I created Atlas Green Works to be able to create “green that works” – hence the tagline. Pretty simple really. But what does it really mean? Let’s examine each word and its meaning and see how it comes together:

Atlas?

  • Atlas = maps and charts of the earth or parts of the earth
  • Atlas = the earth itself
  • Atlas = worldwide
  • Atlas = universal
  • Atlas = mythical figure holding up the earth on his shoulders

For Atlas Green Works, Atlas refers to the earth itself on which greening improvements will be made. It also refers to the potential reach of its work, which is beyond the local community and could involve the scope of work all the way up to addressing global issues. (To be clear, Atlas Green Works is focused on urban greening). It refers to the universality of the types of green works that are proposed, designed, constructed, and operated and maintained – that is they can be adapted to all urban areas around the world. It also refers to the heavy lifting required to effectively fund these improvements….and to be creative and to think outside of the box for solutions that may not be obvious, nor easy to implement, and even not easily accepted as solutions for any number of reasons.

Green?

  • Green = plants and wildlife that need:
  • Green = soil
  • Green = water
  • Green = air – specifically oxygen and carbon dioxide
  • Green = $$$
  • Green = people

While the first four items are obvious – green includes living things and the things they need to survive and/or grow. The last two items should be obvious – you need $$$ to develop/construct greening improvements….and you need people at each step of the process – from idea conception to completed construction and operations and maintenance.

Works?

  • Works for intended users.
  • Works for intended use.
  • Works by creating infrastructure that uses existing natural and $$$ resources efficiently and that enhances the natural environment.
  • Works by converting environmentally derelict negatively performing property into environmentally high functioning property.
  • Works by most effectively turning wasteful existing infrastructure into sustainable infrastructure – one with a longer life cycle with the least amount of capital, least amount of construction maintenance intervention, and least disruption to the use of said infrastructure during maintenance.
  • Works by providing a dedicated funding mechanism for operations and maintenance that provides the longest life cycle for improvement as possible.
  • Works by using private capital instead of public capital to construct and maintain the improvement.

The first two items are routinely discovered and incorporated into the design with a robust and highly transparent urban greening implementation planning process and then a more project specific community-based planning process. While an urban greening implementation plan needs to be comprehensive in identifying all the opportunities for urban greening of all types for the entire community, the community-based planning process focuses on a singular opportunity for an already identified user base and intended use.

As you can see the “Works” part is where everything is pretty much pulled together to end up with the kind of project that Atlas Green Works wants to promulgate and that will generate the outcome(s) required by our clients.

Potential funding mechanisms for the capital improvement and its operations and maintenance should have already been documented in an urban greening implementation plan. Which ones to use for a particular project should be identified in the concept plan outcome from the community-based planning process.

This funding component is the most important part of urban greening. Yes, urban greening requires the other “green stuff”, and always more than is acknowledged in the competition for public funding. That is unfortunate because underfunding a project from its inception is the primary cause of the delay in constructing the project as scoped out in grant applications and can result in the possible loss of said funding for non-performance within the submitted timeline. Hence, Atlas Green Works will ensure that proposed funding for any new project that we help create will be forthright about the amount needed to complete a project from its earliest conception to construction completion and acceptance by the client.

We will delve into this issue of funding in much more detail in future blogs.

Thank you, and welcome to Atlas Green Works.