration and innovative projects aimed to promote the successful integration of immigrants in their respective communities. Projects ranged from efforts to promote civic engagement, workforce and business development, youth and adult education to leadership and capacity building.The project's final report contains valuable findings for policymakers, funders and organizations collectively approaching the challenge of helping newcomers adapt to their new communities and local communities welcome newcomers. Specifically, the report emphasizes that integration is a long-term and two-way process in which organizations and institutions play a key role and that coalitions can provide a strong platform from which to engage diverse stakeholders such as immigrant Mutual Assistance Associations, community and faith-based organizations, city planning departments and business associations. Among the most successful aspects of the Initiative was the promotion of civic engagement through education on the American electoral system and through trainings that provided newcomers with the skills and confidence necessary to communicate with public officials and effectively participate in local policymaking.
Battelle Memorial Institute;
Illustrates the economic importance of arts and culture, outlines the financial challenges facing the Valley's arts and culture institutions, and recommends regional strategies for advancement.
Green for All;
Buildings represent 38.9% of U.S. primary energy use and 38% of all CO2 emissions in the U.S. Though simple, relatively low-cost measures such as insulation, and lighting upgrades can be done in almost every building to reduce energy use and save money on utility bills, current retrofitting program capacity is limited. Most existing programs are either available only to income-eligible individuals or those with the money up-front to do the work. Furthermore, many current retrofitting programs only create low-wage, short-term jobs rather than providing pathways into sustainable careers in construction and green building. Clearly, a new model is needed. This guide by Green For All and the Center on Wisconsin Strategy provides a model for designing and implementing weatherization and retrofitting programs on a citywide scale, with a goal of making such retrofits available to all and realize their potential to address climate change, put people to work, and reduce our energy bills.
Public Education Network (PEN);
Increasing the involvement of caregivers, parents, and families in their children's education is a key to improving the academic success of our nation's public school students. The positive impact of family interest and participation in schools is well documented. However, more opportunities for meaningful involvement are needed, and many barriers still remain. A recently released study by Public Agenda found that most teachers rate parental involvement at their school as "fair" or "poor." In particular, educators and other practitioners continue to struggle with how to involve all parents in supporting all students' high achievement. Organizations like local education funds (LEFs) focus attention, support, and resources on communities where student achievement is often low, stresses on families are high, and schools lack the basics.But what does "involvement" mean?How can parents and other family members with limited resources of money, time, and formal education be equipped to grapple with the myriad issues that affect student achievement and overall school performance? During 1998, the Public Education Networkf orged a partnership with Kraft Foods and member local education funds to explore key questions about family involvement. The result of this effort was the creation of a variety of local strategies to support high student achievement in low-income schools.