In Spring 2009, Living Cities hosted its first “boot camp,” which brought together national experts, leading practitioners, and multi-disciplinary teams of senior officials from 16 U.S. cities for intensive training and peer learning on ways to improve, accelerate and scale up their building energy efficiency retrofit programs. The boot camp was premised on the idea that large-scale efforts to increase building energy efficiency in U.S. cities hold great promise for not only saving energy, but also reducing climate pollution, saving money and creating jobs with career pathways, especially for lower-income people.
The Camp focused on four areas identified by the participants themselves: developing sustainable funding streams and financing mechanisms; building effective green workforce development systems; using a combination of policy instruments, marketing strategies and community action campaigns to increase participation; and weaving these components into an integrated and sustainable building energy retrofit system.
The camp included a panel discussion with senior officials from the U.S. Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor on the strategic investment of federal stimulus funding; cross-team problem-solving sessions in which participants from different parts of the country share ideas and experiences in meeting the challenges of developing integrated, large-scale building energy retrofit systems; and “discover and create” sessions in which the city-led teams strategize and plan their next steps with the support of national experts.