City Receives Grant For Neighborhood Greening Plan
In an effort to help make Louisville greener and healthier, the Louisville Metro Office of Sustainability will develop a pilot neighborhood greening plan with a grant it was awarded by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and its partner, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. The project aims to assess the link between health and environmental improvements.
“Achieving the city’s ambitious sustainability goals will require collaboration of all citizens and this project is an example of how leveraging the talents of our community partners can create innovative routes to success,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “This unique project will help identify new ways to improve the quality of life in Louisville.”
Fischer said that the city is partnering with Aruni Bhatnagar, PhD, director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Louisville and Dr. Ted Smith, Director of The Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soils on this “Green Heart” project. The project will use data from the city’s Urban Tree Canopy Assessment and Urban Heat Island study to identify neighborhoods with few trees and high temperatures and how improving these metrics might improve the health of the neighborhood residents.
Louisville is one of nine communities in the country to receive the grant. The grant funds of $75,000 will go towards developing a neighborhood-scale greening plan as well as implementing pilot greening installations to assess the impact of the natural environment on human health. The grant was matched with $75,000 from the Owsley Brown Charitable Foundation.
“The Office of Sustainability is thrilled to receive this grant that allows us to partner with the University of Louisville and The Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil on the Green Heart project,” said Sustainability Director Maria Koetter. “We’ve looked at work in other cities that had similar elements and we feel that the holistic nature of this project will generate important results.”
This initial work is part of a larger neighborhood greening plan to study the long-term health impacts of increasing vegetation including trees and landscaping, which will include funding and collaboration of many community partners.
Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
Partners for Places is a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. Partners for Places is a successful matching grant program that improves U.S. and Canadian communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability leaders, and place-based foundations. National funders invest in local projects developed through these partnerships to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for all residents. Through these investments, Partners for Places fosters long-term relationships that make our urban areas more prosperous, livable, and vibrant. http://www.fundersnetwork.org/
For more information about the Office of Sustainability, visit http://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability