This just went up on Alternet:

How Smaller Cities are Taking the Lead in Sustainability Innovation
Big cities get all the attention – but smaller, more agile towns are turning out to be innovators in their own right.


Solar panels at FortZED, the country’s first net-zero energy district. Photo courtesy City of Fort Collins, CO.

This article is based on the recently released Powering the New Energy Future from the Ground Up report that chronicles how cities across the U.S. with populations under 250,000 are establishing themselves as leaders in pioneering clean energy solutions and addressing greenhouse gas emissions. From innovative financing and ambitious requirements for new construction to creative community outreach and partnerships with existing institutions, the report offers the first comprehensive look at the diverse and creative ways America’s smaller cities are reducing fossil fuel dependency while also creating jobs.

A few weeks ago I got to join a tele-briefing on city-led clean-energy and efficiency innovations that included the authors of the report and representatives from 4 of the cities featured in it. Considering that I too tend to write mostly about big cities’ efforts in becoming more sustainable it was very heartening to hear how much amazing work is being done in these smaller communities around the country. And yes, how critical the federal stimulus money has been in driving some of these groundbreaking projects. Check it out!