October 14 - 16, 2014

Collaborating for Resiliency in North American Cities

Alexandria, VA
Institute for Sustainable Communities »

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) and the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) are launching an 18-month pilot project to help cities and their regions work more effectively across agencies, sectors and jurisdictions.  They will work with selected communities from the group of 200 cities that are part of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Sustainable Communities Initiative, and disseminate lessons and best practices gleaned from the process through other urban sustainability networks with which they work.  ISC is responsible for delivering capacity building services to HUD grantees.

ISC specializes in training city sustainability teams in a variety of areas, and has discovered a growing hunger for effective ways for diverse city entitites to better collaborate to achieve sustainability objectives.  CBI has specialized for many years in facilitating complex negotiations involving multiple interests.  

As a condition of recent grants from HUD, cities that are part of the Sustainable Communities Initiative have developed cross-sector consortia to serve as steering committees for planning efforts in their communities.  Once the grant period ends, they will need to develop ways to implement collaborative approaches.  ISC and CBI will work through one of the existing ISC workshops to build the collaboration skills of approximately 60 sustainability practicioners from 10-15 cities, and focus deeply on two selected urban communities to build and maintain a collaborative structure across sectors. The training and dissemination of best practices will then become an integral part of future programs in the building of city sustainability efforts, and spread their impact through the HUD network, ISC's networks, and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN).

Blackstone Ranch Institute provided an initial seed grant, which was matched by funds from HUD.


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