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.

U.S. 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

Statement: Landmark FTC report calls for action on Right to Repair

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report today on manufacturers' use of restrictive repair tactics that have kept consumers from repairing their own products.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

Lawmakers and public push Whole Foods to put “Planet Over Plastic” at upcoming annual meeting

AUSTIN, Texas --  U.S. PIRG Education Fund , Environment America Research & Policy Center, and Student PIRG sent 59,000 petitions and a letter signed by more than 40 state lawmakers Thursday to Whole Foods urging the company to commit to a comprehensive plan for phasing out single-use plastic packaging from its stores. This follows a March 2021 letter signed by more than 130 advocacy and community groups calling on the national supermarket chain to adopt a bold response to the plastic pollution crisis.

> Keep Reading
News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Tips

Statement: Peloton treadmill recall should have come sooner

The exercise machine maker Peloton finally recalled its Tread+ and Tread treadmills on Wednesday, three weeks after the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned  consumers to stop using the treadmill after Peloton pushed back against the CPSC request for a recall.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Solid Waste

How e-waste is creating a growing environmental and health crisis across the worldAnne Marie GreenHaley Clinton

We need policies like Right to Repair to address the dangerous flood of electronics waste

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Dangerous secrets: Popular cosmetics brands fail to disclose ingredients

A new report that surveys nearly 1,000 personal care products from 26 popular cosmetics companies finds that many of these companies are doing a poor job informing the public on what ingredients are going into their products, hiding potentially toxic chemicals from consumers.

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Report: Getting off the hook of a predatory tow, state-by-state

Every year, millions of Americans have their cars towed without their consent from private property or a public street. U.S. PIRG Education Fund has identified 14 common sense towing protections that should be available to consumers in every state, and researched which states offer those safeguards.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S.PIRG

Statement: U.S. PIRG applauds President Biden’s proposed child benefit extension

President Joe Biden is moving in the right direction with a proposed an extension of the child tax credit as part of his “American Families Plan.” It’s about time that Congress corrects a historic failure to fully value the contribution of at-home caregiving. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund; Environment America Research & Policy Center

New report: One hundred days in, President Biden is making headway restoring environmental protections

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden promised ambitious action to tackle climate change and America’s other environmental problems upon taking office. A new progress report from Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund finds that despite the need to rebuild many federal agencies and tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the Biden administration has already taken numerous steps to restore environmental protections rolled back by the Trump administration.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Report: Pricing carbon key to taking on climate change

According to our new report, putting a price on carbon can be key to the success of both. In Carbon Pricing 101: Strategies for putting a price on global warming pollution, we recommend that the federal government and U.S. states pursue carbon pricing programs, along with other policies, to cut pollution, as the best way to achieve the emissions reductions necessary to stave off the worst of global warming.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG | Solid Waste

Cross-country virtual road trip puts fight against plastic pollution on the map

DENVER — U.S. PIRG and Environment America hosted a virtual road trip Friday with state representatives and senators from across the country to celebrate and discuss dozens of policies to combat the plastic pollution crisis. The nationwide rally touched on efforts to hold companies, such as Whole Foods, accountable for their contribution to the problem, as well as highlighting groundbreaking federal legislation such as the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Electric Buildings

This new report documents the benefits of electrifying the majority of buildings in America to consumers and the environment.

> Keep Reading
Report | USPIRG Education Fund

Transform Transportation

America’s current transportation system has been designed, built and centered around the automobile, and it is a public health disaster. U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group’s latest report, Transform Transportation, identifies the numerous harmful health impacts caused by America’s car-centric transportation system and provides a three-step roadmap toward a healthier, more sustainable approach to transportation infrastructure.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Nursing home safety during COVID: Cases and vaccines

Hundreds of U.S. nursing homes this year are reporting their very first cases of COVID-19 after avoiding any cases all of last year. The high number of nursing homes that experienced their very first cases of COVID-19 this year -- while fending them off during the horror of 2020 -- is among the clear indications that this pandemic isn’t over. There are many reasons for optimism, particularly the huge turnaround that started in the second half of December when vaccines started rolling out. We found that has led to a decline in nursing home cases exceeding 80 percent.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S.PIRG Education Fund

Vital and Undervalued

As the pandemic has painfully reminded us, our entire society depends on caregivers yet we undervalue the vital contributions of unpaid family caregivers. It benefits all of us when it is possible for people to care for their loved ones who need care, so we should increase support for family caregivers.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Consumers in peril

U.S. PIRG Education Fund report documents that complaints to the CFPB, led by complaints about credit bureaus, set new records in 2020.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post

Dude, where’s my car? | Mark Morgenstein

Getting your vehicle towed can be a memorable experience -- not in a good way

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Safe Energy, Transportation

Progress Report: President Biden’s First 100 Days | Matt Casale

Our new progress report finds that despite the need to rebuild many federal agencies and tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the Biden administration has already taken numerous steps to restore environmental protections.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

Getting to 50%: Resources related to President Biden’s bold climate goal | Matt Casale

Environment America Research & Policy Center, U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group have worked for decades to identify and promote solutions to the climate crisis. We have compiled this list of resources to help the public and decision-makers understand and act on the key components of President Biden’s announcement.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | COVID-19

COVID-19 tests and vaccines are free to consumers. End of story. | Patricia Kelmar

Some consumers continue to be billed for COVID tests and vaccines. So let's get the story straight here.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Tips

An underappreciated way to fight the opioid crisis AND keep our waterways clean | Patricia Kelmar

 

Saturday, April 24, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

As “National Hurricane Preparedness Week” kicks off, many communities across the United States are still dealing with the devastating effects of last year’s record-shattering Atlantic hurricane season.

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Environment America Research and Policy Center

Today, one in five Americans lives within just three miles of a Superfund toxic waste site. Contaminants of concern at these sites include arsenic, lead, mercury, benzene, dioxin, and other hazardous chemicals that may increase the risk of cancer, reproductive problems, birth defects, and other serious illnesses. Cleanup can take a decade or more, and decreased funding over the last 20 years has led to slower cleanups. To make matters worse, climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of storms such as hurricanes that threaten to impact toxic waste sites, which could spread the chemicals at these sites into surrounding communities. During the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, 810 Superfund toxic waste sites were in the path of a hurricane or tropical storm.

Blog Post

Why appliances aren’t built to last, and how the E.U. is changing that. 

Blog Post

A scorecard released by U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that many popular cosmetic brands score poorly on ingredient safety and disclosure. While companies and governments need to take action to protect consumers, in the meantime, you can take steps to keep your personal care routine safe.

Blog Post

Despite old commitments, a new report by U.S. PIRG finds that L’Oréal is still lagging behind its competitors on ingredient disclosure.

Solid Waste

New federal bill calls for U.S. to move beyond plastic

On Feb. 11, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal introduced legislation that would phase out unnecessary single-use plastics, which commonly end up clogging our landfills and polluting our environment. It also provides funding for recycling and composting infrastructure, and would shift the financial burden of managing waste and recyclables from town and city governments to the manufacturers.

 
View AllRSS Feed

Support us

Your tax-deductible donation supports U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s work to educate consumers on the issues that matter, and the powerful interests that are blocking progress.

Learn More

You can also support U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s work through bequests, contributions from life insurance or retirement plans, securities contributions and vehicle donations. 




U.S. PIRG Education Fund is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.