WelcomeThank you for visiting the website for the Fund for the Environment & Urban Life. Our formal name is The Oram Foundation, Inc. We are a private non-operating foundation established in 2006 under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Here’s our view. Efforts to improve the environment must focus on how we live our lives. Technology has an important role, but do we want our future to be driven by technology? If we want something better we have to take control and make it, and focusing on our own behavior is the right way to start and truly be environmentally responsible. Recycling, composting, home gardening and similar activities are worthy and relatively easy actions individuals can take, and have real impact if done on a large scale. But more impact results from choices like where we live, the type and size of our home, where we work and how we get there, what kind of car or how many cars our family has, what we buy, and where we shop. These can be harder choices but generally offer more impact. We want to support efforts that make these hard choices easier. Recognizing this led us to make Sustainable Urban Development our current primary focus.
Improving the environment requires a focus on our cities and towns, and the urban landscape. Cities and towns are efficient places to live. As our cities and towns were wholly transformed since the 1950’s, we envision a new transformation, and many already know that “living closer” means living better. We also believe that social problems result from poor “city form” decisions, and that social justice, obesity, isolation and related problems can be diminished by applying lessons that have been learned.
Surprisingly most of our advisory board members aren’t urban planners; we’re environmentalists of different sorts, from the US, Canada, England and Germany. While we decided to emphasize Sustainable Urban Development for the next few years, some of our most compelling projects have been outside this focus, or just related to it. For example, we’ve funded green building, education, spiritual and green jobs projects, to name a few, and we will continue to fund exciting projects in many areas.
If you believe that your organization and your proposed projects are appropriate for our support, please review our mission statement, areas of interest, and overview of proposals for more information.
We also like to hear from groups without specific projects in mind but with an interest in developing new initiatives and project ideas with us. You may also register with us to receive future updates.