Excerpt from an article published in the Investor Circle's "In the Loop."

by Phillip Henderson, President, Surdna Foundation, and Michelle Knapik, Director of Sustainable Environements, Surdna Foundation
September 25, 2012

The Surdna Foundation is determined to go deeper in our mission to build just and sustainable communities and we are directing our environmental focus to bedrock systems:  the infrastructure that connects people to jobs and services and through which we manage water, energy, food and other critical resources.

The factors that drove this decision are abundantly clear throughout America’s metropolitan areas, most starkly in our older cities, and they are worth spelling out in shorthand: 1) much of the infrastructure on which this country depends for its economic growth and prosperity is decades old and nearing the end of its life; 2) the government funding available for renewing, replacing, or reinventing these systems is severely constrained and cannot (alone) meet the urgent needs in our nation’s urban areas; 3) extreme weather events and climate change are putting stress on fragile and aging systems; and 4) growing populations and shifting demographics place issues of equity, affordability and access to high quality infrastructure and services at the core of any new investments.

If we want infrastructure that improves transit systems, makes buildings more energy efficient, better manages our water systems and rebuilds regional food systems, and we believe in solutions that can connect these four systems and improve them in ways that maximize impact and minimize negative environmental consequences (all Surdna tenets), we will need to support the pathways from here to there.  Philanthropy cannot fill the gaps left by the sharp declines in public spending, but we can help with creative solutions to this deep financing hole we find ourselves in.

Read the full article...

Media Contact

Office of Communications


Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.