Target: Robert Liberty, Urban Sustainability Accelerator Director
Goal: Commend Portland State University’s innovative sustainability mentoring program
In recent years, a greater number of urban cities and metro areas have strived to be more sustainable. However, not all city officials have the knowledge of how to do this or how to implement the plans they have created. Portland, Oregon is one of the nation’s greenest cities, and recognizing this, Portland State University has created the Urban Sustainability Accelerator, a sustainability mentoring program.
According to the Portland State University website, the Urban Sustainability Accelerator “…helps mid-sized and smaller urban areas implement sustainability projects, to move their proposals from a concept, a plan policy or action item, to reality.” The first meeting for the program included officials from California, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, and Texas, representing a total of eight cities. The participants toured Portland, met with sustainability experts, and had one-on-one consultations to plan the implementation of each city’s plans.
While there are many programs that try to educate and inspire city officials to adopt sustainability projects, this program is different in that it focuses on the implementation stage of the city’s plans. Participants not only listen to presentations by experts and engage in discussions, but are offered specific suggestions and concrete ideas on how to achieve their city’s sustainability goals. In addition, participating cities receive assistance for the entire year. Participants have a better chance of accomplishing their goals when they have outside resources to help them. As outlined on its website, the program’s experts are knowledgeable in a variety of areas, including but not limited to:
• The creation of transportation networks
• Incorporating land use and transportation planning with the promotion of sustainable communities
• Green infrastructure and LEED certified buildings/low-income housing
• Waste reduction
• Designating protected natural land areas
By creating this program, Portland State University and everyone involved have shown that they truly care about the health of the nation’s environment and the people living in urban areas. Program Director, Robert Liberty, says, “the people of the world live primarily in cities, and the challenge of the century is sustainability. If we’re going to address it, we have to address it in cities.”
By signing the petition below, you will commend Portland State University’s Urban Sustainability Accelerator Program.
Dear Robert Liberty,
The Urban Sustainability Accelerator is a unique program that is deserving of praise. Portland is one of the greenest cities in the United States, and by extending help to other cities, shows a concern for creating a more sustainable nation. In addition, offering extended support and resources shows how seriously the university takes this issue.
Furthermore, this program sets an example for other universities to follow. Universities are often on the cutting edge of new methods and technologies. By creating this program, Portland State University is sharing its knowledge with others in order to create positive change. We would like to commend you on your efforts.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Cacophony via Wikimedia Commons