Archive for the ‘Sustainable Communities’ Category

Sustainable Communities Conference – November 1-3

Washington University in St. Louis is hosting a three-day Sustainable Communities Conference November 1 – 3 featuring the following exciting speakers and events:

Thursday, November 1 – Keynote Lecture by Bill McKibben
McKibben is one of America’s best-known environmentalists, a bestselling author and the founder of, an international grassroots campaign that aims to mobilize a global climate movement.

Friday, November 2 – Land Lab Competition, featuring a talk by Ron Sims, the former Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development
This event will build on the public dialogue that began at the Open/Closed conferences and the Pruitt Igoe Now and GOOD Ideas for Cities competitions. Seeking innovative ideas for sustainability projects on St. Louis’s vacant lots, Land Lab Competition Teams are challenged to rethink the challenge of vacant lots into an asset that advances sustainability.

Saturday, November 3- Sustainable Citites Symposium, featuring Jason McLennan and Anna Lappe
Jason McLennan has played a pivotal role on the shape and direction of green buildings through the development of the Living Building Challenge and as CEO of the International Living Future Institute. Anna Lappe has co-authored or authored of three books and is the contributing author to nine others. For the last decade, she has been a key force in the growing international movement for sustainability and justice in the food chain.

For more information or to register for this FREE conference, visit Or download the event flyer.



Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference – October 29-30

The Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference, presented by Saint Louis University’s Center for Sustainability, Greensburg GreenTown, and GreenTown Joplin, aims to help cities faced by natural disasters to rebuild strong, livable communities by identifying ways to weave sustainability into the disaster recovery process, while increasing collaboration among all parties working toward this goal.

WHEN: Monday, October 29 and Tuesday, October 30

WHERE: Saint Louis University

Featured Speakers include Eric Cesal with Architecture for Humanity’s Haiti Rebuilding Center; Mike Smith, Sr. Vice President of AccuWeather Enterprise Solution; Daniel Wallach, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Greensburg GreenTown & GreenTown Joplin and Lynn Billman, Senior Energy Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Lab.

For more information or to register, please visit

Livable St. Louis Conference – October 26

Join Trailnet for the 2012 Livable St. Louis Conference, Bold Community Visions, this Friday, October 26.

The conference features an excellent line up – from national speakers like Mick Cornett, the Mayor of Oklahoma City and Gary Toth from the Project for Public Spaces . . . to USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s Executive Director, Emily Andrews; Jessica Mefford-Miller, Chief of Planning and System Development at Metro and Michael Allen, an Architectural Historian and Director of Preservation Research Office.

Check out this commentary in The Beacon by Trailnet’s Chief Executive Ann Mack, where she discusses the conference and what St. Louis needs to become a Top 10 Livable City.

WHEN: Friday, October 26, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. – Registration & breakfast, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Program

WHERE: Eric P. Newman Education Center at Washington University Medical Center
320 S. Euclid, St. Louis MO 63110

For more information or to register, visit

What are YOU doing for Green Apple Day of Service?

On Sept. 29, 2012, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council will host the first ever Green Apple Day of Service. For one day, advocates from across the country and around the world will come together in support of healthy, sustainable schools by taking real action in their communities. The following events are already planned for our area.

  • North Side Natives – rain garden work day at Crossroads College Prep
  • Construction Careers Center Day of Service
  • Green Homes & Great Health Festival – volunteer at the Festival, at the USGBC-Missouri Gateway booth or just come out to learn more!

Join one of these events or plan your own at a school that is important to you! Learn more or get involved at

Greening the Heartland Scholarships

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is excited to be able to grant two full and one partial scholarships to attend the Greening the Heartland Conference, May 16-18, 2012, in Indianapolis, Indiana. USGBC-MG believes that everyone should have access to green buildings and green communities as well as green building education. Through this scholarship, we hope to increase the participation of those interested in serving communities not typically represented in the areas of sustainability. This year, one of USGBC-MG’s targeted efforts is to accelerate the greening of our existing building stock.

