SUSTAIN: Steering Urban Sustainability Through Action, Innovation & Networks
Building on sustainability work begun in 2010 with our arts and civic organization members*, FABnyc developed SUSTAIN: Steering Urban Sustainability Through Action, Innovation & Networks—a joint project of FABnyc and Cooper Union Institute for Sustainabile Design (CUISD)—to generate new and innovative solutions to the complexities of urban sustainability. This expansion of our work has been made possible through a generous award from the Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund.
Over a two-year period, this grant provides us with the ability to originate a variety of projects to harness and focus the talents of artists, architects, engineers, residents, small businesses, and activists—to develop and implement creative solutions to the challenges of urban sustainability for one city block—E. 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery.
Location & Approach:
New York City offers the ideal territory to creatively engage stakeholders from diverse backgrounds in sustainable interlinked patterns of living. Because sustainability issues are repeated block by block in NYC neighborhoods, we believe there is a real opportunity to also lead innovative solutions on a block-by-block basis.
A wide body of research supports the wisdom of this approach—the most successful sustainability initiatives rise from the “bottom up,” rather than imposed from above. There is also increasing interest from scientists to partner with
artists to creatively and emotionally engage people in active and prolonged behaviour change.
Stay tuned for SUSTAIN research, art projects, and lessons learned to effect behavior changetoward sustainability!
*Initially funded by Whole Foods and Con Edison
SUSTAIN: Recent & Upcoming Activities
Understanding Sustainability: One Block at a Time:
A Community Convening
The Cooper Union, 41 Cooper Sq.
2/23/13 from 11AM - 3PM
FABnyc and the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, hosted a convening that brought together artists, architects, activists, and members of the community in a forum for collective learning about urban sustainability, as part of our SUSTAIN project.
As part of The New Museum's IDEAS CITY StreetFest, FABnyc is presenting an exhibition where community members are invited to find creative ways to increase urban sustainability. This event is free and open to the public. Our SUSTAIN exhibit will include sustainable art-making and activities:
A sculpture made from repurposed fabric by artist Amanda Browder
An operational installation made from recycled electronics by Scrapyard Challenge
And interactive gaming with Temporary Culture
GRID OFF/LIGHTS ON
A project of Cooper Union to be presented as part of IDEAS CITY
5/4 from 8:30-10:30PM
East 4th St., between 2nd and Bowery
Led by Professor Lydia Kallipoliti, in collaboration with Martha Giannakopoulou and Katerina Kourkoula, a group of students from the Cooper Union will present an off-grid lighting installation at the East 4th Street Cultural District as part of FABnyc and CUISD's SUSTAIN project. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.
SUSTAIN: Load OUT!
Twice a year, LES organizations bring unwanted costumes, sets, props, office supplies, furniture and other useful items to a one-day resource exchange, Load OUT!, hosted by FABnyc. Artists comb through the resources and take what they need. Partners like the Lower East Side Ecology Center and GrowNYC repurpose and recycle unclaimed electronics, textiles, books and props. In 2012, FABnyc facilitated creative re-use for more than 90 artists and diverted over 8 tons of material from the waste stream. To date, nearly 46 tons have been diverted from landfill through Load OUT! events.
SUSTAIN: Model Block
In the fall of 2010, FABnyc began leading the effort to match existing energy reduction programs for arts and civic organizations in the Cultural District. Designated the "Model Block" for Manhattan Borough President Stringer's Go Green Lower East Side initiative in the spring of 2011, that effort expanded to include residents and small businesses, along with the arts groups, for existing energy, waste and water reductions programs.
Through this initiative, we facilitated energy assessments of 10 cultural institutions,17 work spaces, and 9 small businesses on the block. These free and low cost energy efficiency upgrades for 9 of the cultural organizations, have a projected yearly cost savings of $12,322 and annual energy savings of 82,148 kWh.
Working with Model Block partner, Solar 1 and Cooper Square Committee, we developed a pilot program for nine Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association (MHA) buildings to connect with Empower/NYSERDA & Weatherization programs, specifically targeted for low-income renters. To date, 9 buildings, with a total of 198 assessments have been performed. The upgrades include boilers, refrigerators, new compact florescent bulbs, door sweeps, showerheads, and CO & smoke alarms.
Trainings - Recyling & Energy:
We organized three interactive recycling and energy efficiency workshops with GrowNYC and BEAM-NY (renamed unwasteNY) for MHA staff, building captains and tenants. Through EcoBizNYC, nine of the small businesses on the block have received individual education and encouragement to increase recycling beyond NYC requirements.
FABnyc Brings White Roof Project to E. 4th Street: FABnyc teamed with White Roof Project to organize and manage the coating of 42,000 sq ft of roof on 21 low-income residential and one arts building, with reflective white paint, during the late summer of 2011 and 2012 This was accomplished in partnership with NYC Department of Buildings and NYC Cool Roofs, as well as the participation of approximately 130 volunteers. We would like to coat even more buildings on the block next summer. Check out White Roof Project's ongoing rooftops, and let us know if you’re interested in coating your roof or helping to make it happen (email@example.com). Learn more about White Roof Project below: