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The Clean Tech Center

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Syracuse, NY

When most people think of New York, they’re quick to conjure up images of the Empire State Building and Wall Street. But in the era of clean energy, New York’s emerging ‘Green Apple’ is giving the renowned Big Apple a run for its money as the innovation center of the state. With over 30 colleges and universities, the Central Upstate New York region has one of the highest concentrations of students in the country. Couple that with market leaders such as GE Global Research, GM Research and Carrier Corporation that are developing world class new clean technologies, along with $2 billion in annually funded R&D at the region’s top six research institutions, and you’ve got a region prime for green technology incubation. The Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce has been leading that green revolution.  In July of 2009 with a $1.5 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Syracuse Chamber proudly unveiled The Clean Tech Center, a clean energy business incubator program—one of the first of its kind in the country.

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Brownfields/Grayfields Tax Credit Program

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Des Moines, IA

Efficient land use is not only vital to protecting natural resources but to profitable physical development. High density design allows for more activities within a smaller space and has continuously attracted the young, creative classes in search of dynamic places in which to live.  In the effort to create these dense, walkable communities, the process of urban infill—the use of land within an already developed area—is a key to success, but no easy task. Urban land available for infill is often environmentally hazardous, such as deserted manufacturing sites known as brownfields. Other pieces of land may have little or no environmental contamination but are outdated, abandoned, or have plummeted in value; these derelict parking lots or vacant strip malls are known as grayfields. Most communities have them, but very few have effective strategies for turning these properties into valued parts of the community such as those in Des Moines, Iowa. Fulfilling its role as the regional economic development organization, the Greater Des Moines Partnership worked in collaboration with local allies to take major steps in reducing sprawl and carbon emissions through the mending of their urban fabric.
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LED Streetlight Program

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Washington, DC

Households that replace just a few old incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs, a product with more than three times the lifespan of their traditional counterparts, can reduce electric bills and put a dent in their carbon footprint. Imagine the impact of replacing 4,424,361 light bulbs. This is the number of streetlights in our nation’s ten largest metropolitan statistical areas. According to a study released in March of 2008, switching all streetlights in these major regions to an LED or a “smart streetlights” system could lead to a savings of 1,494,250,000 kilowatts (kWh) or a reduction of 1,161,716 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). This report wasn’t produced by the EPA or a national LED manufacturer; in fact, this white paper was prepared by Bob Grow, then an American Chamber of Commerce Executives Ford Fellow in Regionalism and Sustainable Development for the Greater Washington Board of Trade.
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Green Infrastructure Toolkit

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State of Massachusetts

The 495/MetroWest region is one of the most economically productive in the state of Massachusetts and is still growing. Between 1980 and 2006, the region experienced a 59 percent increase in employment; during the 1990s alone, the region experienced a 12.1 percent increase in the local population. Though this trend is immensely beneficial to the area’s economic health, it also places a great strain on existing infrastructure and water supplies. More than 40 acres of open land per day, or nearly 300 acres every week in Massachusetts are converted into residential, commercial, or industrial land, putting local resources and biodiversity at risk. As a public/private association dedicated to the sustainable economic and physical growth of the region, the 495/MetroWest Partnership provides local businesses and governments with an effective strategy to ease burdens on local resources and ensure their future vitality through the Green Infrastructure Toolkit.
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A Sustainable Growth Ethic

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Charleston, SC

With a 63 percent increase in their population between 1970 and 2000, and projections for an additional 55 percent increase by 2030, the Charleston Metro Area is not grappling with the question of whether they will grow, but how they will grow. Sprawling development and the rapid consumption of resources is something that many communities in the U.S. are facing but not all have an effective action plan to help mitigate environmental damage and ensure future vitality. Guided by their mission to advance the region’s economy, improve local quality of life and enhance their members’ success, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce has developed “A Sustainable Growth Ethic: Building on Prosperity” to encourage sustainable development in the region.

The Sustainable Growth Ethic is not a binding policy piece, but a straightforward statement of visions and values that rests upon three major principles: Choice, Balance, and Stewardship.
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