What originally began as GreenHOME whose mission was to make affordable housing and its neighborhoods green has evolved into Greenspace NCR with the mission of working with partners to grow the region’s green places economy and communities. Greenspace is developing a new 12000 square foot green learning and resource center to be housed at the Nationals ballpark in Southeast Washington DC.
Greenspace works closely with its network of over 70 partners from the business nonprofit and government sectors to deliver programs that build the skills knowledge and capacity of professionals policymakers and the public. We think about success as the degree to which environmental resilience is embedded in the region’s development practices the crafting and implementation of policy and the growing strength of our economy.
Green communities won’t build themselves. And they won’t arise through the policies and practices of business as usual. Making good green choices requires focus and education. This is why we are creating Greenspace as a place that professionals and the public can come to addresses our community’s systemic challenges and seize a host of unrealized opportunities including: growing our regional economy investing in healthy and sustainable environments and seeing our communities as not just a collection of buildings but as places with histories and a future.
Greenspace NCR Executive Director Patty Rose and MWCOG Executive Director Dave Robertson at the Greenspace Launch
We have surveyed and interviewed development professionals the business community and policymakers and they have told us they want and they need a place to come to learn what it means to be “green.” They want to know how to untangle the rules of what is required and to understand what it takes to produce high performance projects that deliver environmental and economic benefits.
One of our principal goals is to grow both the professional capacity of the region’s development professionals and increase capacity in the pipeline for projects that will revitalize our built environment renew our infrastructure create strong demand for goods and services that deliver high performance and generate jobs ranging from solid entry level positions in construction and skilled service professions to highly skilled technical positions. With these opportunities we will rebuild career ladders for our workforce. These investments in new opportunities will also improve public health economic competitiveness and quality of life for workers and businesses in the National Capital Region.
Greenspace bridges the gap between what we want to build and what we need to know to do so. Replacing our antiquated energy infrastructure around platforms of sustainability efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions represents a remarkable economic engine for innovation and productivity growth in coming decades. Rebuilding the infrastructure of our schools our water systems and parks creates still larger opportunities for new investment and ones that must be viewed as an opportunity to grow our regional economy through workforce and economic development linkages.
Greenspace’s programs are designed to help the region’s many jurisdictions as they create policies and programs designed to improve environmental quality through green building laws and codes energy conservation requirements river restoration and wastewater management residential solar energy green roofs lead abatement open space and better multimodal transit and making good on commitments to reduce carbon emissions to fight climate change.
The Greenspace Launch held on June 28 is just the beginning of the journey and we invite businesses governments and nonprofits to partner with us and support Greenspace. We do not yet have all the answers on what these new communities and marketplaces will look like or which businesses organizations and individuals will best be able to meet this growing demand but we know the opportunity is here to re-engage workers to build the region’s businesses and to ensure that metro Washington benefits from high performance development and a growing green economy.
Greenspace NCR a new central hub for green development in the National Capital Region launched on June 28. Executive Director Patty Rose explains the organization’s goals for Region Forward followers.