Atlanta, GA – March 9, 2017 – Southface has long understood the value of partnership in creating sustainable homes, workplaces and communities. With a call for “Raising Consciousness, Tipping the Balance,” the Southface Fulcrum Awards program was designed to recognize people, programs, buildings, movements, organizations and more that all demonstrate excellence in pursing Southface’s vision: a regenerative economy, responsible resources use and social equity through a healthy built environment for all. The second annual awards were presented yesterday at Southface’s 19th annual Greenprints Conference.
Southface solicited a diverse panel of jurors who are leaders in equity, environmental policy, community planning and architecture. Each juror has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Southface mission in addition to having an exceptional understanding of holistic perspectives on sustainability. This year’s jurors were: Rob Bennett, CEO, EcoDistricts; Doug Hooker, Executive Director, Atlanta Regional Commission; Ryan Gravel, Principal, Sixpitch; Dwayne Patterson, Director of Regional Organizing and Engagement, Partnership for Southern Equity; Makara Rumley, Principal, Hummingbird; Shane Totten, Director, Commercial Sustainability Services, Southface; and Elizabeth Ward, Design Associate, Kronberg Wall Architects – a 2016 Fulcrum Award recipient. Of the ten applicants received, three projects emerged as exemplary.
Project Tap In:
Project Tap In is a citizen-science project that encourages better decision making about water at the consumer and service provider levels. With the help of organizations in Atlanta, the initial work was completed by a group of 15, tenth grade students under the supervision of Ashley Rutland and James Watson with The New School Atlanta and project advisor Susan Davis. The project engages the community in an important conversation about water using educational materials and resources. The students are developing multimedia campaigns to encourage students in Atlanta to regularly test water quality in their homes and submit results to a central database.
In recognition of this being a citizen-science project, rather than simply a student-science project, and because it engages the wider community in this important conversation, Project Tap In inspired the jury to create a new category—Next Generation.
Proctor Creek North Avenue Watershed Basin: A Green Infrastructure Vision:
Park Pride’s PNA Study, Proctor Creek North Avenue Watershed Basin: A Green Infrastructure Vision, proposes greenspace improvements designed to provide capacity relief for the combined sewer system as well as a series of connected greenspaces in the English Avenue, Vine City and Atlanta University Center neighborhoods. These neighborhoods have the lowest occupancy rates and the fewest acres of planned greenspace in the city. Frequent combined sewer overflows in the area are partially responsible for the current unhealthy economic and environmental situation. The PNA Study involved community engagement with many partners and aligns with Southface’s vision as it provides a roadmap to “an equitable, resilient and vibrant future.”
Knoxville Extreme Energy Makeover:
Through extensive stakeholder collaboration and community input, the city of Knoxville’s Smarter Cities Partnership designed KEEM: The Knoxville Extreme Energy Makeover Program. The program lessens the burden on low-income communities by reducing overall energy use. In the past, energy assistance programs in Knoxville have largely focused on the short-term fix of bill payment assistance, but KEEM has introduced no-cost, whole-home, direct-install energy efficiency retrofits to nearly 900 families in just 18 months since its inception. The jury was particularly impressed with the partnerships the project is built upon.