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Please find below the judging results for your proposal.

Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


Judges'' comments

SUBJECT: Your proposal has been selected as a Finalist!

Congratulations! Your proposal, SUFI, in the Atypical Ideas for Carbon Neutrality in Somerville contest, has been selected to advance to the Finalists round.

Be proud of your accomplishment – more than 350 proposals were submitted and only a very small number have been advanced through these two rounds of judging.

As a Finalist, your proposal is eligible for the contest’s Judges Choice award, as well as the contest’s Popular Choice award, which is determined by public voting.

If you haven’t already, you will soon receive an email from the Climate CoLab staff with details about the voting period. If you don’t receive that email within the next day, or have other questions, please contact the Climate CoLab staff at

All winners will be announced the week after the voting period ends, on September 12, 2015 at midnight Eastern Time.

Both Judges Choice and Popular Choice will receive a special invitation to attend selected sessions at MIT’s SOLVE conference and present their proposals before key constituents in a workshop the next day, where a $10,000 Grand Prize will be awarded. A few select Climate CoLab winners will join distinguished SOLVE attendees in a highly collaborative problem-solving session. Some contests have additional prizes given by the contest sponsor.

This proposal is unique in effectively pulling together multiple systems--water, food, and energy. We feel that this proposal would be especially effective at the regional level. In the future we would like to know more about how it can lower Somerville's carbon footprint.

Thank you for your work on this very important issue. We’re proud of your proposal, and we hope that you are too. Again, congratulations!

2015 Climate CoLab Judges

Semi-Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


Judges'' comments

SUBJECT: Your proposal has been selected as a Semi-Finalist!

Congratulations! Your proposal, "Sustainable Urban Food Initiative (SUFI) for Climate Change Resilience" in the Atypical Ideas for Carbon Neutrality contest, has been selected to advance to the Semi-Finalists round.

You will be able to revise your proposal and add new collaborators if you wish, from July 1st until July 16, 2015 at 23:59pm Eastern Time.

Judges' feedback are posted under the "Evaluation" tab of your proposal. Please incorporate this feedback in your revisions, or your proposal may not be advanced to the Finalists round. We ask you to also summarize the changes that you made in the comment section of the Evaluation tab.

At the revision deadline listed below, your proposal will be locked and considered in final form. The Judges will undergo another round of evaluation to ensure that Semi-Finalist proposals have addressed the feedback given, and select which proposals will continue to the Finalists round. Finalists are eligible for the contest’s Judges Choice award, as well as for public voting to select the contest’s Popular Choice award.

Thank you for your great work and again, congratulations!

2015 Climate CoLab Judges

Urban agriculture is something we're very proud of in Somerville. This sounds similar to Grove at Greentown Labs.

Novelty: This proposal is innovative and outside of normal practice today in Somerville, but not surprising. It makes sense to increase food production within the city, to the extent possible. Feasibility: The proposal is appealing from social, legal, and political perspectives. Challenges include finding enough space and capital to get the project off the ground (not a huge challenge if not done at a large scale), as well as well as ensuring financial sustainability and uptake for scale-up. I was unclear whether the proposers intended to sell food produced or sell the systems that would be used to create farms. Impact: Like so many projects aimed at mitigating climate change, this project’s impact will depend largely on whether it is successfully scaled up. To that end, it would seem that building a community engagement strategy (or other scale-up strategies) would be essential from the beginning. Presentation: The proposal is clear and persuasive.

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Sarah Brezniak

Jul 16, 2015


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A summary of revisions is as follows: 1. Added a diagram of a notional Hub. 2. Added significant detail to proposed actions including discussion of community engagement strategy, available funding and scalability. 3. Modified the CEA component of the Hub to be based on hydroponics instead of aquaponics. Conversation with experts indicate that hydroponics has longer, better track record or working at large commercial scale. Compared to hydroponics, aquaponics has additional challenges such as: physical weight of system limits site options and ability to tier systems; practicioners have only been able to optimize for plant or fish, not both; fish add complexity, making yields unpredictable; uses noticeably more energy for moving a lot more water around; would not qualify for HACCP certification. Side note: When I was learning to golf as a kid, my instructor told me I had to learn how to hit out of a good lie before I could hit out of a bad lie. Choosing Somerville as the first Hub site would be like hitting out of a good lie (or as good as I could imagine).