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.

CoPIRG Foundation 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

Blog Post | Public Health, Food

A nationwide call: KFC, help save antibiotics! | Anya Vanecek

Over eighty organizations and hundreds of consumers launched a call for KFC to switch to selling chicken raised without routine antibiotics. 

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Public Health

Consumers Call on KFC to Help Save Antibiotics and Protect Public Health

Today, CoPIRG Foundation staff held an event at the KFC franchise on Federal Boulevard to announce a consumer campaign calling on KFC, the world's largest chain of fried chicken restaurants, to stop selling chicken produced with the routine use of antibiotics. The event in Denver was part of a national campaign launch which was initiated through the delivery of a letter to KFC leadership, signed by over eighty public interest groups representing millions of consumers that urge the company to commit to a strong antibiotics policy.

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Media Hit | Transportation

12 of America's Biggest Highway Boondoggles

Given that expanding highways at great public cost doesn’t improve rush-hour traffic, there are better ways to spend this money, argue report authors Jeff Inglis of Frontier Group and John C. Olivieri of U.S. PIRG. They identify a dozen road projects, costing $24 billion in all, that are “representative” of the problem.

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Transportation

Report: Widening I-70 in Denver Wastes at Least $58 Million

A new study by the CoPIRG Foundation and Frontier Group concludes that a proposal to widen I-70 while it undergoes much needed replacement will waste at least $58 million in taxpayer dollars. The highway widening project that cuts through a neighborhood in north Denver is one of 12 national highway widening projects slated to collectively waste at least $24 billion according to the study, Highway Boondoggles 2: More Wasted Money and America’s Transportation’s Future. 

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

6,100 Coloradans Tell PUC: Don’t Let Xcel Roll Back Energy Savings

A coalition of groups including the CoPIRG Foundation and Environment Colorado delivered over 6,000 petitions and dozens of letters from elected officials to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), calling on them to reject a proposal by Xcel Energy to scale back their energy savings programs. At stake is $600 million in savings for Xcel’s approximately 1.4 million customers.

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget

Colorado Takes Big Jump in Transparency of Government Spending

Colorado took a big jump forward in the transparency of its government spending according to Following the Money 2014: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the fifth annual report of its kind by the CoPIRG Foundation. After receiving a “D+” in 2013 and placing in the bottom ten states, Colorado jumped to a “B” and placed in the top 20 by implementing improvements like making over 19,000 public subsidies totaling $500 million accessible online.

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Congress to seeks answers about why GM, gov't didn't act sooner to recall cars with defect

New General Motors CEO Mary Barra has been cooperative with members of Congress investigating why the company did not act sooner to address a potentially deadly defect in some of its small cars, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette said.

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Media Hit | Transportation

Toll roads causing problems, but Colorado says it's immune

Colorado's controversial plunge into public-private partnerships to oversee and collect tolls from local highways comes as credit agencies and other states are struggling with the arrangement, mostly because America's driving boom could be over.

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Media Hit | Transportation

Young Coloradans fueling drop in driving, study finds

Karen Rasmussen is on her way to work in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood, but instead of driving she’s walking down 17th Avenue – a change she's made since deciding to live without a car.

"It is wonderful," she says. "I spent a lot of time in traffic."

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Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

The Other Side of the Street, Energy Cost Savings

However, thousands of Coloradans miss out on energy cost saving programs simply because of the side of the street that they live on.  To help homeowners and businesses with their bills, all electric utilities in Colorado should offer comprehensive energy efficiency programs by setting a target to reduce consumer energy demand by 10% by 2020.

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Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Food

Apples to Twinkies

The rise in childhood obesity has many causes, but one of the most important is the increased prevalence of high-fat, heavily sweetened junk food.  And shockingly, American taxpayers are spending billions to subsidize junk food ingredients, making the problem worse.

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Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget, Financial Reform, Tax

Tax Shell Game

Abuse of tax havens inflicts a price on other American taxpayers, who must pay higher taxes—now or in the future—to cover the government’s revenue shortfall, or must deal with cuts in government services.

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Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget, Tax

Following the Money 2011

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Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Health Care

The Cost of Repeal

This report examines the costs and benefits of repealling the Affordable Care Act for the taxpayers, consumers, and businesses of our state.

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