Surdna Foundation

The Surdna Foundation, a New York City-based family foundation, seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States -- communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.

For over five generations, the Foundation has been governed largely by descendants of John Andrus and has developed a tradition of innovative service for those in need of help or opportunity.

The Sustainable Environments Program
The Sustainable Environments program work is grounded in an understanding of the interplay between the environment, the economy, and social equity, and it is dedicated to shifting to a just and less consumption intense society. To this end, the program team has recently refined its grant making strategy to focus on overhauling the country’s under-performing and obsolete infrastructure. It is dedicated to addressing the urgent need for innovation around the renewal and development of what will be “next generation” infrastructure and to delivering basic services that tie together metropolitan areas, communities, and neighborhoods. More specifically, the program is now focusing its expertise and investments around four interconnected infrastructure elements:
  • Transportation Networks and Equitable Development Patterns
  • Urban Water Management
  • Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment
  • Regional Food Supply
The program operationalizes these lines of work through a social justice lens; viewing infrastructure planning and build out in low-income communities and communities of color as a driver for investment that generate multiple benefits including wealth creation, environmental quality and democratized decision-making.