Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2012 - (Page 32)

GRHC UPDATE THE AMBASSADOR PROGRAM AMBASSADOR PROGRAM LAUNCHED AT CITIESALIVE IN PHILADELPHIA: ‘AMBASSADORS’ SOUGHT BY: OSCAR WARMERDAM, HAMID KARIMI AND PETER LOWITT t the 2011 CitiesAlive Conference in Philadelphia a group of 12 industry professionals met to discuss the new Ambassador Program. The first Ambassador meeting arose out of a suggestion from Hamid Karimi, Board Member and Chair of the Policy Committee of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. It is Dr. Karimi’s observation that local governments such as cities, municipalities, counties and states tend to have allocated funds set aside to satisfy various US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) driven mandates that focus on clean water and stormwater management. The USEPA interacts with many of these institutions and instructs them to comply with certain standards, or incur penalties on the institution’s part – creating legal or fiscal urgency to comply. The challenge for GRHC and its members is to ensure that these institutions/local governments are made aware that green roofs are a viable and proven stormwater retention and detention vehicle. It is a given that these public institutions have a multitude of options to choose from in meeting their stormwater challenges. One option involves hard infrastructure (pipes) with another option being soft/green infrastructure. The latter can be split between retention control systems such as cisterns, sand filters, tree cover, bioswales, permeable pavement and green roofs. We deliberately placed green roofs last on the list to make a point. Our organization and members need to lobby to get green roofs to the front of the list and become the first option selected, given the wide range of additional tax payer and building owner benefits they provide. To be clear, green roofs are not the only solution to solve stormwater problems. Rather, they should be part of a holistic solution that combines several approaches, such as is already being done by the City of Philadelphia. Philadelphia has made great strides over the past 5 years in formulating the Green City Clean Waters plan that relies on green infrastructure for the majority of its required combined sewer overflow reductions. Let us reflect on this. If Philadelphia had not done their homework, if there was no driver at City Hall that believed in a green roof solutions and if there was not a presence of strong green roof advocates in the region, then this would never have happened. One has to accept the reality that just because green roofs make sense to manage stormwater, doesn’t mean they are automatically included in the total list of solutions. A The decision-makers need to be identified, informed and assured years in advance to get a City like Philadelphia to build green roofs into their arsenal for combating stormwater challenges and revitalizing their city. Philadelphia looks to be a very prosperous market for green roofs. Other cities such as Chicago, Portland, Austin and Toronto have already travelled this route and we can also learn from their collective experiences and from each other. GRHC decided on an approach targeting local decision-makers. Some of our members are already approaching their own local cities, municipalities, and states in ways they find appropriate to advocate for green roof policies. The Board of Directors decided to build on this momentum and approved a pilot Ambassador Program in the fall of 2011. In order to become an Ambassador, the following requirements must be met: • Member of GRHC in good standing • Generous commercial experience in green roofs • GRP Accreditation completed and in good standing or commitment Some degree of experience with lobbying • Sign an agreement pertaining to the legal obligations/limitations the Ambassador has in relationship with GRHC We are now looking for a handful of highly motivated professionals who are interested in becoming Ambassadors. Ambassadors will receive free training and support from GRHC in order to help them move the policy agenda forward in their region. • Oscar Warmerdam, President of Sempergreen U.S.A and Chair of Green Roof for Healthy Cities Corporate Members Committee Hamid Karimi Policy Committee Chair with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities & Deputy Director of the Environment in Washington DC Peter Lowitt, FAICP, Director of Devens Enterprise Commission & Former Chair of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. FIND OUT MORE Contact Paul Erlichman, Membership Coordinator, at LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR / WINTER 2012 / 32

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2012

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2012
From the Founder
New Kid on the Green Roof
New Incentives for Green Roofs
On the Roof with Ben Flanner
Award Winning Green Roof and Wall Projects Represent!
Awards of Excellence Profiles
CitiesAlive 2012 – Building a Legacy of Outstanding Performance in Chicago!
Recognizing the Pioneer that was Malcolm Wells
Green roof and wall performance standards volunteers required!
Plant Profile: Thymus
Project Profile: Green Wall Maintenance Madness
GRP in Focus: Mary Ann Uhlmann
Project Profile: Healthy Haven for Community Members
A Positive Outlook for Urban Greening of Vacant Lots
A Green Space is a Clean Space
The Ambassador Program
Professional Calendar
New Corporate Members
GRHC Buyers Guide
Back to Planning’s Roots

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2012