A Green New Deal for Durham

An illustration of a green Durham, with people on bicycles, scooters, wheelchairs and running; homes of all kinds under construction; recycling and composting; people gardening and children playing; buses and trains; wetlands, forests, streams and Durham's iconic landmarks.

Progressive priorities for environmental sustainability and justice in the Bull City.


We are a coalition of neighbors, community advocates, and nonprofit organizations, coming together to reimagine a greener and more sustainable Durham. Please take a few minutes to tell us your priorities and vision.

What is your vision for a Green New Durham?
¿Cuál es su visión para un Nuevo Durham Verde?

Thank you for filling out this survey (available in English and Spanish) and passing it on to your networks. We will share the results and work from them to help create a path forward for our community, together.

Black Lives Matter

We mourn George Floyd and other victims of racial injustice and police violence. We stand in solidarity with the people of color in Durham and around the world who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and the climate crisis.

The environmental justice movement we seek to build recognizes the inherent interconnectedness of social justice and environmental sustainability and advocates alongside those most directly affected by injustice.

Resources and more information:


Climate change is a global crisis, but it will have local effects, especially on our most vulnerable residents. Durham can lead the way in responding to the climate crisis and develop equitable solutions through the policy areas described here.

Renewable Energy

  • Developing community solar power, including solar panels on Durham public schools and loans to help residents install solar on their own homes.
  • Making energy efficiency retrofits for public housing and public buildings.


  • Investing more in public transit, including: more frequent and reliable buses, regional commuter rail and bus rapid transit.
  • Prioritizing walking, biking and rolling, rather than more parking decks and wider highways.


  • Funding affordable, safe housing, accessible to all.
  • Building homes of all kinds, with a focus on transit-oriented development and less sprawl.

Green Space

  • Planting more trees: expanding the canopy throughout Durham's underserved areas.
  • Restoring wetlands to provide resilience against flooding and filtering pollution out of our drinking water.

Reducing Waste

  • Supporting composting services for the City and County.
  • Building a Circular Economy where products are re-used and up-cycled.

Employment & Public Health

  • Training local residents for green construction jobs and apprenticeships.
  • Establishing a network of trails and green spaces for more outdoor exercise and recreation.

More information

Read more about the Green New Deal and local versions of the Green New Deal.

Durham can lead the way in environmental sustainability and justice in the Southeast and we can also learn from the work and the inspiration of others.

At the Federal level, the Green New Deal consists of a high-level resolution, followed by more specific plans in particular areas.

Durham's City and County governments have existing programs and goals for environmental sustainability.

Some local officials and candidates for local office have signed pledges or answered questionnaires about climate change and policy responses.

Durham is already feeling the impacts of climate change and those effects will worsen, especially for our most vulnerable residents.


A broad and ambitious policy will only be achieved with the input and support of a broad range of individuals, organizations and local governments. This is not intended as a single, final statement from a particular perspective, but a portfolio that represents the goals of Durham as a whole.

Candidates, Officials & Community Leaders

a picture of Alexandra Valladares

Alexandra Valladares

School Board

a picture of Steve Schewel

Steve Schewel


a picture of Natalie Murdock

Natalie Murdock

NC Senate

a picture of Matt Kopac

Matt Kopac

Candidate, Board of County Commissioners

a picture of Wendy Jacobs

Wendy Jacobs

Chair, Board of County Commissioners

a picture of Pierce Freelon

Pierce Freelon

Creative Director, Northstar Church of the Arts

a picture of Heidi Carter

Heidi Carter

Board of County Commissioners

a picture of LeVon Barnes

LeVon Barnes

Candidate, Board of County Commissioners

a picture of Nate Baker

Nate Baker

Planning Commission

Input, recommendations, additional information and statements of support are welcome from elected officials, candidates for office and engaged residents of Durham. Local organizations will bring the community together to discuss and realize these plans. If you'd like to add your name here or find out more, feel welcome to join in!

Join in

Sign here with your name and email address to indicate your support for a Green New Deal for Durham. You're also welcome to subscribe to keep up with developments on a Green New Deal for Durham without signing on.

You can also provide feedback or ask questions via email.

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Community Organizations

Locally-based community organizations should bring Durhamites together to discuss a Green New Deal for Durham and turn these priorities into more detailed plans. We are reaching out to organizations and individuals around Durham — using lots of email and coffee.

If your community organization would like to contribute to planning and realization of this project, please reach out. We had a first meeting on March 9th, but now we're looking at socially-distanced ways to meet: phone calls and videoconferences.