Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN)
The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is a peer-to-peer network of over 185 municipal government sustainability professionals in cities and counties in the U.S. and Canada.
Since 2009 USDN members have exchanged information and collaborated to develop and share solutions that improve the natural and built environment, infrastructure, economy, health, and resilience of local communities. Network members currently run a wide range of user groups on sustainability topics; exchange ideas and tools through an information-sharing website, monthly idea-sharing calls, small group meetings and calls, and an annual meeting chock-full of workshops; lead ten regional networks of municipal professionals; participate in annual surveys of members’ activities and priorities for urban sustainability; and collaborate with the C40 Cities Global Leadership Group.
USDN’s ultimate goal is to build and strengthen the connections between members in order to quickly access each other’s knowledge and expertise to achieve better, more effective outcomes at scale.
USDN partners with The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities in a Local Sustainability Matching Fund, supported by national and local foundations, with nearly $1 million granted to 20 projects. The Fund is designed to catalyze partnerships between local governments and local, place-based foundations, and to advance community-based sustainability initiatives. USDN also operates an Innovation Fund guided by a 12-member Steering Committee that by the end of 2013 will have awarded nearly $1.2 million to more than 25 innovation development and scaling projects developed and led by teams involving some 70 different cities and counties.
The Innovation Fund’s 2013 strategic plan defined innovation as “a policy, practice, tool, program, performance standard, or organizational model that is under development or being spread to help local governments solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity in urban sustainability."
USDN is a project of the Global Philanthropy Partnership. Much of what USDN produces is for members only. USDN membership is open to U.S. and Canadian municipal sustainability directors who want to actively engage with and learn from their peers. Potential members must have proven sustainability practices to share and must commit to active participation in the network.
- Partnerships for Resilience and Empowered Planning (PREP): Community Resilience Planning Handbook
- Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) Innovation Fund
- Seattle Extreme Heat Scenario-Based Pilot-Project in Frontline Communities - Racial Equity Mini Evaluation
- Guide to Equitable, Community-Driven Climate Preparedness Planning
- Toward a Sustainable City: The State of Innovation in Urban Sustainability
- Cleveland Climate Action Fund
- Climate in the Heartland: Historical Data and Future Projections for the Heartland Regional Network
- Equity Foundations: USDN Capacity Building Program
- Developing Urban Climate Adaptation Indicators
- Partners for Places Funding Program
- Resilience Hubs: Shifting Power to Communities and Increasing Community Capacity
- Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) Resilience Hubs
- USDN Guide to Developing Resilience Hubs
- From Community Engagement to Ownership: Tools for the Field with Case studies of Four Municipal Community-Driven Environmental and Racial Equity Committees