West Coast Green Institute
The West Coast Green Institute (WCGI) was created to continue community development projects born at West Coast Green year round. WCGI has developed a program dedicated to transforming low-income communities into ones that are sustainable, healthy, empowered and vital communities /neighborhoods. We strive to develop strong community leaders, train and empower local organizations and networks with the capacity to continue building on our foundation. Through building a network of support we facilitate the development and the implementation of a sustainable collaborative community vision which incorporates leaders who are building green affordable housing, promoting community economic development, and launching ambitious urban agriculture projects that respect cultural histories.
The WCGI is the educational arm of the West Coast Green conference, and plans content for all sessions, summits and special collaborative projects.
A summary of additional Institute projects:
- Fort Mason Design Slam: The design slam brought together community leaders, engineers, conference attendees and LEED specialists to discuss how Fort Mason, a National Park and a Historic Monument, can sustainably improve it's look and feel, physical structures and strategic partnerships.
- Tribal Summits: West Coast Green has partnered with the US EPA’s Tribal Solid Waste team, who works with tribes in Arizona and Northern California, to develop a Tribal scholarship program to meet the needs of tribal members. West Coast Green sponsors 30 full conference passes for members, and created a tribal summit held in conjunction with the Conference. The EPA sponsors the travel expenses for those who West Coast Green provides passes to and strategically distributes all sponsored items to members.
- West Oakland Design Charette: At West Coast Green ‘08, a process of engagement with West Oakland leadership began with a design charrette. Since then a number of the ideas generated during the charrette have been realized. This year, our team created a sustainable conceptual plan to develop land at the center of the Village Bottoms, designed in partnership with residents, community leaders and conference attendees.
- Innovation Pipeline: An incredible "Exploratorium-like" exhibit where conference attendees can experience revolutionary, smart products that are in the early stages of development.
- Fellowship Program:The WCGI works with industry experts and fellows to develop content for whitepapers, blog series and the West Coast Green conference’s educational conference program. To develop the direction of content, industry experts, a fellow and West Coast Green Institute staff collaborate over several months. Each educational topic area team will facilitate the drawing out of both the current state of the topic area as well as the best voices, resources, and vision for the future within the topic. These conversations will shape the conference’s educational content, form the content for the whitepapers and form the basis for related blogs.
- Green Jobs Pavillion: A live multi-media, interactive space simulating our future economy right on the tradeshow floor. Attendees were introduced to more than 50 fabulous employers, training centers and financial resources. This allowed them exposure to opportunities in the green industry.
- Information Open Source: One main goal of the WCGI is to facillitate cutting-edge educational forums and to promote the sharing of the learnings that emerge.
This year the WCGI is focusing on the Sustainable Redevelopment and Empowerment of Low Income Communities project (described below). This ongoing project is WCGI’s response to a need that has been expressed by many underserved communities in the Bay Area.
Initial Three Targeted Communities:
WCGI wishes to work with one previously identified community and two additional low income communities that are to be determined.
- 1. West Oakland “Village Bottoms”
- 2. A Tribal Reservation within EPA Region 9 – Selection TBD
- 3. A San Francisco based community – Selection TBD
Upon successful completion of all Steps for Community Redevelopment, WCGI will assess and aggregate the best practices and resources, and produce a multi-media guide for sustainable community redevelopment. The intention is to serve as a model of collaboration, and provide the framework in which this support mechanism can be replicated across the country.