May 26, 2021
Early this Spring, ASU’s Sustainable Cities Network (SCN) Steering Committee appointed new city leadership to help guide the collaborative community network into the next year. Serving as the new chair and co-chairs are Braden Kay, Sustainability Director at the City of Tempe (Chair), and Fatima Luna, Environmental and Sustainability Advisor at the City of Tucson and Tim Conner, Manager of Environmental Initiatives at the City of Scottsdale (co-chairs).
Over the past decade, Bonnie Richardson has served an extensive term as SCN chair. Through her leadership, Bonnie is responsible for helping SCN grow to encompass communities statewide, as well as adapt to the many sustainability-related changes and issues facing cities and towns on a daily basis. Bonnie says that SCN has been “the touchstone for so many of the advances in sustainable planning and building in our cities over the last decade.”
“As chair since the inception, I’ve witnessed the amazing accomplishments and wide support for new ideas that were the result of this collaboration. I’m grateful to have worked with Anne Reichmann and Arizona State University, as well as the many representatives of municipal governments, county, state and federal agencies, and others who have grown this innovative community. I’m looking forward to an even greener future!” says Bonnie Richardson.
Since 2009, SCN has served as an active education and outreach program of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory. The role of the Steering Committee and its chairs and co-chairs is to guide conversation and ongoing priorities for the Steering Committee and the Network overall.
“The Sustainable Cities Network provides a valuable service in ensuring Arizona cities are investing in policies and programs that reduce carbon emissions and make our cities more livable and resilient. With Tucson, Tempe and Scottsdale taking on leadership roles, I am excited that SCN will strive to meet the needs of cities and counties across the state,” said Braden Kay, chair.
As a voluntary program, one goal of SCN is to have cities take leadership and a voice so they can drive local initiatives based on their respective and collective needs and interests. The Network wants communities of all sizes to be excited about collaborative activities and discussions on sustainability-related topics such as energy, climate action and reducing their carbon footprint.
As one of the newest participants to the Steering Committee, Fatima Luna of Tucson said she is looking forward to bringing her background in climate justice to her work as co-chair. “I am so excited to work as co-chair and continue to collaborate on furthering sustainability and resiliency in Arizona. I hope to amplify the voices of vulnerable populations that have not historically been represented in conversations about climate action.”
In reflecting on the long-term goals of a collective of communities to integrate sustainability into planning and daily operations, Scottsdale’s Tim Conner, incoming co-chair says, “Patience and perseverance wins the race to our desire for a better world. One better than the one we acquired.”
The chair and co-chair terms are approximately 18 months. The Steering Committee is currently undertaking a strategic planning process to update SCN’s vision, mission and goals, which will shape what actions the Network will focus on over the next several years. SCN looks forward to the energy, ideas, and leadership that the new chair and co-chairs will bring to the Steering Committee and Network in the near future!
The ASU Sustainable Cities Network (SCN) is an innovative education and outreach program within the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Future Laboratory, created to work with communities to strengthen sustainability in the region and across Arizona. Comprised of Arizona city, town, county and tribal community practitioners and leaders, SCN is a vehicle for sharing knowledge, identifying best practices, coordinating planning and actions, and fostering long-term partnerships. Created as a bridge between ASU research and local sustainability challenges, SCN participants and partners work together to streamline and green city operation and advance local and regional sustainability and resilience measures.