Newport News Selected for Bloomberg American Sustainable Cities

Newport News Selected for Bloomberg American Sustainable Cities

March 19, 2024

Mayor Phillip Jones announced Newport News was selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies as one of 25 U.S. cities to join Bloomberg American Sustainable Cities. Bloomberg American Sustainable Cities is a three-year initiative designed to leverage historic levels of federal funding to incubate and implement transformative local solutions to build low-carbon, resilient, and economically thriving communities. Building on the longtime leadership of U.S. cities to confront the overlapping crises of climate change and racial wealth inequity, the $200 million Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative will provide deep support to selected cities to pursue transformative solutions in the buildings and transportation sectors through partnerships with PolicyLink, Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

By participating in Bloomberg American Sustainable Cities, Newport News will receive a Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded innovation team (i-team) with up to three dedicated staff with expertise in data analysis, insight development, human-centered design, systems thinking, and project management to bolster city capacity in driving progress on climate mitigation and promoting equitable outcomes. The city will also receive multi-year, in-depth, customized policy and technical assistance in collaboration with community-based organizations to mobilize public, private, and philanthropic investments.

“I am committed to implementing policies and providing meaningful solutions to address environmental disparities in our community,” said Mayor Jones. “It is imperative that we work towards taking action to advance access and inclusion to ensure equitable protection for our residents and a community that will continue to flourish for future generations.”

Newport News was chosen by Bloomberg Philanthropies for Bloomberg American Sustainable Cities based on its leadership and ambition to build resilient, equitable communities. Despite facing significant challenges, the city has persisted in advancing community prosperity and economic development amid the climate crisis. The city has set goals that complement the environmental efforts that include adequate housing and workforce development.

With over $400 billion in federal funding available to local governments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, Bloomberg American Sustainable Cities aims to help cities access and implement the historic funding for critical local projects, especially in disadvantaged communities historically overburdened by pollution. In addition to Bloomberg’s support, the city is currently pursuing two Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants to help to address environmental challenges like improving air quality and mitigating coal dust through new technology and innovative design.  Anticipated solutions implemented through the Bloomberg American Sustainable Cities could include developing affordable, energy-efficient housing, investing in electric vehicles and infrastructure, accelerating the transition, and expanding access to clean energy, among others.

Bloomberg American Sustainable Cities is the newest Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative to support local climate action in the United States. In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the American Cities Climate Challenge to provide resources and support to 25 of the largest U.S. cities to scale proven high-impact urban climate solutions in the buildings and transportation sectors. With Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support, the 25 Climate Challenge cities passed 54 major buildings, energy, and transportation policies and launched 71 new climate programs and initiatives, which are projected to reduce 74 million metric tons of carbon emissions through 2030. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies galvanized a consortium of nonprofit and expert groups to establish the Local Infrastructure Hub, a national program providing more than 1,200 municipalities with pro-bono expertise to navigate historic funding opportunities made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, develop competitive grant applications, and bring investment home to address essential infrastructure needs. To date, participating municipalities have already been awarded more than $1 billion in federal funding.

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