Projects and Outcomes

Verband Region Stuttgart

A substantial cornerstone of NVRC’s international work has been the 20-year partnership with its regional counterpart in Stuttgart, Germany.  From large-scale green infrastructure planning, to solar mapping, NVRC’s sustainable development programs have been touched by the exceptionally innovative work from the Stuttgart region.  In June 2019, the NVRC and its partners renewed their cooperation for an additional five years.

1999 Agreement of Partnership with the Verband Region Stuttgart

2019 Declaration of Renewed Partnership with Stuttgart

2008 U.S. - E.U. Conference on Climate Change by Regional Councils

Between April 9-12, 2008, NVRC co-hosted the first “U.S. – European Conference of Metropolitan Regional Councils on Climate Change. “  The conference was the first gathering of US and European regional councils to meet on the topic of climate change.  The conference offered a forum for the exchange and adoption of mutually beneficial climate change programs and policies.

Final Proceedings of the 2008 METREX Conference

2008 APA Article on METREX Conference

METREX Climate 2008 Signed Declaration

Community Energy Planning

One of the most concrete examples of the adoption and implementation of energy and climate mitigation innovations from abroad has been NVRC’s community energy planning programs.  From NVRC’s “Solarize NOVA” programs to the Arlington County’s Community Energy Plan, sustainable energy and climate mitigation efforts of the region have been transformed through the application of lessons from Germany, Denmark, France, Canada and other countries. 

Promoting Energy Innovation and Investment Through Transatlantic Transfer of Community Energy Planning

Transportation and Land Use Planning in Germany and the US: Lessons from the Stuttgart Region and Washington DC Regions

Financing Sustainable Transportation: An Overview of Finance Mechanisms and Cases From the US and Germany. 

Trans-Atlantic Urban Climate Dialogue (TUCD)

From 2011 to 2014, NVRC, with support from the German Federal Ministry of Economy and the Free University of Berlin, organized a series of workshops and peer-to-peer technical and policy exchanges to Germany’s Ruhr Valley, Stuttgart, and the City of Guelph, Ontario.  One of the goals was to expand and strengthen the implementation of community energy planning across the Northern Virginia region.

TUCD Final Proceedings

TUCD Workshop #1 Proceedings

TUCD Workshop #2 Proceedings

TUCD Workshop #3 Proceedings

TUCD Workshop #4 Proceedings

Formalizing Cooperation Between the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federal Republic of Germany on Climate

NVRC’s leadership in cross-national learning is reflected in the full-support and participation by leadership at the state level.  In 2008, NVRC co-launched the Transatlantic Climate Bridge and co-authored the bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia and German Federal Republic of Germany, signed by Governor Kaine.  This success was followed in 2012, when NVRC co-authored the Cooperative Agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Commonwealth of Virginia on sustainable transportation and climate planning.

Joint Declaration to Support the Exchange and Application of Mutually Beneficial Energy and Climate Change Policies Between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Commonwealth of Virginia

Joint Declaration of Intent Between the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

Resiliency and Climate Adaptation

Applying climate adaptation and resiliency policies from leading countries such as the Netherlands, is another key component of NVRC’s international programs.  In 2012, the NVRC supported a technical expert from the region of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to assess the suitable adoption of climate resiliency programs from the Netherlands to Northern Virginia.  In 2013, NVRC co-hosted a one-day technical workshop at the Royal Dutch Embassy to introduce elected officials and policymakers of the region to the findings of the report and to explore potentially feasible and cost-effective implementation options.

Dutch Resiliency Lessons for Northern Virginia

Commissioner Nohe Speaking at 2013 Dutch Embassy Resiliency Workshop

Proceedings from 2013 NVRC Coastal Task Force Report

Green Infrastructure and Watershed Restoration

Among the first innovations NVRC worked to transfer and apply from overseas were multiple green infrastructure practices – especially the concepts of low-impact stormwater management and “green” rooftops from regions such as Germany’s Ruhr Valley and Stuttgart.  For over 20 years, the Northern Virginia region has been seen as a national leader with the construction of “green” roofs and implementation of low-impact development stormwater practices or impermeable surface stormwater fees. 

German Experience in Managing Stormwater with Green Infrastructure

Sustainable Stormwater Management for the US: Can We Learn From Others?

Food Waste

In Northern Virginia, issue of food waste and provision of surplus food is a priority.  In 2016, NVRC, the Danish Embassy Capital Area Foodbank, organized a workshop to discuss transfers of  innovative food waste mitigation programs from cities such as Copenhagen and the ways that such innovations might be applied to the Washington DC region

Presentation About Danish Surplus Food and Foodwaste Innovations

Workforce Training

NVRC’s success with the adoption of international innovations has recently extended beyond the urban environmental sector and into the area of workforce training. Germany is recognized as the global benchmark for its “Dual-system” of harmonized accreditation practices and paid-apprenticeships.  In partnership with its regional US and German-based business partners, as well as the Northern Virginia Community College (the fourth largest community college system in the United States), NVRC has helped the region to explore the transfer and adoption of Germany’s workforce training programs.

2012 Trip Report of Energy and Workforce Training Exchange to Germany

Proceedings from 2016 NVRC Workshop on Workforce Lessons for Northern Virginia From Germany

Water Treatment Infrastructure Lessons From Austria

NVRC’s work to transfer and apply technical and policy innovations from overseas has also included assisting regional utilities. In May 2016, NVRC partnered with Alexandria Renew and the Embassy of Austria on a workshop to explore the regional replication of Alexandria Renew’s adoptions of nitrate extraction technologies from Austrian wastewater treatment systems.

Alexandria Renew Presentation

May 2016 Workshop Program