Featured Stories

Tuesday April 30, 2019 Sustainability Lab @ Cortex



3:30 Check-In

3:30 - 6:00 Interactive session on Climate Change with Washington University Students (gallery showing)

The interactive gallery showing will include student work focused on mitigation and adptation strategies. Students will be sharing their research and proposals to curb greenhouse gas emissions to 45% of 2010 levels by 2030. Proposals investigate a variety of topics including transportation, coastal development, and urban forests.

Presented by: Social Ecological Systems for Spatial Design, Washington University Students

4:00 - 4:45 Prospects for Citizen Watershed Modeling and Green Infrastructure Siting in the St. Louis Region

Watershed planning is a critical element of the OneSTL Water and Green Infrastructure Working Group's goals and unlocks EPA and other funding streams. Students from Washington University have explored the feasibility of a simple tool that allows communities to estimate pollutant loads and assess the effectiveness of green infrastructure, a key element of the planning process, and piloted it on a watershed in North County. The session will discuss the process of watershed modeling, how it fits within the EPA-mandated watershed planning process, and the feasibility of using a STEPL model to further advance green infrastructure efforts in the St. Louis region.

Presented by: Seth Blum, Zachary Leonard, Yi Liu, and Sydney Welter, Washington University Students

5:00 - 5:45 Climate Change in the Midwest - Challenges and Responses

Setting the stage for the climate change dialog session, the presentation provides an overview of the impacts of climate change, both in the Midwest and at a global scale. Focused on responses to climate change and its effects on ecosystems, human health, transportation, infrastructure, agriculture, and biodiversity, as identified in the Fourth National Climate Assessment. Highlights good work accomplished in the Midwest such as integrating climate adaptation into planning processes to better manage climate risks.

Presented by: John Posey, Director of Research Services for the East-West Gateway Council of Govenments                      

6:00 - 7:00 Talanoa Dialogue on Climate Change

Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialog. The purpose is to share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good by sharing of ideas, skills, and experience through storytelling.

The Talanoa Dialogue was launched at the 2017 UN COP23 to help communities implement the Paris Agreement by asking these questions:

Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?

Join the conversation so we may all learn faster together to increase action on climate change.

Moderated by: Andrea Godshalk, doctoral candidate in Sustainable Urbanism at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University


Plastic Bag Awareness Day - April 13, 2019


Drawdown EcoChallenge - Rise to the Challenge!

Climate change is an imminent and significant threat to our society and future generations. That knowledge can feel overwhelming and cause us to despair. But there is good news! Did you know we have the knowledge and technology needed to address this urgent challenge - to reverse global warming within the next 30 years? Thanks to Project Drawdown, we do!

Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. That’s why and Project Drawdown have partnered to offer the 2nd Annual Drawdown EcoChallenge this April. Drawdown EcoChallenge is a free, fun, and social way to take measurable actions to reduce global warming.

Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter team this spring and be inspired by thousands of others who are making a difference locally, regionally and globally. Gain momentum and inspiration using tools and programs to drive positive change in your personal life, your professional life, and in your community. The challenge takes place from April 3–24, and registration is open now.

Take the challenge, stretch your limits, and see how 21 days of action can propel us to a better shared future. Join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter team here.

City of St. Louis 100% Clean Energy Plan

Last September, the Board of Aldermen of the City of St. Louis unanimously passed a resolution committing the city to sourcing 100% clean energy by 2035. St. Louis was the 47th city to join Ready for 100 and the largest city in the Midwest to do so. More than 100 cities across the country have committed to transition to 100% renewable energy. So far, six American cities, including Rock Port, Missouri, now source all of their electricity from clean, renewable resources.

After the resolution passed, the City formed the 100% Clean Energy Advisory Board, made up of representatives from the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington University in St. Louis, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, activists, and leaders from the business and faith communities. The board’s goal is to find the best possible paths forward to help the City of St. Louis reach their goal.

Board members have been working with officials from other cities with similar energy goals, including Atlanta. The board is also engaging with local stakeholders, such as Ameren, the BOA’s Financial Analyst, Schneider Electric, and Anheuser-Busch.

The final plan must achieve five main goals:

  • Cost effective - The plan will meet the electricity needs of consumers.
  • Health - The plan will improve local health outcomes.
  • Equity - The plan will ensure equitable access across communities, including low-income communities, communities of color, and other traditionally marginalized groups.
  • Jobs - The plan will create additional employment opportunities for residents.
  • Emissions reduction - The plan will lower carbon emissions.

The Advisory Board  knew they would need robust participation and engagement from residents for the plan to succeed and formed a Community Engagement Subcommittee. The subcommittee created a survey to allow residents to help guide the process.

Take the survey and make your voice heard!

The 100% Clean Energy Community Engagement Subcommittee plans to hold several presentations across the city to educate residents and ensure broad public participation. After the engagement process is complete, a Technical Committee will make recommendations to the full Advisory Board, which will then make final recommendations to the Board of Alderman.   

Learn more about the City of St. Louis’s commitment to 100% Clean Energy and leave  comments here.

Not in the City? Ask your mayor to sign on to a 100% Clean Energy Commitment.

Tuesday March 26, 2019 Sustainability Lab @ T-Rex Agenda



BiomeSTL: A Regional Vision, Atlas, and Action Plan

Biodiverse communities = strong, sustainable communities

Today, metropolitan regions are driving changes to our living lands and waters.

As part of the OneSTL Regional Sustainability Plan, the multi-sector Biodiversity Working Group—a subcommittee of BiodiverseCity St. Louis—has developed a single target: By 2025, 100% of counties in the metropolitan St. Louis region are using a regional biodiversity vision and atlas to actively guide their planning, policies, and practices in ways that increase habitat connectivity, ecological functionality, and quality of life for all.

An evolving project of the BiodiverseCity St. Louis network of organizations and individuals, BiomeSTL: Biodiversity of Metropolitan St. Louis is shaping up to serve as the catalytic vision, practical atlas, and detailed strategy for a bi-state region connected by nature. Part ecological data directory, species inventory, best practices guide, and aspirational plan, BiomeSTL is a citizen science and stewardship project at its core. It is designed not only to help urban planners, municipalities, counties, and developers maximize the benefits of biodiversity for their respective communities but also to equip citizens with a greater understanding and appreciation of local biodiversity. This knowledge strengthens place-based connections, advances a culture of community-driven land stewardship, and promotes healthy, active, and nature-rich living.

Biodiversity makes possible every aspect of our lives. The living world all around us—including our lands and waters—is directly responsible for  the clean air and water, soil, and food we depend on. Healthier and more connected ecological systems support  diversity of life, which results in  greater functionality, resilience, and sustainability.

Biodiverse communities are strong, sustainable communities. To encourage increased biodiversity, BiomeSTL aims  to put healthy, vibrant lands and waters at the center of how we connect with, design, plan, and sustain the places we live, work, and play.

BiomeSTL is currently recruiting multi-disciplinary teams to help develop and advance core elements of this important initiative. To learn more and get involved, send an email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tuesday February 26, 2019 Sustainability Lab @ T-Rex Agenda