Farewell Blog Post

I've decided to take a new opportunity with the green building consulting firm Viridian so today is my last day at the City of Fayetteville. The good news is that I get to stick around Fayetteville and continue working in the sustainable development field; something that I'm very passionate about.

When I first came here in 2007 the focus was almost exclusively on energy efficiency in government buildings and the need to pay for my position through energy savings. Over time it has evolved into something with a broader focus and a department by itself - Sustainability & Strategic Planning.

I have been really fortunate to work with a great group of people at the City and two mayors that are incredibly passionate about it. I've interacted with 90+ sustainability directors across North America through the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and I can tell you that no other director has more access to the top levels of the administration. That's a tribute to the residents of Fayetteville and their demands that it be a high priority, and it's a tribute to the elected officials of the community, Mayor Jordan and City Council, for having the vision to make it a priority. For all of those reasons, I've been very blessed to have this opportunity and it's not one I will forget.

Already we have received a tremendous amount of interest in this position; some of which are more qualified than I am. I'm confident that whoever fills this role next will be able to jump right in and continue impacting the Fayetteville community in a positive way.

Special thanks to Kristina Jones and Leif Olson for making a great team. It's been a fun ride!


John Coleman
Southface and the Sustainable Cities Institute partnered with the City of Fayetteville last year on a $500,000 grant towards low impact development, affordable housing, and trail development in the community. Check out a recent blog post from SCI and the progress that has been made.
The Milken Institute released its annual survey of best performing metropolitan areas. The Fayetteville Metropolitan Statistical Area (Northwest Arkansas) jumped seventeen spots from #43 to #26 amongst large metro areas. Little Rock jumped all the way from #93 to #19. 

Sustainability Plans and Planning


San Diego adopts first sustainable communities strategy: After more than two years of public outreach, input and comment, the San Diego Association of Governments recently approved the first Regional Transportation Plan in California to contain a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). Read More


Climate Action


Cities and global warming - San Francisco's experience: In this reaction Andrew Ross' New York Times OpEd ("The Dark Side of the 'Green' City" - featured in last week's USDN Weekly Update), Melanie Nutter of San Francisco writes that her city's experience shows that it's possible to reduce greenhouse gases while also cutting pollution in economically stressed neighborhoods. Read More


Boston's Green Ribbon Commission launches website: The Boston Green Ribbon Commission is a group of business, institutional and civic leaders in Boston working to develop shared strategies for fighting climate change in coordination with Mayor Menino's Climate Action Plan. It recently launched a website to share its progress. Read More 




Cincinnati voters clear the way for streetcars: Cincinnati voters have (again) defeated attempts to block the city's new streetcar, which now will move forward and could be operational as early as 2013. Read More


L.A. Vision, U.S. Promise: Implications of the America Fast Forward proposal: This article by Allison Brooks and Darnell Chadwick Grisby of Reconnecting America looks at how Los Angeles has emerged as a leader in transit investments, providing forward-thinking leadership for how infrastructure finance can and should continue, even in difficult financial times. Read More 


How Manhattan sped up its buses: NYC officials issued a report last week highlighting the successes of select bus service that has been in place for the past year on 1st and 2nd Ave.  The select bus service is more efficient than the City's regular bus service, thanks to the pre-boarding fare payment and use of dedicated lanes. Read More


Green Buildings


Toronto may ease green roof rules on new buildings: Under an alternative bylaw recently approved by Toronto's planning and growth management committee, new industrial buildings and building additions may be able to meet green roof requirements if they are covered in "cool" materials (i.e. reflective and limit surface temperatures) - a cheaper option favored by industrial building developers. Read More


Public Engagement


Citizen 2.0 report highlights social media innovation successes: The report looks at 17 examples of social media and government innovation, including Vancouver's Greenest City project and NYC's Simplicity Idea Market project. Read More


