Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Wednesday that Honolulu is one of eight cities selected to participate in the RE.invest Initiative, a national effort to support sustainable infrastructure such as urban stormwater systems.
"Honolulu is investing in important infrastructure upgrades to make our island home more sustainable and improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors," Mayor Caldwell said. "We’re committed to improving our mass transit and energy options, roads, sewers and water pipes in ways that help protect the environment and prepare for the future. We’re pleased to be selected to participate in the RE.invest Initiative and look forward to their assistance and support in working towards our mutual goals."
The selection makes Honolulu eligible for technical assistance from engineers, attorneys and financing experts to help design a green infrastructure program that can be financed by a combination of public and private resources. Honolulu will work with RE.invest to identify specific projects that could be supported.
A small team from RE.invest is expected to come to Honolulu within the next few months to meet with officials, conduct site visits, and map out next steps. RE.invest partners will identify news ways to bundle revenue streams so cities can effectively work with private investors and the private sector to make smart improvements to their local infrastructure.
The two-year initiative, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, will help cities like Honolulu rethink the way they design, plan, implement and finance urban infrastructure. By helping cities use public resources more efficiently and attract new sources of private investment, RE.invest will reduce the burden placed on city personnel and public budgets.
"Hurricane Sandy was a tragic reminder of how vulnerable our city infrastructure systems can be. That is why it is critical that cities have the tools and strategies not just to respond to disaster but to plan for whatever contingency," said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation. "The Rockefeller Foundation has been committed to building the resilience of cities for the last few years, including our recent announcement of the 100 resilient cities centennial challenge. We are proud to continue that work by supporting RE.invest to help eight cities take the next step toward implementing improved stormwater infrastructure systems, but more importantly to help the cities take the next step in building a more resilient future."
In addition to Honolulu, RE.invest Initiative partner cities announced today are: San Francisco, CA; Miami Beach, FL; New Orleans, LA; Hoboken, NJ; El Paso, TX; Milwaukee, WI; and Norfolk, VA.
For more information, please visit: http://www.reinvestinitiative.org/