The Sallan Foundation Annual Report 2016
Executive Director's Report
Over the last twelve years, the Sallan Foundation has been dedicated to the mission of improving the urban environment by advancing useful knowledge for greener, high performance cities. As this Report documents, Sallan continues to pursue its goals and meet its objectives with strategies that continue to evolve as it responds to emerging developments, trends and challenges.
To advance the Foundation's mission and make tangible contributions to the urban environment, Sallan continues to develop projects and establish working partnerships that best advance an array of urban-scaled sustainability efforts. As well, the Foundation's resources are mobilized with the objective of identifying, incubating and disseminating emerging trends and practices which can boost the capacity to 'green' the built environment and its undergirding infrastructure systems. In this way, Sallan adds clear-eyed momentum to help cities realize their potential for high performance in a climate-constrained world.
The Foundation is aligned with no profession, discipline or political party. Since its inception in 2005, Sallan has served as an independent convener and facilitator of stakeholder collaborations and as an educator in the public realm.
Because Sallan is independent, small and nimble, it is well-positioned to focus public attention and engagement on emerging urban climate and energy trends as well as making connections among current stakeholders as well as with those just beginning to see what's at stake for them in a 'weird climate' world. The Foundation is committed to getting ahead of the curve, discovering what's happening now — or isn't — and making its voice resonant. It will continue to do so.
The Sallan Foundation accomplished the following:
Broadcasting Emerging Ideas & Practices
Event Wrap-Up and Social Media Engagement
Ensuring Urban Resilience — Come Hell or High Water Conference
With rising global temperatures, evidence of rapidly melting Arctic ice and a hard-won international climate accord that the President-elect threatens to withdraw from, the need for New York and other cities around the world to rapidly execute smart and effective resilience projects is beyond debate. Sallan, in partnership with the Sabin Center for Climate and Energy at Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute, mounted this conference as a featured event of NYC Climate Week 2016. Keynoting the conference was The Mayor of Hoboken. The Multi-Media Event Wrap-Up was e-blasted to more than 2,000 readers, co-posted on its Google+ site, tweeted and now is permanently posted on the Sallan website.
Engaging In Social Media
For a fifth year, the Foundation co-sponsored the NY Passive House annual conference in June. For the first time, Nancy undertook extensive tweeting, which she consolidated and turned into a featured In the Media article. This was one of six social media features initiated this year. Today, social media is a fundamental tool in the kit for broadcasting emerging ideas and practices and Sallan's influencer presence is growing.
Fostering An Informed Public And Stakeholder Engagement
In September 2013, Sallan was invited to participate in planning meetings for ARC-3, the second Assessment Report of Climate Change in Cities, in coordination with the UN's International Panel on Climate Change. The purpose of this international, multi-disciplinary, city-scale project is to advance a vulnerability and risk management paradigm framework for use by urban decision makers. As a contributing author on the Economics and Finance Committee Sallan's Executive Director worked on the "Economics, Finance and the Role of the Private Sector" chapter. The report, "Climate Change and Cities: Second Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Research Network" was released at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015 and a Summary for Urban Leaders was issued in 2016.
Carbon Tax Center
Since 2013, Nancy Anderson has been a member of the Carbon Tax Center Board of Directors. In the wake of the 2016 election, the CTC board convened to begin consideration of what to do next and how best to advance stakeholder and public awareness on this matter.
The Executive Director was consulted by the Director of the Urban Sustainability and Equity Planning Program at the Columbia University Earth Institute regarding the scope and speaker selection for a 2017 US cities climate action and resiliency conference.
Emerging from Sallan's participation in conference in 2015 sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Institute's e-Leap project and the Carbon War Room, a group coalesced to launch the Lender Learning Project. Meeting regularly throughout 2016 it conceptualized and began developing the "Underwriting Efficiency Handbook". The aim of the Handbook would be to serve as a practical educational and training resource for mortgage lenders and underwriters seeking to incorporate energy and water efficiency upgrades as part of a conventional financing of affordable multifamily rehabilitations. The Handbook, intended for a wide multifamily dwelling finance audience, will be issued in 2017.
NYC Architecture 2030
Sallan continues to participate in a working group to identify and to establish a NYC Architecture 2030 district, which will be a "living lab" urban energy-efficiency district. The first sign-on's came in 2016 from a large co-op complex in the designated district and then the Brooklyn Navy Yard followed suit. Earlier in the year its report, "Sustainability Districts for NYC: Building an Equitable and Resilient Future" was released at a well-attended public forum held at the CUNY Graduate Center.
New York League of Conservation Voters
Sallan continued to work with the one-of-a-kind Green Group, which brainstorms about local environmental legislation, shares useful information about local developments and organizes informational meetings with local elected officials engaged in advancing a green agenda.
US Mission to the UN
As part of a panel "Modernizing the Energy Matrix" the Foundation's Executive Director made a presentation on urban renewable energy developments to a Brazilian delegation of energy policy experts and elected officials.
Using The Web To Advance Useful Knowledge For Greener Cities
After undergoing a deep technical upgrade, Sallan's website moves forward with its core function as the location for posting and disseminating Sallan-sponsored research and its Multi-Media Event Wrap-Ups. This year saw the launch of "Storified" Twitter feeds that create content-rich portraits of selected events. The website also continues to serve as the vehicle for broadcasting curated content on domestic and global green news and relevant "long-form" media reports.
This year, Sallan's 5 guest Snapshot columns covered topics ranging from new trends in green finance and corporate environmental reporting to the greening of affordable and supporting housing in New York City. The Executive Director posted 3 Torchlight columns: "Energy Democracy Rising" about new grass-roots engagement in community-scale renewable energy projects; "Cutting Carbon Is the New Black" to coordinate with NY Fashion Week; and a year-end column on what cities might be able to do on their own to advance climate protection in the Trump Age. The Multi-media Event Wrap Up posting of our conference "Ensuring Urban Resilience — Come Hell or High Water" in November is generating a sustained and robust readership both on the site and via social media.
Sallan has been on Twitter since 2008 and expands its influence with a growing following. Since joining Twitter, Sallan has posted some 20,200 tweets.
The Foundation receives regular requests to post notices on the website's Events Page about conferences, meetings or special events that advance useful knowledge for greener cities. The steadily increasing volume of these requests indicates that Sallan's website serves as an effective outreach channel to reach urban sustainability audiences.