Cars and Parking


San Jose shares smart streetlight technologies: The City of San Jose has been asked to serve as the Lead Agency in the Bay Area Next Generation Streetlight Initiative, under which the City would lead the product procurement process for a regional group purchase, and to establish financing and purchase terms to encourage or accelerate the adoption of LED lighting by public agencies. The City also serves as the Chair of a technical task force on remote monitoring and adaptive controls organized by the U.S. Department of Energy's Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium. USDN member Jo Zientek has shared the City's agreement LED streetlight conversion on the SCI website. Read More


Tolls thin traffic in Bay Bridge carpool lanes: According to a study by UC Berkeley transportation researchers, toll changes on the Bay Bridge have cleared out carpool lanes and improved traffic speed when the bridge is most congested. Read More


Energy Efficiency


Maui testing ground for smart grid pilot project: A neighborhood in Maui has been chosen for a smart grid pilot project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a nationwide set of demonstration projects. 200 Participants will have access to smart grid technologies that will provide more information on, and control over, how and when energy is used. The project is led by the Maui Electric Company (MECO) and the University of Hawaii's Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) in partnership with eight other organizations, including Maui County. Read More


Renewable Energy


Utility Fights Power Purchase Agreement in Iowa: The city of Dubuque, Iowa, had to rescind a power purchase agreement with its solar contractor, Eagle Point Solar, in October when its public utility said the PPA violated the monopoly provisions of the state's utility regulations. This article looks at the issues involved when states have vague or non-existent laws related to PPA's. Read More



USDN Member Top Rated Recent News Item from Last Week

In Phoenix, the Dark Side of Green: In this New York Times Op-Ed, writer Andrew Ross looks at the challenges faced by Phoenix, in trying to become "Green," in spite of the Mayor's commitment to the challenge. The vast inequalities of the metro area could blunt the impact of his sustainability plans. He notes the disparity between the greening of high income and low income areas in Phoenix and writes: "If policy makers end up focusing on "greening" those areas that can afford the low-carbon technologies associated with the new environmental conscientiousness, the movement for sustainability may end up exacerbating climate change rather than ameliorating it." Read More

WalMart & China

Interesting read about how WalMart is improving China's environmental track record.

The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic)
11/10/11 8:00 PM
How Walmart is transforming China's environmental standards theatln.tc/tSb6Nd #longreads

Green Pinkies Update

Awhile back I wrote about a mother/daughter team here in Fayetteville doing a green home renovation project. Well, now there is an opportunity to help them garner some recognition for their efforts!

They're up for a Energy Value Housing Award and need your help! See the video below and then click on the website link to vote. Their house is #7 on the list.

In fall 2009 the City of Fayetteville received $724,900 in grant funds through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. We identified five project categories for how the funds would be spent.

At the this year's December 6th City Council meeting the last project item will go forward and will complete the City's grant requirements. Below is an updated list of how the funds have been spent or obligated to projects:

  • Energy Retrofit of City Buildings ($240,363.71) - Retrofitted the Police Department, Water & Sewer Operations, Fire Stations #1, #4, and #6 with an assortment of heating and air conditioning, lighting, and duct sealing upgrades. We are also set to plant some trees at a couple of fire stations that have strong southern exposure to the summer sun.
  • Community Revolving Loan Fund ($265,000.99) - The City hired Treadwell Institute to serve as the project manager for retrofitting three non-profits in Fayetteville. The funds were available to any non-profit in the community that applied and also met one of two criteria: 1) Had positive cash flow last year 2) Had positive savings in their bank account. In the end, Mt Sequoyah Retreat Center, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, and the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce were awarded funds. Projects include heating and air conditioning, window, insulation, and lighting upgrades as well as LED lighting for the Botanical Garden.
  • LED Trail & Sidewalk Lighting ($156,301) - Purchased 160 LED lights along Scull Creek Trail, Frisco Trail, Block Avenue Street Renovation, Scull Creek Tunnel, U of A Farm Trail, and around the Fayetteville Public Library. The expected payback on these lights is approximately seven years. On average the LEDs are about 60% more efficient and last five times longer than conventional lighting.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory ($9,000) - Paid a student from the University of Arkansas graduate program and an Energy Corps member to develop an inventory of all municipal operations. This inventory will help the City determine where key investments in energy efficiency can be made going forward
  • Solar on the District Court Building ($39,205.43) - Hired Rocky Grove Sun Company to install a 6.8 Kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the LEED Gold District Court Building. To date the City has received over $14,000 in rebate funds from the Arkansas Energy Office for this project.
Remaining funds will be used for LED lights along the U of A Farm trail if approved by City Council. The City is also expecting rebate funds from AEP/SWEPCO for the building retrofits and solar PV system on the District Court. These funds will also be spent on energy efficiency related projects going forward.