Applications are due by 5 pm Central Standard Time on Thursday, March 15. Scholarship recipients will be notified by March 29.

Download the scholarship application here.

Funds for the Greening the Heartland Scholarships were raised at our annual ECORIDE in October 2011 – a fun, family-friendly and recreation bike ride on the Riverfront Trail. Save the date for ECORIDE 2012 – October 20!

City of St. Louis Sustainability Summit

The City of St. Louis kicked off it’s sustainability planning process with a bang this week. And rightly so. For the first time, the City is embarking on it’s very first comprehensive sustainability planning process. The summit began on Tuesday evening with an inspirational keynote address by Majora Carter,  who serves on the board of the national USGBC. Majora founded and was executive director of Sustainable South Bronx from 2001 – 2008, pioneering a green-collar job training program. She talked about Home (Town) Security, where economic and environmental security begin at the local level – in all of our home towns. Majora also reminded the full-house in attendance at the Missouri Botanical Garden that our home town is blessed with a wealth of resources, mentioning her particularly jealousy of our abundant and well-cared for green spaces.

Jean Ponzi of Missouri Botanical Garden's EarthWays Center & Majora Carter

The first phase of the City’s sustainability planning began before this summit with a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory of government operations and community sources. This week, the City began engaging the broader community – residents, community organizations, businesses and technical experts – in the first of three engagement efforts. With a theme of “Imagine” this week’s activities focused on celebrating the on-going sustainability efforts and successes in the City and collecting ideas, information and inspiration from community stakeholders. A draft plan will be presented for public review and comment in the Summer of 2012. Once public comments are incorporated, the final plan will be presented and implemented in Fall of 2012.

Wednesday morning found over 100 individuals at the Palladium for a technical work session. We heard James Hunt, Chief of Environmental and Energy Services for the City of Boston. And from John Norquist, president and CEO of the Congress for New Urbanism and former Mayor of Milwaukee. Both offered ideas and suggestions for St. Louis from their own cities and experiences. James Hunt suggested engaging our neighborhoods as agents of change – encouraging us to ensure that everyone feels like a participant in this process and this movement. John Norquist recommended doing away with our current zoning & replacing with form-based code. Good stuff.

More important than suggestions from other cities though, the 100+ individuals in attendance – city residents, city staff, sustainability experts, energy experts, educators, and more – were invited to be “Imagineers” by Catherine Werner, the City’s Director of Sustainability. Attendees broke into groups focusing on the following topics, really digging into the issues and discussing triple-bottom line solutions to improve and sustain quality of life in the City of St. Louis.

  • Prosperity, Opportunity & Employment
  • Education, Training & Leadership
  • Culture, Arts & Innovation
  • Health, Well-being & Saftey
  • Empowerment, Diversity & Equity
  • Urban Character, Vitality & Amenities
  • Infrastructure, Transportation & Efficiency

Dan Andrews, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, starts the tour of Chouteau Crossing with James Hunt from the City of Boston, Phil Hulse of Green Street Properties (the building's developer), Mayor Francis Slay and Majora Carter

After the Technical Worksession, Mayor Slay, Majora Carter and James Hunt – along with staff from the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) and other City departments – visited Chouteau Crossing, home to Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 and DynaLabs. The Sheet Metal Workers recently moved in and DynaLabs will move in mid-January. At the corner of Chouteau and Jefferson, the site has been vacant for many years. Now it’s an anchor in the neighborhood with a building targeting targeting LEED Platinum certification!

Dan Andrews talks with Mayor Slay & Majora Carter about the Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 new building, housing both their apprenticeship training program and their union offices

Everyone admires Chouteau Crossing's green roof

The Sustainability Summit ended on Wednesday evening with a Community Workshop with Majora Carter at the History Museum – an opportunity for residents and community groups to share their ideas and solutions.


Learn more about the City of St. Louis’ sustainability planning efforts at

Learn more about Majora Carter’s work.

Learn more about the James Hunt’s work in the City of Boston.

Learn more about John Norquist’s work with the Congress of New Urbanism.

– Submitted by Emily Andrews, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Executive Director