This week we want to put the power of U.S. cities to meet global sustainability goals on the table. Considering that time isn’t on our side here, cities like Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, and Pittsburgh are moving toward sustainability without Washington.
This is a very good sign. When good mayors who are listening to their constituents and to the scientists actually do something in very pragmatic ways for economic growth and sustainability, it means that they know something is shifting and change must happen. There are a few happenings that reflect this that we want you to know about.
From Paris to Pittsburgh
In the new National Geographic, RadicalMedia and Bloomberg Philanthropies film, “From Paris to Pittsburgh”, you will see how cities and people in the U.S. are responding to the climate crisis. The documentary is narrated by Golden Globe® Award-winning actress and activist Rachel Brosnahan (in case you want to roll right into this film from binge-watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel!).
With all of the headlines around what Washington isn’t doing, this is a movie about how citizens are choosing to respond anyway. This isn’t a film about why people should believe the science, it is rather for people who get it and are wondering about how to take action in their own communities and regions. There are interviews with a number of local and regional leaders and scientists who are working to make the change. These are people in places like Orlando, Iowa, and Pittsburgh. The latest science is presented here along with the threats and opportunities.
A Get S$!T Done Event
An event at Brookings on November 29th, also brought a number of people together to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals in the U.S. Though the goals were agreed at the national level, this event highlights the ways that cities can and are taking up the challenge themselves. Tony Pipa, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development at Brookings Institution opened the event and Amy Liu, Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program also at Brookings opened the event. The Panel included Pipa as well as officials from Penny Abeywardena from New York City, Grant Ervin from Pittsburgh and Nina Hachigian from Los Angeles as well as Karen Lightman from the Metro21 Smart Cities Initiative.
During the event, there were a number of challenges presented along with opportunities and initiatives that each of these cities are involved in to meet the SDGs. For example, NYC’s
The bottom line here is that while Washington may not be prioritizing sustainability, there are many cities and people that