Sustainability Projects Make Economic Sense, Too.

Another great example of a major sustainability project that will improve lives, protect the environment and even makes economic sense…all at the same time. We need to do more of this kind of work here in the U.S. Learn more here:

The Missing Link in Our Climate Change Strategy – Building New Sustainable Cities

Recently, an investment firm backed by Bill Gates announced a new project to build a smart city outside Phoenix, AZ. While virtually all infrastructure and sustainability projects around the country are focused on existing cities, this new project sheds light on a critical missing link in our country’s strategy to address the impact of climate change: building new urban environments to prepare for the largest population migration in the history of the United States.

Sustainable City Project is a nonprofit whose mission is to build the first new, sustainable city in the United States from the ground up. While the trend in new development revolves primarily around making our cities “smarter” and more energy efficient, it is more imperative than ever that we view all new city infrastructure projects through the lens of climate change and environmental sustainability.

With these considerations in mind, the location in Arizona makes very little sense. The Phoenix area experiences 40 days per year with temperatures over 95 degrees. Multiple climate change reports, including “The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States,” from the Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer-led organization, Risky Business, posit that by the end of this century, the number of days over 95 degrees in Phoenix could triple.

With increased heat comes the further drying of water resources and a greater potential for more wildfires, both of which are already challenging the southwestern region of the country. Purposely attracting more people to a locale that – environmentally-speaking – will become increasingly inhospitable with dwindling resources seems shortsighted. It almost guarantees the need for follow-on investment just to maintain a level of support for those populations in the future.

In addition, the rise of sea levels continues to accelerate and surpass original estimations, posing an even greater danger than once thought. By 2100, these unsustainable levels will force millions of people in coastal communities to leave their homes. Land, infrastructure and fresh water resources will be lost forever and storms, storm surge, and flooding will worsen. So where will the people go?

Societal studies show that these coastal migrants will head, for the most part, to large cities in search of new housing and employment. The problem this presents is most of our large cities are already struggling to manage their current populations, infrastructure, and organic growth. As the economy has improved, housing costs have risen, jobs markets are increasingly competitive, and resident support services are stretched thin. Even with the success of current city planning efforts, the effect of the growing population migration on the entirety of the system will be too much for existing cities to handle.

These realities require the creation of new city infrastructure to complement the work being done to prepare existing cities within a cohesive vision and plan for a sustainable future.

While there certainly needs to be an investment in new technology and sustainable infrastructure to deal with climate-related concerns in Arizona, in the long term, it seems clear there are more preferable locations to build a new city.

Future migration away from dry deserts and flooded coastal communities is inevitable as our temperatures rise. Building new cities in more sustainable locations will go much further in preparing our country for the impact of climate change, while simultaneously achieving the goal of testing innovative, smart city technology and new urban design techniques.

At Sustainable City Project, we are actively collaborating with interested stakeholders, including scientists, researchers, and urban designers, to explore potential new locations and develop the criteria they must meet to qualify for the project.

While we applaud Mr. Gates’ forward-looking vision and encourage the continued investment in new cities, including those outside of Phoenix, we also invite him – along with Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Paulson, Mr. Steyer, and others – to join us in our mission to build the nation’s first sustainable new city.

David Crane is the Founder and Executive Director of Sustainable City Project (SCP). Together with a global network of experts, creative talent, and technology pioneers, SCP is addressing one of the most critical issues of our time: building new, sustainable cities that will prepare our country for the largest population migration in our history. Sustainable City Project is actively working to plan, design, and build the first sustainable city in the United States from the ground up, using worldwide collaborations and competitions.


LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK/NOVEMBER 20, 2017 – Sustainable City Project (SCP) has joined the Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge, a fundraising competition on CrowdRise, the largest crowdfunding platform for good. Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge is a friendly fundraising campaign for eligible US-based 501(c)3 charities. Selected organizations will compete for half of one million dollars in prize money.  SCP has joined the challenge on CrowdRise to raise money to support its mission.  SCP is preparing America for the impact of rising sea levels and increasing flooding resulting in the migration of millions of people from coastal communities.  We are bringing together the best people, the latest research and technology, and the most creative city planning and design talent from around the world to build the first, new sustainable city in the United States from the ground up – starting now!

Sea levels are rising faster and higher than previously thought.  Recently published reports by experts in the US government and the United Nations all increased the potential sea level rise in the United States from 3 feet to more than 7 feet by 2100 –and it keeps getting higher over time. Even at the 3-foot level, millions of Americans will be forced to leave their homes by 2100 due to flooding causing loss of land and infrastructure.


Donations will support the research, and ultimately the blueprint that will be used to build the first sustainable city in the United States.  In return for a donation in any amount, donor’s names will be prominently placed on our founder’s wall in the City Center.  Donors who really want to leave a lasting legacy and give more than $5,000 will have a street or building named after them (or in anyone’s name they choose).

“We read about the impact of sea level rise almost every day.  For most of us, it feels like an issue that does not affect us personally, can be dealt with later, or that will be dealt with by our government or some big company.  However, we will all be affected when millions of people start migrating away from coastal communities to our already over-crowded cities.  The need to act is really now and it’s up to all of us to respond,” said David Crane, Founder and Executive Director. “We are thrilled to be part of the Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge.  Both our organizations have a passionate belief in sustainability and investing in a secure future for everyone.”

The Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge will launch on CrowdRise on November 21, 2017 at 12pm ET and runs through January 3, 2018 at 1:59:59pm ET. There are 10 grand prizes up for grabs with the team that raises the most online winning $150,000 and 10th place winning $2,500. On #GivingTuesday an additional $85,000 will be awarded to the top 3 charities. Plus, weekly Bonus Challenges enable charities to win up to another $115,000.


To help Sustainable City Project win the Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge head to:

CrowdRise Challenges are innovative fundraising competitions for charitable organizations designed to build capacity, create massive engagement and leverage, and use the power of the crowd to provide new meaningful funding streams for organizations in every sector.

Sustainable City Project is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded by David Crane and Philip Goetz. David and Philip have been working for more than 30 years to reimagine and transform the healthcare industry to be more sustainable and deliver better experiences and outcomes for patients, their families, and care providers. They have experience taking on big projects, managing complex challenges and building world-class teams to achieve measurably transformative results. Now, David and Philip are turning their passion and dedication to the most critical issue of our time; building new, sustainable cities that will prepare our country for the largest population migration in our history. We are actively building a global network of experts, creative talent and technology pioneers focused on achieving our mission to plan, design & build the first sustainable city in the United States using worldwide collaborations and competitions.

Newman’s Own Foundation is celebrating 35 years of giving and $500 million to thousands of charities, helping millions of people. As Paul Newman would say, “giving back is just the right thing to do.”

Newman’s Own foundation was founded by the late actor Paul Newman to continue his philanthropic legacy and help make the world a better place. The Foundation turns all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own food and beverage products into charitable donations. For more information, visit

CrowdRise is the world’s largest crowdfunding platform dedicated exclusively to charitable fundraising. Used by millions of individuals, tens of thousands of charities, hundreds of companies and many of the most famous artists and athletes in the world, CrowdRise enables people to creatively leverage their resources and networks to unlock the power of the crowd to support positive social missions and create massive impact.

Founded by actor Edward Norton, film producer Shauna Robertson and Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe, CrowdRise has conceived, implemented and powered campaigns that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars to date. For more information visit

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Media Contact:
David Crane
Founder & Executive Director