The Urban Greening Program will fund projects that reduce greenhouse gases by sequestering carbon, decreasing energy consumption and reducing vehicle miles traveled, while also transforming the built environment into places that are more sustainable, enjoyable, and effective in creating healthy and vibrant communities. These projects will establish and enhance parks and open space, using natural solutions to improving air and water quality and reducing energy consumption, and creating more walkable and bike-able trails.
All projects are required to show a net GHG benefit and provide multiple other benefits. In order to quantify GHG emission reductions, projects must include at least one of the following project activities:
1. Sequester and store carbon by planting trees
2. Reduce building energy use by strategically planting trees to shade buildings
3. Reduce commute vehicle miles traveled by constructing bicycle paths, bicycle lanes or pedestrian facilities that provide safe routes for travel between residences, workplaces, commercial centers, and schools.
Projects – In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, SB 859 requires all projects to achieve measurable benefits. Per statute, all projects must do at least one of the following-
1. Acquire, create, enhance, or expand community parks and green spaces, and/or
2. Use natural systems or systems that mimic natural systems to achieve multiple benefits.
Eligible urban greening projects will reduce GHG emissions and provide multiple additional benefits, including, but not limited to, a decrease in air and water pollution or a reduction in the consumption of natural resources and energy. Eligible projects will result in the conversion of an existing built environment into green space that uses natural and green infrastructure approaches to create sustainable and vibrant communities. A competitive project will maximize opportunities to reduce GHG emissions through project design and implementation, and will incorporate green infrastructure solutions that improve the sustainability and function of existing urban hardscapes and landscapes.