Innovation Products

USDN members spur and scale innovations in urban sustainability by collaboratively developing policies, practices, tools, programs, performance standards, or organizational models.

USDN’s programs mobilize members to pursue collaborative projects that address urgent challenges and timely opportunities facing multiple cities.

Learn more about USDN grant programs »


New Innovation Products

View all products, using category links at the right.

A Smart City Technology Vendor Engagement Framework (Focused on the Buildings & Energy Sector): This Vendor Engagement Framework helps communities take the next step toward implementing technology solutions by describing best practices for engaging smart technology vendors. DNV GL Sustainable Buildings and Communities team conducted Buildings and Energy technology research and city/vendor interviews to create in-depth case studies, and ultimately to develop this framework. (USDN Innovation Fund, 2016).
» Download

Accelerating the Transition to 4th Generation District Heating SystemsThis project examines two fundamental aspects of the transition to 4th Generation District Heating Networks designed to enable a more cost effective transition away from fossil fuels to a future heat supply that is from local renewable, environmental and waste heat sources. Products include: 1) Connecting Existing Buildings to DHNs Summary Report; and 2) Connecting Existing Buildings to DHNs technical report(CNCA Innovation Fund, 2016.)
» Download Summary Report
» Download Technical Report

Climate Training Toolkit: The City of Baltimore led an effort to develop a climate training toolkit for local governments to utilize as they train their own staff on opportunities to support climate adaptation and resilience progress. Products include: 1) the Climate Toolkit How-to Guide (also in source files); 2) Case Studies; 3) Exercise Track; 4) Game of Floods Track; and 5) a Training Presentation (USDN Innovation Fund, 2016).
» Download 

Deep Carbon Reductions in the Transport Sector - Impacts on Affordability and Displacement: A case study on Portland OR and the impact of deep carbon reductions in transportation on displacement and gentrification, including household research on the neighborhood, a literature review on transit-oriented development and gentrification, a rental properties typology report, a memo on population change, and an emissions summary. (CNCA Innovation Fund, 2016).
» Download

Financing Sustainable Cities Scan and Toolkit: An action-oriented “how-to toolkit” for Chief Sustainability Officers and Chief Financial Officers to catalog implementable and emerging funding mechanisms that can support cities striving towards bold climate action and sustainability goals, including a scan report, infographic of finance options, and conference agenda. (USDN Innovation Fund, 2016).
» Download

Leading STAR Community Indicators:  A meaningful subset of the existing STAR metrics to provide an easier platform for annual reporting and comparison between cities, as well as an accessible entry point into the STAR rating system for cities, including a methodology guide and data collection worksheets. (USDN Innovation Fund, 2016).
» Download

Sustainable Purchasing Playbook for Cities:  A playbook for sustainability directors and city teams interested in launching or strengthening sustainable purchasing efforts, including analytical tools, best practices, implementation tips, and recommendations to help cities prioritize and then pursue sustainable purchasing opportunities. (USDN Innovation Fund, 2016).
» Download

Urban Biodiversity Inventory Framwork: The City of St. Louis led an effort to create an Urban Biodiversity Inventory Framework that provides a methodology communities can use to guide their efforts to track and restore urban biodiversity. Products include: 1) the Urban Biodiversity Inventory Framework; 2) Protocol Sheets (plants, butterflies, birds, beetles, and bees), and 3) a guide to using the web-based tool (USDN Innovation Fund, 2016).
» Download

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Urban Sustainability Innovation Report

USDN now helps partners, sustainability professionals, and our followers stay up to date with USDN members' innovations through the monthly Urban Sustainability Innovation Report.  This newsletter highlights our members' work on the cutting edge of urban sustainability innovation.  

Subscribe and read past editions »


NOTE: Partners for Places Fund projects include both USDN and non-USDN members.