Julia’s work is focused on urban sustainability. Her current mix of projects demonstrate the diversity and variety in the field.
Urban Sustainability Directors’ Network
Julia is the Coordinator for the Urban Sustainability Director’s Network (USDN). USDN is a network of 100 directors of sustainability efforts from leading large and small municipalities in the USA and Canada. The first meeting of the USDN in September 2009 had representatives from 65 cities of all sizes, from New York, Chicago and Toronto to Burlington, Cleveland and Halifax. Julia engages members, facilitates exchange among them, and helps them to craft collaborative tools and projects to solve common problems.
Julia was an advisor to the City of Chicago during the entirety of the development of the Chicago Climate Action Plan. She coordinated the two-year process, facilitated task forces and committees, developed the research plan, oversaw research and final report development, led funding efforts, and provided solutions for challenges that arose. She also authored the “Chicago Lessons Learned Climate Action” (PDF) report on the project, a document that summarizes the process, as well as the “Chicago Quick Guide to Climate Change Preparation.” (PDF)
Julia is Chair of the Board at I-GO. I-GO is a non-profit car sharing network in the city of Chicago. In addition to the operation of the car-sharing service, I-GO promotes an integrated urban transportation strategy, including walking, mass transit and other options to car driving.
Julia is a past Chair of the Board and current board member of Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). CNT is a creative think-and-do tank that combines rigorous research with effective solutions. CNT works across disciplines and issues, including transportation and community development, energy, natural resources, and climate change.
Julia is a member of this network of impactful innovators that collaborate across individual disciplines in urban sustainability to provide comprehensive and integrated solutions for cities, states and other municipalities undertaking large-scale projects around energy, climate change and ecomomic development.
In its 10th year, Faith in Place decided to step back and undertake an assessment of the value to faith community partners of involvement with Faith in Place between 2004 and the present. Julia helped Faith in Place and its board to find out the extent to which faith communities are taking stewardship action; the impact these actions are having on worship, identity, and satisfaction; and the roles Faith in Place has played in achieving these outcomes.
Global Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Chicago and the Great Lakes
As part of developing the Chicago Climate Action Plan, Julia managed a research process for the City of Chicago on projected global climate change impacts and adaptation strategies. This work is captured in two journal articles in a special issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research 36 (2010). One article is titled Introduction: Assessing the Effects of Climate Change on Chicago and the Great Lakes. The other is titled Preparing for a Changing Climate: The Chicago climate Action Plan’s Adaptation Strategy.
Guide to Completing an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy
Julia co-authored with Center for the Neighborhood Technology and the City of Chicago a guide (link opens PDF report) that will help cities and counties to develop a long-term and sustainable energy efficiency and conservation plan and maximize the opportunity for cost savings, environmental benefits, financial leverage and economic development. CNT uses this guide in its work with cities on EECBG grant implementation. The guide builds on the lessons learned in creating the Chicago Climate Action Plan.
Regional Economic Prosperity Initiative Scan
Many local leaders believe that the Chicago region needs to take additional steps to organize its resources to promote regional economic competitiveness and position the region for innovation and success in the recovering global economy. What can the business, civic, and government sectors do to create a virtuous cycle of economic prosperity for the Chicago Metropolitan Region? Julia is conducting interviews and a literature search for the Global Philanthropy Project to document the capacity and goals of current initiatives, gaps, and options for additional steps.
Healthy Schools Campaign Feasibility Study
A priority for the Healthy Schools Campaign is to promote the construction of healthy and high performing schools. HSC hired Julia to explore the feasibility of creating marketplace incentives and intermediaries for schools to build or renovate facilities that promote health and are energy efficient and environmentally responsible. Julia identified a variety of partners with whom HSC could work. In a separate project, Julia also documented the lessons learned from the Chicago Partnership for Healthy Schools: Creating School Environments That Promote Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles for three years.