Note: Sustainable Hudson Valley is a BEAHIVE member. Its new Resource Center is located in the 2nd floor studios of the Beacon hive.
To advance urban sustainability in the Hudson Valley region, Sustainable Hudson Valley is creating a new hub for fresh conversations and learning through its new Resource Center for Sustainable Communities. An Urban Forum series will take place on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:00 PM at BEAHIVE, 291 Main St. in Beacon. Presented in collaboration with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the forum will provide an informal place to explore new connections between environmental and economic renewal.
The series is hosted by SHV’s board member Victor-Pierre Melendez, M.Sc., a graduate of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and Director of Clearwater’s Green Cities Initiative. Melendez and invited guest speakers will spark action-oriented conversations about the challenges of Hudson Riverfront cities, including jobs and the health of the river. How these principles interact in the emerging economic arena of sustainable water management will be the Urban Forum’s spring focus.
According to Melendez, “The life of any city is found in its self-organizing culture and conversations. Our population is highly educated, but we have too few opportunities for truly interactive dialogues on topics that matter, from environmental justice to civic engagement in local government. If ‘blue is the new green,’ then water innovation is an economic opportunity at least equal to energy as an arena for appropriate technology and policy development. From green infrastructure materials to smart irrigation technologies to water transportation to aquaculture, the water-related economy of the Hudson Valley is an under-explored arena full of promise.”
Drawing on SHV’s research and Clearwater’s collaborative design work with several riverfront cities, the forum will emphasize the importance of utilizing green infrastructure to revitalize the Hudson River’s Historic neighborhoods. These beautiful and cost-effective design strategies can enhance many of the planning, design, and demonstration projects already in the works including watershed planning, comprehensive planning, flooding mitigation, and smart growth strategies.
The spring Urban Forum series will map out these opportunities in 3 phases:
- April 11, Resilient Cities and Waterways: Understanding Green Infrastructure as Economic and Environmental Strategy
- May 9, The Blue Economy by Land: Economic Development Opportunities in Urban Water Restoration
- June 13, The Blue Economy of the Hudson River: Economic Development Opportunities in the New Maritime Economy
About Sustainable Hudson Valley
Sustainable Hudson Valley’s mission is to speed up the shift to a low-carbon economy with high quality of life for all, by bringing people together with knowledge and each other. Since 2004, the organization has been introducing new approaches to climate action and green development through summits, training programs, retreats, consultation to governments and regional agencies, and grassroots initiatives such as the 10% Challenge. The guiding principle behind SHV’s work is that resources may be scarce, but people power is not. To scale up its impact, Sustainable Hudson Valley has partnered with a national network of nonprofits that have helped thousands of communities to become more livable, walkable and vibrant, Livability Solutions. With these partners SHV has opened the Resource Center for Sustainable Communities in Beacon, New York as a replicable model of a self-help hub that any community can create.
For over 40 years, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has been at the forefront of the environmental movement as champion of the Hudson River, working to pass landmark legislation like the Clean Water Act, providing innovative educational programs, environmental advocacy, and musical celebrations, including the renowned annual Clearwater Festival, to inspire, educate, and activate millions of people. Founded by music legend and environmental activist Pete Seeger, the organization began with the launch of the sloop Clearwater in 1969 —a majestic replica of the sloops that sailed the Hudson in the 18th and 19th centuries. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 106-foot-long sloop is among the first vessels in the U.S. to conduct science-based environmental education aboard a sailing ship, creating the template for environmental education programs around the world. More than half a million young people and hundreds of thousands of adults have experienced their first real look at an estuary’s ecosystem aboard Clearwater. The organization’s strong connection to youth, environmental education, and its agenda to create the next generation of environmental leaders, are all part of building and strengthening a Green Cities Initiative for a green economy and a more inclusive and diverse environmental movement. Utilizing the greatest natural resource in the region, the Hudson River, Clearwater has become the grassroots model for producing positive changes to protect our planet.
Melissa Everett, Executive Director, Sustainable Hudson Valley — 845-384-1189, firstname.lastname@example.org
Victor-Pierre Melendez, Clearwater Green Cities Initiative Director — 845-265-8080 ext. 7144, Victor@clearwater.org