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The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities

The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities works to improve communities through better development decisions and growth policies.

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Cool cities with cool roofs and urban forestry Poor community planning and decision making at every level – national, state, regional and local – has resulted in sprawling metropolitan growth patterns that are rapidly consuming open space and farmland to provide housing and services for new suburban populations. At the same time, these decisions have encouraged the draining of population, jobs and other resources out of cities and older suburbs, contributing to a concentration of poverty in many urban neighborhoods. Rapidly developing suburbs also face their own set of problems as they grapple with the costs of growth—congestion, loss of open space, school overcrowding—without adequate resources.

The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that exists to inspire, strengthen and expand philanthropic leadership and funders’ abilities to support organizations working to improve communities through better development decisions and growth policies.

It brings together foundations, nonprofit organizations and other partners to address the range of environmental, social, and economic problems caused by development strategies that fail to consider the big picture.

Members of the Funders’ Network believe funders can effectively address these issues at the national, state, regional and/or local level. To help funders maximize their effectiveness, and increase the number of funders in this field, the Network works to inform and connect funders, offers responsive services, implements projects, and provides facilitative leadership in selected regions. Through its work the Network helps funders to advance policy reforms; share knowledge of effective strategies and tools; build the capacity of key constituencies; raise awareness about the interdisciplinary nature of these issues; and encourage sustained engagement with these issues by a diverse coalition of funders.

The Network’s current projects address:

1) communications,
2) community foundations leadership,
3) regional and neighborhood equity,
4) transportation,
5) green buildings and green neighborhoods, and
6) healthy people and places.

One California foundation is listed as a member of the Network:

San Diego Foundation
1420 Kettner Boulevard, Suite 500
San Diego, California 92101
Phone Number (619) 235-2300
Fax Number (619) 239-1710
Email Address eyoung@sdfoundation.org
Website http://www.sdfoundation.org

On the occasion of its 25th Anniversary the San Diego Foundation commissioned a study entitled, The San Diego Millennium Report. The study is an independent assessment of challenges facing the region at the turn of the millennium. In preparing the Millennium Project, the team drew from their knowledge of regional development issues nationwide and interviews with a variety of community leaders and citizen groups on both sides of the US-Mexico border. Findings from the study first appeared in San Diego Magazine as a series of in-depth articles in the fall of 1999 in order to heighten public awareness about planning for the area's projected growth. The Millennium Project is part of a broader effort by the Foundation to create a dialogue on these issues.

The foundation currently has working groups for Environment, Science & Technology, Health & Human Services, Civil Society, and Capacity Building. Employment & Economic Development and Arts & Culture Working Groups will be added over time. The foundation announced in the Spring of 2001 that eleven Environment grants would be awarded for the coming year, totaling $289,015.

In the San Diego region, a county-wide habitat conservation planning program that is currently being undertaken by state and local government agencies to guide appropriate economic development and environmental protection efforts is providing enhanced leadership opportunities for the San Diego Foundation. The Foundation intends to take on the role as a neutral convener of key environmental stakeholders - non-profits, businesses, researchers, and community leaders - to collectively identify environmental needs and opportunities in the region.

Profile on the Funders' Network

Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
1500 San Remo Avenue, Suite 249
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
Telephone: (305) 667-6350
Facsimile: (305) 667-6355
www.fundersnetwork.org



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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