THE SALLAN FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT 2009
Executive Director's Report
If 2008 was a year of dramatic changes, then 2009 was a year of stalled expectations along with progress at a finer scale. Hopes for a new international climate treaty and federal climate and energy legislation were dashed and climate skeptics challenged the International Panel on Climate Change's scientific bona fides. Nevertheless, cities continued to serve as laboratories of innovative ideas and practices for living in a carbon-constrained world. Through targeted investments and local legislation, urban leaders progressed in making cities critical centers for smart and effective sustainable practices as well as potent broadcasters of replicable new ideas. At the same time, the practice of measuring the validity and effectiveness of these emergent practices began to take root. In short, the grand urban experiment in sustainability persevered despite ongoing economic and public funding constraints and New York City remained an epicenter for everything that was happening.
The Sallan Foundation shines a light on sustainability initiatives arising in global cities that can be carried out at an urban scale. To advance useful knowledge for greener cities, Nancy E. Anderson, Ph.D., Sallan's Executive Director, mobilizes the Foundation's resources to identify, incubate and disseminate trends and practices with the potential to transform the built environmental and its underlying energy systems. Its goal is to assemble the best ideas for making cities into centers of environmental innovation through the efforts of government and the private sector, academics, advocates engaged professionals and concerned citizens. The Foundation cultivates effective advocacy on behalf of greener cities but is not aligned with any profession, discipline or political party. Thus, it serves as an independent convener and facilitator of collaborations among stakeholders and as an educator in the public sphere.
The Sallan Foundation accomplished the following:
Broadcasting Emerging Ideas
The Sallan website continued to grow as a crucial communications component of the Foundation's work. As in previous years, proved to be proved an ideal medium to disseminate emerging ideas and practices for high performance cities.
Web Site Content — Sallan's evolving website worked as an essential broadcast tool for advancing the Foundation's mission and the explosive growth of social media created channels for reaching new audiences. Regular web site content on domestic, international and research developments continued to be updated daily.
Posting — The guest "Snapshot" column is published at least six times a year. 2009 led off with a column by the Mayor of Berkeley, California about PACE financing for home energy efficiency retrofits and solar panel installations. Other authors included a leading environmental attorney, a well-known labor leader and a senior staffer from a nationally known environmental advocacy organization. Nancy's own "Torchlight" columns are posted six times and they have been cited in other web publications.
Outreach and Interactivity — Sallan created a "Sustainable Cities" group on Scribd, a website that provides free downloads of myriad topical publications. Sallan posts its reports and columns on its group page and since May, the group has amassed 1,756 members.
In Other Media — Sallan continued to appear in on-line blogs in the New York Times' "Dot Earth" and "Green Inc" and it weighed in with comments in the Yale University "360" environmental policy website. Nancy was interviewed for stories published by the Women's City Club, GreenHome NYC and the Council of NY Coops and Condos and she was taped for one broadcast on CUNY TV and another for an NYU web-based broadcast.
Deploying Original Research
In 2008, the Sallan Foundation e-published Decoding the Code: How Can NYC's 2007 Building Code Help Meet PlaNYC 2030 Energy/Carbon Reduction Goals?, a research report commissioned from the City University of New York on the role of the 2007 New York City Building Code in helping the City to meet the carbon and energy reduction goals laid out in PlaNYC 2030. This year, Decoding the Code was used as resource by New York City Green Codes Task Force in preparation for writing a report to the Mayor and City Council Speaker that will make recommendations on removing impediments to incorporating green building technologies, identifying opportunities to promote energy efficiency into codes while incorporating climate adaptation measures.
Fostering an Informed Public
In 2009, Sallan developed, produced and participated in public and by-invitation-only panels to foster an informed public, which gives priority to high performance urban agendas. Its objective was the articulation and refinement of up-to-the-minute useful knowledge for developing greener cities in rapidly evolving areas of professional practices and opportunities. The Foundation's strategy was to seek participation of scholarly and professional experts, media and advocates to identify and advance core green urban issues and also to undertake public speaking engagements.
The Newman Real Estate Institute, Baruch College — Sallan was invited to work in-depth on all aspects of three conferences in an ongoing "Toolkit" series at the Institute's conference center. "Green Leases", "Kilowatts to Cash" and "Legally Green" attracted a cross-section of New York City's real estate community and its allied professional and financial industry representatives.
New York Academy of Sciences — The Foundation co-planned and moderated "Glass Buildings: The Energy Challenge". This was the first Academy professional event to be webcasted.
New York City Bar Association — Sallan co-sponsored and moderated a panel presentation on the concept of green zoning and the tools it would offer for creating more sustainable land-use, mass-transit planning and greener buildings.
New York Law School — Nancy returned to New York Law School to lecture at an Environmental Law Class on pending green building legislation.
NYU Real Estate Institute — Nancy was invited back to give three lectures as a guest faculty member at the "Dollars and Sense of Designing Green", a certificate program for architects, developers and design professionals.
Schulte, Roth & Zabel — As part of a panel of New York real estate experts, Nancy analyzed Mayor Bloomberg's suite of four green building bills.
Committee of Interns and Residents — Nancy addressed the Committee of Interns and Residents about the federal stimulus program and its potential impact on local home weatherization and building energy efficiency retrofits.
In 2009, the Foundation's furthered its goal of cultivating effective advocacy for greener cities by taking action to meet its objectives of fusing useful knowledge with collaboration to advance a high performance agenda. Its strategies included participation on boards, taskforces and advisory groups whose aims are consistent with the Foundation's mission.
- CUNY — Since 2007, the Sallan Foundation has chaired regular meetings of the CUNY Building Performance Lab Consortium. Its members include leaders in the engineering and operational management of large commercial office buildings, real estate professionals and government policy experts. The Consortium's goals include developing and sharing green building academic research and curriculum tailored to the needs and interests of New York City's commercial real estate community. In 2009, it focused on how to mobilize owner interest and enhance staff skills in energy efficiency and electricity demand reduction and delved into the details of financial options, federal stimulus funding and the evolving science of measuring performance.
- NYC Apollo Alliance — Sallan has served on the Alliance's Steering Committee since 2005. Last year, the Alliance convened a daylong round table meeting to solicit stakeholder views on policies for advancing the development of green collar jobs and training opportunities. Nancy participated in an advisory committee, working with stakeholders and staff to produce a "Roadmap" for green collar jobs, issued by the Alliance in late 2009.
- New York Academy of Sciences — For a third year, Sallan was a member of two green science advisory groups that provide ideas to staff for developing a year's worth of public programs.
- NYS Department of Environmental Conservation — At the request of the Regional Administrator, the Foundation joined the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Sea Level Rise and Adaptation advisory group. Pursuant to State law, DEC is writing a report for the Legislature on planning options for how New York should address sea level rise impacts related to climate change.
- New York League of Conservation Voters — Sallan worked with the "Green Group" to brainstorm about local environmental legislation and how to rate the role of elected officials in advancing an urban green agenda.
- Center For Working Families — This activist think tank solicited ideas and evaluations from the Sallan Foundation and other experts when developing State legislation for expanding green collar job training and opportunities in the weatherization of low-income housing. Governor Paterson signed the bill in October 2009.