Round 5 – Partners for Places October 2014 Awards

Partners for Places October 2014 Awards

Ten Community Projects Awarded Partners for Places Grants

San Francisco will help keep its historic Chinatown neighborhood affordable and sustainable for years to come. Columbia, Mo., will bring residents together around the CoMo Energy Challenge to encourage energy efficiency. Hamilton, Ontario, will develop its first urban agriculture project to address health, environmental issues, and food insecurity, while Milwaukee, Wis., will build on its urban agriculture infrastructure, turning vacant lots into gardens that will provide residents with fresh, healthy, local food.

In all, ten communities are harnessing the power of partnership as local government and philanthropy work together to realize a better future for their communities through the Partners for Places grant program.

The ten communities were awarded a total of $562,000 by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and its partner, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, in Round Five of funding. Partners for Places (formerly the Local Sustainability Matching Fund) helps communities connect local government and philanthropy to invest in sustainability projects that promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for all residents.

Seven investor funders make up Partners for Places: Bloomberg PhilanthropiesThe JPB FoundationJohn D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Kendeda Fund, The New York Community TrustSummit Foundation, and Surdna Foundation.

“Partnerships between governments and philanthropic organizations allow local leaders to test innovative approaches to complex challenges. These grants will help mayors and cities take action on environmental issues and improve the life and health of their residents. During my time in City Hall, public-private partnerships had a major impact on New York City’s sustainability efforts, helping us to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 19 percent, while also making our air cleaner than it has been in more than 50 years,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The Round Five Partners for Places grants are:

  • Columbia, Mo., $67,000 for the CoMo Energy Challenge, which will leverage the community’s competitive spirit and local foundation support to lead the way in energy efficiency to improve the quality of life for all by reducing energy consumption in Columbia households. (Partners: Community Foundation of Central Missouri)
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, $25,000 to develop Hamilton’s first urban agriculture project, which will address health, sustainable environments, and food insecurity in the McQuesten neighborhood. (Partners: Hamilton Community Foundation)
  • Knoxville, Tenn., $30,000 to launch an education and engagement campaign to empower disadvantaged residents in Knoxville to reduce utility bills through energy efficient behavior and cost-effective upgrades. (Partners: United Way of Greater Knoxville; East Tennessee Foundation)
  • Miami-Dade County, Fla., $50,000 to incorporate sustainability into the health efforts of two South Florida communities by cultivating shaded open spaces that promote physical activity. (Partners: Health Foundation of South Florida)
  • Milwaukee, Wis., $75,000 for the expansion of its urban agriculture infrastructure to support local food production and distribution and to empower residents to transform neighborhoods by re-purposing vacant lots into community assets supporting local, healthy food production and distribution. (Partners: Greater Milwaukee Foundation; Zilber Family Foundation; Northwestern Mutual Foundation; LISC Milwaukee; Fund for Lake Michigan)
  • Newark, N.J., $40,000 to demonstrate that targeted grants for structural repairs to homes can remove barriers that block access to underutilized weatherization and health hazard remediation programs and lead to cost-effective improvements to housing quality. (Partners: PSEG Foundation)
  • Philadelphia, Penn., $25,000 to improve Philadelphia’s food system and increase healthy, affordable, food access by sustaining and expanding the project and policy work of the Food Policy Advisory Council. (Partners: Merck Family Fund;  The Leo and Peggy Pierce Family Foundation; Claneil Foundation)
  • San Francisco, $150,000 for the Sustainable Chinatown Plan, which will engage immigrant and monolingual communities to identify strategies to sustain Chinatown’s unique culture and affordability by raising the environmental performance of the neighborhood’s infrastructure and buildings. (Partners: The San Francisco Foundation; Enterprise Community Partners)
  • Tacoma, Wash., $75,000 to increase active transportation use through infrastructure development and education, providing equitable access to sustainable transportation and improving the health of people, the environment, and communities. (Partners: The Russell Family Foundation; The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation)
  • Toledo, Ohio, $25,000 for a resident-led demonstration project in the Overland Park neighborhood that will mobilize citizens across the county to take actions that promote sustainability within their own neighborhoods. (Partners: Toledo Community Foundation)

Partners for Places will open a sixth round of funding with a Request for Proposals available in December 2014. To attract additional interest in urban sustainability projects beyond those funded, it also houses an Idea Bank on the Funders’ Network website, which provides summaries of project applications.

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 communities more prosperous, livable and vibrant.

Partners for Places is a collaborative effort of the Funders’ Network and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. For more information on Partners for Places, please visit the Funders’ Network website at Funders interested in becoming a part of Partners for Places should contact Ann Wallace at the Funders’ Network.

To date, Partners for Places has awarded $2,034,750 and funded 39 projects across North America.


Contact Ann Fowler Wallace
(617) 524-9239

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