The goal of Accelerate 77 is to accelerate green initiatives at the local level. By engaging community-based leaders from each of Chicago's 77 community areas to share and apply their green efforts on a larger scale, the project will build and expand a tight network of collaborative leaders who will leave an invaluable impact on every community involved.
Phase III will encourage and accelerate local efforts while catalyzing follow-up work in all of the city's communities during the next two years through networking, planning training workshops, local share fairs, and new collaboration efforts between neighborhood groups to build a common vision. The anticipated result will be multiple local initiatives that will significantly accelerate their contribution to the success of the Chicago Climate Action Plan by 2020. Progress, learning and activities will be tracked, shared and managed by the website co-created by university and corporate partners.
Representatives from the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the Retrofit Chicago Commercial Buildings Initiative, the Edgewater Sustainability Project and Chicago State University, among others, discussed implementation of methods of facilitating change. The methods examined were the Community-Led Sustainability Roadmaps, creating a Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network, developing a Sustainability Resources Database, using the "Greenrise Uptown Learning Laboratory” at 4750 N. Sheridan Rd. in Chicago as a model and facilitating the intergenerational learning and engagement in addressing local challenges. The database will be available online.
During the next three months, Accelerate 77 staff and volunteers will have community gatherings in each of the three major geographical areas of the city: north, south and west. The south side event is Saturday, January 26, 2013; the north side meeting is Thursday, February 21, 2013; and the west side gathering is Thursday, March 14, 2013. Locations and times will be announced closer to the dates.