CSR Activities: Arts Districts, Cultural Districts, Design Districts...

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Corporate Social Responsibility: Dedicated to ensuring that learning about corporate social responsibility is part and parcel of every downtown arts, design and culture-based community destination development


To ensure that our Member and Guest corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are approached proactively, the 7 Arts Foundation advises every urban revitalization team to establish a joint venture CSR Promotion Office from day one of operations. Since, 1999, our operating foundation has helped Members invent a definitive, defensible and promotable Urban Development CSR Basic Policy statement. Each policy is designed to define important, marketable spheres of urban reclamation activity and focus attention on specific domains, all based upon a corporate slogan, or its derivative, "We create destinations." This Member and client-led policy embodies the spirit of many a corporate leadership philosophy as it addresses social issues important to their local stakeholders and constituents.


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Going beyond advising our Members to develop workable policy statements, we also help them learn to craft an acceptable CSR message. The statement that follows was developed for a $13MM project in Texas:

   " As a redevelopment company focusing on arts and design corridor redevelopment endeavors, we work to regenerate real estate that helps ensure destination sites that promote both tangible and ineffable harmonies between people, living and working places and the environment. Through these efforts, we are working toward contributing to a society that is comfortable, sustainable and acclaimable."

The same project also adopted many of our CSR Themes for their revitalization efforts:

   "As the places that define where people live and work, play and invent, visit and acclaim, destination sites in cities are important cultural, business and environmental partners. By maintaining serious communication with each of our partners, we will work toward developing ever more abundant urban environments that celebrate comfort, sustainability and acclaimability."

A similar project edited the following four foundation-generated paragraphs to show another southern town that it took its environmental preservation responsibilities as seriously as it undertook to invent acclaimable places. It was important to show these Members how to match both profit targets and nonprofit arts mission priorities that met the financial requirements of investors and lenders, and which planted the seeds for rapid recovery of the downtown for politicians, nonprofit leaders and eager residents:

   " To this environment of lasting change, we aim to redevelop urban spaces where people can work, live and invent in safety, comfort and high energy, in settings that function as convenient business locations and centers of critically acclaimable activity, and in reknowned places where a harmony between residences, business spaces and both arts and design sites are celebrated.

   Through urban redevelopment that places a minimal burden on the environment, we seek to develop comfortable spaces where people can come into close contact with artwork and elemental design that establishes or triggers memories of life enhancing surroundings, activities and the people who make special memories possible.

   We respect our employees as individuals and members of quality teams. We seek to help them develop as active people who are unafraid of failure and who see themselves as contributors to projects which maintain a high sense of vitality in the workplace.

   We consistently retain our sense of gratitude to our host city and seek to uphold a high level of ethics, a healthy business environment, and an abundant array of contributions to the arts, design and cultural imagery appropriate to our destination city." 

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We always advise our Members to invent and maintain sustainable destination cities and acclaimabale architectural and cultural spaces that achieve a palpable harmony with a healthy urban environment in terms of both health and safety by seeking to minimize resource requirements, environmental impact and waste.


  1. Help prevent global warming: Conserve resources and energy to reduce emmissions and greenhouse gases. The developer will explore using cogeneration systems to process exhaust and use and install energy-efficient equipment wherever possible. Some environmental activities may be tax-credit driven initiatives that also may give the developer a competitive edge when seeking entry into new markets.
  2. 2. Use resources effectively and reduce waste: Minimize and collect waste, recycling products where possible. To this end, the developer will work to increase the use of recycled papers. The developer will establish year-end targets to reduce the use of raw pulp. Further, the developer notes that the primary loads the real estate development business places on the environment are found in the regeneration of buildings and equipment - including the planning, design and pre-constructioin stages - as well as building operation, refurbishment and removal. The developer will endeavor to minimize these burdens wherever possible through measures designed to reduce construction by-products at many stages of its operations. In particular, the developer will study the best ways to begin employing 'green building design' through which the developer can reduce waste products at many stages, beginning with the determination of designs and construction methods.
  3. Promote harmony with the urban environment: Achieve a balance between natural mechanisms and human activities by inventing redevelopment plans that take into account the preservation of the natural environment and its cycles in the developer's urban settings, all the while implementing measures to help counter natural disasters.
  4. Support and participate in local urban center society activities wherever appropriate: Participate in and support urban environmental preservation efforts.
  5. Preserve the ozone layer. Collect and reuse or breakdown, wherever possible, emission sources that are harmful to the ozone layer.
  6. The developer will purpose to achieve fiscal annual environmental targets and note levels of achievement in public reports published through the local and regional print and electronic media. The year-end targets will include the following: 1) the reduction of greenhouse gas emmissions by seeking ways to economize on the use of electricity and natural gas; the likely measures will include 1% emission reductions per annum until a percieved acceptable level is achieved; 2) the reduction of paper waste, with the aim of using 100% recycled paper by 2010, and the overall reduction of paper use; the likely measure will be reductions in total volume used; and, 3) the reduction of waste (construction and de-construction by products) by promoting the recycling of construction and de-construction by-products; the likely measure will be to increase the percentage in the volume of concrete, asphalt and wood products that is recycled each year until perceived levels are deemed generally acceptable by those who award bids and those who monitor arts corridor environmental participation.
  7.  NOTES: Although reducing energy use in tenant-occupied spaces of leased buildings is desirable, some owners often have difficulty controlling the use of electricity in those spaces. Therefore, the use of electricity and other energy in non-tenant spaces, such as shared areas, is publicized. The amount of Co2 emitted is then calculated according to the volumes of electricity and gas used. Target comparisions against previous years will be possible for most buildings; the total volume will be calculated using occupied and newly constructed buildings in published reports.
  8.  END NOTE: This concludes the 'preliminary and subject to change' recommended course of action our Members will choose to take in terms of CSR activities.

CONTACT us for more information: 7AF new all points number in Washington, DC: 202-241-0778| M-Th 10-4 EST; Sa. 10-12N EST.


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CSR Airflow Repairs on the Atrium, 7 Arts Foundation