New York—Today, The Rockefeller Foundation announced its support for a new public-private program that will help cities across the country finance and build resilient and integrated urban storm water infrastructure systems in order to prevent damage during future severe weather events like Superstorm Sandy. The Rockefeller Foundation will provide up to $3 million in seed money for the RE.invest Initiative, which will align philanthropic and public resources to leverage private financing for sustainable urban storm and waste water systems in cities across the United States.
The project, which will be supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, is a collaboration with c.dots development. Through a national application process, RE.invest will select up to eight US cities and provide seed funding and technical support from leading engineering, law, and finance firms to create new Community Investment Vehicles (CIVics) designed to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment in local infrastructure. RE.invest will serve as a template for catalyzing innovative finance for cities across the country.
“Using innovative sustainable infrastructure such as replacing concrete with porous pavement, restoring creeks and wetlands, and increasing tree cover can help cities manage storm water often at a fraction of the cost of upgrading traditional concrete infrastructure. These projects can also save significant taxpayer money, beautify communities, and make them more attractive to businesses and investor and more resilient to extreme weather,” said Nancy Sutley, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. “As we focus on ensuring the Federal Government makes it easier for cities to build and invest in sustainable infrastructure, the RE.invest Initiative is a great example of how private organizations can forge creative partnerships that leverage private investment to support clean and healthy cities, and save taxpayer dollars.”
“EPA and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have developed a flexible integrated planning strategy for urban clean water infrastructure. Innovative financing will be critical to accelerating implementation and the RE.invest Initiative will broaden those opportunities,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe.
“To make these critical infrastructure projects a reality across the country, we need to explore every option, such as infrastructure banks and public-private partnerships like RE.invest,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. “Mayors are painfully aware of the funding limitations for critical infrastructure needs. RE.invest is going to be a welcome opportunity in cities across America.”
“RE.invest will empower local communities to design and construct more resilient storm water systems and use innovative financing approaches to do so,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to announce a commitment of up to $3 million for the first two years of this project. Philanthropic, private and public dollars must work together to help cities better respond to events like Superstorm Sandy, invest in technology for the future, improve city services and create jobs in communities that are in need of an economic boost.”
There are four primary objectives of the RE.invest Initiative. First, lessen the financial burden on governments by providing cities with direct technical and financial support. Second, mobilize large-scale, long-term private investment through Community Investment Vehicles to protect communities. Third, improve the resilience of vulnerable cities with strained infrastructure systems, and finally, build integrated planning capacity at the municipal level.
Interested cities should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the application process and to submit an expression of interest.
Laura Gordon, The Rockefeller Foundation, 212-852-8216, email@example.com