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Blogs / Professional Fellows Exchange Program / Green Dubuque - active volunteers achieving outcomes in climate change and sustainability challenges

Green Dubuque - active volunteers achieving outcomes in climate change and sustainability challenges

A couple of thoughts from Green Dubuque – a volunteer community based engine of change in Dubuque.

1.       50% Greenhouse Gas Reduction by 2030

2.       Green Drinks - solar energy in Dubuque

3.       Incomplete Streets and Complete Streets a report

50% by 2030

There are many initiatives happening in Dubuque, one mentioned previously is the recent Dubuque City Council adoption of the 50% reduction of carbon emissions by 2030. The proposal for this was community based, developed and presented by Green Dubuque a volunteer organization. This strategy forms part of one of their “Moving Forward” initiative responding to their concerns about climate change.

For information on Green Dubuque see their web site – link below (and their associated Greenhouse Gas Reduction plan) http://www.dubuqueghgplan.org/

http://www.dubuqueghgplan.org/DubuqueGHGplan-full_V1.pdf (the PLAN)

Also attached are a couple of interesting youtube web links promoting their plan - see below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlQrJa663WI&noredirect=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b496dqIGWFc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yyp7eJJjCFs&feature=related (interesting clip focused on you and our children).

Green Drinks - solar energy in Dubuque.

Green Dubuque hold “Green Drinks” every month and myself and Ian were able to attend one of these events. There was even a member of the State Legislature present. An excellent presentation on solar energy was given by a representative from Solar Planet

http://www.solarplanet-us.com/

Afterwards a healthy debate ensued on different aspects of solar energy capacity and commercial aspects in Dubuque, Iowa and USA. This included discussions on the recent approval by City of Dubuque to lease 800 solar panels on roof of City Administration works depot from a local solar energy company – Eagle Solar.

http://www.eaglepointsolar.com/

see article in Mid Western Energy News on the matter:

http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2011/10/18/in-iowa-regulatory-hiccup-holds-back-solar-project/

Incomplete and Complete Streets Report.

According to Raki Giannakouros “a report by Jason Schatz (President of Green Dubuque) and written on “in-complete streets” was a tipping point to adopting a local and regional policy” Incomplete streets being ones that don’t cater for pedestrians and cyclists in particular. Apparently there was also an “Iowa State Senate File” introduced based on this particular work and a state level report that has not come to a vote yet.

 The report utilizes very good statistics on impact of not accounting for the pedestrians and cyclists, as well as other users. The report highlights some interesting demographics relating to youth use of public transit and statistics on vehicle accidents.  Extract from the report below:

“Complete streets ensure that the needs and safety of all users of the transportation system are accommodated in all phases of road project planning and development, including pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit users,motorists, commercial vehicles, and people of all ages and abilities:

 

1.     56% (32,454) of Dubuque's residents belong to groups generally not well served by single passenger transit, including those those under age 16, senior citizens, low-income individuals, those with no vehicle in their household, and individuals with disabilities

2.     25% (14,345) of Dubuque's residents are particularly poorly-served by single passenger transit

3.     Between 2004 and 2008, there were an average of 35 motor vehicle collisions per year involving bicyclists and pedestrians in Dubuque, costing an estimated $2.4 million in medical care and lost productivity

4.     Over 50% of the victims of those collisions were under the age of 21

5.     Obesity and inactivity among Dubuque residents cost an estimated $41 million per year, or $722 per capita

6.     If just 1 in 20 currently inactive Dubuquers met recommended activity levels, it could save over $2 million per year; several studies have found that completed streets can increase activity levels from 60% to 100% over current levels”

7.     Moving an average Dubuque home into the 75th percentile of walkability would increase its property value by an estimated $6,407 (5.2%)

8.     Moving 5% of the homes in Dubuque into the 75th percentile of walkability would increase property values by an estimated $7.6 million

9.     Cumulative economic benefits of complete streets are estimated to exceed cumulative costs within 6-8 years of policy implementation

10.    Forty years after complete streets implementation, net benefits could exceed $100 million

note: figures courtesy of Green Dubuque - "Incomplete and Complete Streets Report"

Note: Raki Giannakouros of Dubuque and Jason Schatz of Madison, WI, received a Grassroots Activist award (see http://iowa.sierraclub.org/ ) for this work in developing the “ feasibility plan as a part of greendubuque.org.  The plan showed how Dubuque could reduce greenhouse gases by 50 percent by 2030 and convinced

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