Louisville receives U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Award

June 19, 2015

Two major sustainability projects in Louisville have resulted in the city earning Climate Protection Awards from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Louisville’s Green Living Neighborhood Certification program and the Sheppard Square HOPE VI Revitalization (Sheppard Square) efforts were recognized, along with a dozen other cities, for creatively launching local energy efficiency and sustainability programs to help reduce the carbon footprint in American cities.

A component of Brightside’s One Bright City initiative, the Green Living program, launched in 2014, educates individuals and households on how to live more sustainably through a competition-based incentive.

“Green Living effectively combines two of our main goals, health and sustainability,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “The program was created to incentivize behavior change by citizens and businesses – a major challenge in reaching our city’s sustainability and health ambitions.”

The program encourages residents to participate in smoking cessation programs, become more active, eat healthier, emit fewer pollutants into the air, reduce gas, electric and water bills and divert waste from the landfill. Since the program’s launch, eight neighborhoods, including over 300 households, have registered to participate. The enrolled neighborhoods represent all facets of our community, including urban, suburban and multi-ethnic regions.

Neighborhoods interested in participating select a “Green Captain” and register through the website. The program accommodates different types of neighborhoods and households, including single-family, multi-family and rental units. Neighborhoods are self-defined, with a 10-house minimum.

The Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) fully integrated sustainability planning in all phases of a more than $100 million Sheppard Square HOPE VI housing revitalization currently underway in Louisville’s Smoketown neighborhood. 

“Sheppard Square successfully integrates the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability,” Fischer said. “The project allows residents to reduce their environmental impact and their monthly utility bills by incorporating renewable energy and sustainability elements.” 

All rental and homeownership units at Sheppard Square are constructed according to Enterprise Green Community (EGC) standards, which has been shown to deliver significant health, economic and environmental benefits to families. Sheppard Square is also LMHA’s first 100% smoke-free community. On-site organic materials’ collection and wet/dry recycling stations are located on each block and residents have the opportunity to grow their own food in a community garden. 

Other features of the Sheppard Square site include geothermal energy in four homes, solar panels on seven multi-family units, green roofs, electric vehicles for maintenance staff including  nine charging stations and paving materials with a high solar reflective index to help to reduce residents’ cooling needs. All buildings will certify under ENERGY STAR 3.0, which ensures energy savings in heating, cooling, hot water, lighting and appliance efficiencies. Each unit contains ENERGY STAR appliances.

From obsolete, barracks-style housing to a new urban community, Sheppard Square instills the importance of sustainability in its residents and helped train a green workforce.

Mayor Greg Fischer accepted the awards today at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 83rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Green Living also won an honorable mention award for City Livability.