Environmental Justice Symposium: Building a More Just & Sustainable World

This has been a year of crisis, but also one of hope. A global pandemic, widespread economic disruption, and a long-overdue reckoning with the enduring legacy of racism in the United States are all taking place against the backdrop of an ongoing climate crisis. At the same time, unprecedented numbers of people are rising to the challenge, organizing themselves to call for investments in education, public health, and affordable housing, and launching grassroots initiatives to strengthen their communities and build a more sustainable world.

In light of all this, GBBN invites you to begin 2021 with a discussion of the question: “How do we build the more just, more sustainable world to which we aspire?”

On Wednesday, January 13th (1-4:00 pm EST) and Thursday, January 14th  (1-5:30 pm EST), GBBN’s Design Issues Series will host a series of panel discussions, convening grassroots leaders from community organizations, city sustainability officials, and mission-driven developers from Cincinnati, Louisville, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh to discuss how we can work together to build an environment that nourishes everyone.

Please register for each panel below.


(all times are in EST)

January 13th

Sustainable Development: City Policy
1:00p – 2:15p
This panel will discuss steps that cities are taking to ensure development that is not only sustainable but also equitable; the challenges they face; and the opportunities that exist for people and organizations to shape their city’s development to ensure that the built environment supports everyone. Register here.

Sustainable Development:  Developers’ Perspectives
2:30p – 3:45p
This panel will discuss how developers can work with cities and community groups to ensure that their projects bring value to their communities; strategies for supporting sustainable development; and how to foster development without displacement. Register here.
Panel 2

January 14th

Healthy Neighborhoods: Water, Air, Greenspace
1:00p –
Within some of our cities, neighboring zip codes see life expectancies that vary by 25 years. This panel will explore inequities in environmental conditions such as water, air, and greenspace within our cities; how they shape people’s lives; and the initiatives that communities are pursuing to address these inequities. Register here.

Panel 3

Healthy Neighborhoods: Affordable Housing, Food Access, Transportation
2:30p – 3:45p
With affordable housing shortages of tens of thousands of units in the cities we call home, the task of ensuring people have a roof over their heads is monumental. But it’s also important to ensure that their housing is safe and comfortable, and located in a manner that provides access to essential services like transportation and healthy food. This panel will discuss ongoing challenges to creating neighborhoods that secure housing while supporting the health and wellbeing of the full person. Register here.

Panel 4

Mayoral Panel on the Marshall Plan for Middle America
4:00p – 5:30p
Mayors of eight Rust Belt cities have called for a Marshall Plan for Middle America – a large-scale investment in our infrastructure, governmental institutions, and workforce to lay the foundation for a green economy that will address systemic inequities, improve public health, and alleviate the burdens of climate change. We will discuss this plan with Mayor William Peduto of Pittsburgh and Mayor John Cranley of Cincinnati. Register here.