Sustainable Cities

It is estimated that by 2050, more than 70 percent of the world's population will be living in a city. It's time for America's largest cities to adopt a sustainable and responsible vision for the future. 

Building the Cities of Tomorrow

Imagine cities that are healthy places to live, where our resources are used responsibly, where the environment is protected, and where citizens are actively engaged in their communities.

Arizona PIRG Education Fund is working to build these cities of tomorrow.

It's estimated that by 2050, more than 70 percent of the world’s population is estimated to be living in a city. More and more Americans are looking to cities to meet their needs in a way that’s sustainable, equitable and beneficial to the world. As more of us live and work in urban areas, we have the opportunity to make them leaders in sustainable development.

We envision cities:

  • With 21st century transportation options. For decades, cities have focused on moving cars, not people. It’s time to focus on getting people where they need to go by giving them more and better options to get around. These options include expanded public transit, better biking alternatives, walkable neighborhoods and high-performance intercity trains.
  • Powered by 100% clean and renewable energy. As the threat of climate change continues to grow, the best way to fight it is to keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition to 100% renewable energy. By encouraging big box stores to switch to solar power, promoting residential solar options, increasing the number of charging stations for electric vehicles, and raising energy efficiency standards for commercial and residential buildings we can easily meet this goal.
  • Where food systems are healthy, sustainable and locally-sourced. We all eat. But the choices we make with our food can help or hurt our communities and our environment. By sourcing food that is raised sustainably, responsibly and low in carbon, we can boost our local economies, move away from factory farming, and create healthier communities.
  • With clean water and responsible waste management. Communities across the country face risks from polluted water systems and waste. Aging pipes, sewage overflows and toxins that travel from roads to our water supply can harm our health and the environment. We need policymakers to make sure everyone has access to healthy water by creating strong policies to repair aging infrastructure and addressing toxins in our water supply. We can also make sure our waste is disposed of responsibly and reduce our waste whenever possible. 
  • Where citizens are involved in their government and their community. When we are active and engaged in our communities, we can push for more sustainable policies and hold elected leaders accountable. To ensure all citizens have the opportunity to participate in their community, cities should make voting as easy as possible, champion open access to government data and level the playing field for small donors.  

 

Issue updates

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Safe Energy

Salt River Project (SRP) Increases Energy Efficiency Programs But Still Lags Arizona Public Service (APS)

While Salt River Project (SRP), the second largest utility in Arizona, has elected to delay a major rate increase until at least May of next year, its board voted today to increase its commitment to energy efficiency and renewable programs via an Environmental Program Cost Adjustment Factor” (EPCAF).  While maintaining and increasing funding for these programs is critical, SRP is lagging its utility counterparts such as APS relative to energy savings.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Safe Energy

Pioneers for Clean Energy in Arizona

Energy efficiency is the quickest, cheapest and cleanest way for Arizona to meet its growing energy needs. Although the magnitude of the economic situation in Arizona and across the nation is daunting, increasing energy efficiency offers an immediate, proven and important step consumers, businesses and government can take to save money, stimulate the local economy, create jobs and other services, and protect public health.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Safe Energy

Pioneers for Clean Energy in Arizona Case Studies Released

According to Pioneers for Clean Energy in Arizona, a new report released today by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, businesses, residences and local governments across Arizona are making strides to increase their energy efficiency. The report notes that electricity demand is high — from TVs to dishwashers to refrigerators to charging cell phones — and with energy demand expected to increase as Arizona’s population grows in the future, the timing to increase energy efficiency could not be better.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Arizona PIRG Education Fund Urges Support of a Broadband Plan That Serves the Public Good

As the state and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) begin to consider a long-term strategy to innovate infrastructure, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and the Media and Democracy Coalition issued A Public Interest Internet Agenda, to serve as a guide to direct decision makers towards consumer protective policy solutions that will connect every citizen to the Internet.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Safe Energy

Salt River Project Public Hearing - Testimony of Diane E. Brown on Energy Efficiency

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund recognizes the magnitude of the economic situation in Arizona and across the nation is daunting and that SRP, as well as businesses and residents in its territory, is feeling the effects.  The Arizona PIRG Education Fund urges the SRP board to adopt and SRP management to implement an Energy Efficiency Standard of at least 20% by 2020.

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Pages

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

This coming Monday, June 1, will mark the third full month that bills are due since COVID-19 was declared a national state of emergency in March. To help Americans manage their finances, U.S. PIRG Education Fund has published an updated guide with tips on what to do about paying bills during the crisis.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Consumer complaints to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) related to the coronavirus approached 50,000 on Tuesday. U.S. PIRG Education Fund has documented the actions taken by the FTC and 14 other federal agencies in response to coronavirus scams.

Blog Post

Public health experts have made it abundantly clear that to safely lift stay-at-home rules we must have four key things we don’t yet have. We need fast, accurate and widely available testing. We need a better plan for isolating and supporting people who have COVID-19. We need sufficient hospital capacity, including medical and protective equipment, to treat all patients safely. And we need more contact tracing. This blog explains U.S. PIRG's support for automated warning and contact tracing, subject to appropriate privacy and civil liberties protections, which can provide critical information quickly about who has potentially been exposed.

Blog Post

The emergence and spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic is a symptom of how we raise food animals across the world. 

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

U.S. PIRG Education Fund has released a report with the Student Borrower Protection Center and Consumer Action. The report makes recommendations to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to upgrade its consumer complaint tool, including the public consumer complaint database, so COVID19-related complaints can be handled more quickly and tracked better.

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