As you can see the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program has allowed the City to do some conventional energy efficiency projects on existing facilities as well as expand our scope to look at emerging technologies such as LED lighting and solar PV. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about the projects (jcoleman@ci.fayetteville.ar.us).

John Coleman
Sustainability & Strategic Planning
City of Fayetteville, Arkansas


Crop Mobs This Week

For Immediate Release


October 19, 2011                                                             


Contact:  Kristina Jones

Sustainability & Strategic Planning Department





Community Gardens Across Fayetteville Need

Volunteers Tomorrow, October 20

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - October is National Hunger Awareness month and host to National Food Day (16th) and World Food Day (24th).  Feed Fayetteville has declared this a "Month of Action" and in celebration the Fayetteville Community Garden Coalition (FCGC) is partnering with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and Feed Fayetteville (ff) to facilitate an afternoon of "crop mobs" on Thursday, October 20, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.  This will be a great chance for you to help out at one of Fayetteville's many community gardens.


Please check out the links below for details:

·        Head Start garden - http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=247920865258067

·        Mt. Comfort community garden - http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000842887022#!/event.php?eid=276243589062565

·        Happy Hollow Elementary - http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000842887022#!/event.php?eid=279752768709795

·        Cobblestone Farm - http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000842887022#!/event.php?eid=300663463281115

·        OMNI Peace Center garden- email Steven at stevenskattebo@hotmail.com


Thanks for your participation!

The City of Fayetteville is a member of the Fayetteville Community Garden Coalition (FCGC). The FCGC is an alliance of Partners, Gardens and Friends who work cooperatively to assist residents, groups and institutions to create community gardens. Other partners include local institutions, non-profit organizations and businesses.


From the Fayetteville Community Garden Coalition:

You may not know, but October is a significant month on the food calendar, as it is National Hunger Awareness month and host to National Food Day (16th) and World Food Day (24th). Feed Fayetteville has declared this a "Month of Action" and in celebration the FCGC is partnering with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and Feed Fayetteville (ff) to facilitate an afternoon of "crop mobs" on Thursday, October 20, 2-4 p.m. This will be a great chance for you to accomplish some tasks at your garden in a short amount of time with several helping hands. Please check out the flier link below for details. If you have any questions feel free to write Charity Lewis, at charity@chickenmoonfarm.com, or visit http://fayettevillegardens.org/wp/?p=525 to download a registration form.

The Fayetteville Community Garden Coalition (FCGC)
Good article from The New Yorker on the history of federal investment in energy markets.

The nuclear-power industry was effectively created by the government in the nineteen-fifties, and probably could not exist today without government guarantees. The coal industry was heavily subsidized during the nineteenth century. And the oil-and-gas industry has received tax breaks and allowances worth billions of dollars a year for more than half a century--to say nothing of the implicit, but incredibly costly, subsidy that oil producers have received in the form of the Fifth and Sixth Fleets.

The New Yorker (@NewYorker)
10/4/11 8:15 AM
The failure of solar co Solyndra, which Obama Admin invested in, "isn't reason for the gov't to give up on alt energy": http://t.co/DdMGpff8

Sent from my iPhone

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