Sustainability Committee

Plan-it sustainably!

“The best way to predict the future is to create it,” and “Being less bad is NOT being good” are two popular quotes that point the way toward sustainability success. That is the planning challenge of our time–creating a present by moving from less bad (per unit impact reduction) to good (zero impact), or better yet, to great (restorative/regenerative impact), post-haste.

Plan-it sustainably
General Plan Sustainability
Biophilic Urbanism
Regenerative Planning
 Sustainability Champions

Review the committee’s mission, resources, and approach. Join the e-Update list to learn about resources and events 1-3 times per month. Contribute your expertise with the production of committee resources (articles, advisor panel, blog posts, leadership of a project or event), or join the leadership work group—all in ways that meet your time constraints and interests.

  Guest BlogPost Page
  Plan-It Column
  Quick Start Guide
  Strategic Sust Workshop
  Mock Strategic S-Plan
  About & Bios

The Sustainability Committee serves Northern Section planners who are interested in deepening their capacity to respond effectively to the accelerating sustainability challenge (see About and Bios).The Committee does the legwork to bring planners credible knowledge, powerful tools, and inspiring and instructive cases. It highlights examples of innovative sustainability planning. The Committee provides information, education, and training through this web site, the Plan-It Sustainably column in the Northern News, the Plan-It Sustainably Journal-Blog (comment, subscribe via RSS, and author a guest post), workshops, and events (see the Resources and Publishing pages).

The Committee emphasizes strategic sustainability planning because it is a powerful approach that is less familiar than others, but inclusive of them (see the Resources page, Quick Start section).  In addition, the Committee highlights leading sustainability planning initiatives–that is, the emerging integrative thread of designing, planning, and developing regenerative environments at site, district,   community, and regional scales (see Resources page, Regenerative Planning section).

Mobilizing Sustainability — State Committee Resources & Experience

Together, the resources of the Sustainable Communities Division and APA State Chapter Sustainability Committees represent a resource to advance sustainability collaboration and innovation nationally. Each committee’s experience and approach represents a home-grown response. Together they reflect many of the leading themes and approaches to sustainability that may be useful for other State Chapters, sections, and planning departments interested in developing a more focused and intentional response (more). In September 2014, the APA’s Sustainable Communities Division launched a pilot Sustainability Champions program; read more about it here.


(101314) Scott Edmondson, Northern Section Sustainability Committee founder, ex-co-director, and now Research Program Lead, is the California Chapter’s new sustainability champion. (070514) The General Plan Sustainability APA/UCB Event held on May 1, 6, & 8 and the EcoDistrict for Practitioners Workshop held June 2nd, Oakland were both successful and follow up resources will be forthcoming. The Committee’s leadership work group held 2 meeting since a  January strategy session to advance the Committee’s 2014 work plan (see AboutBios). Contact committee Directors to learn more and contribute your expertise. The Committee will update it’s mission focus, reformat and update its web pates, continue publishing the Plan-it sustainably column in the Northern News and blog, produce and co-sponsor CM events, and continue to illuminate the evolving challenge and practice of sustainability planning innovation in the Northern Section. The work began in July 2012 in partnership  with the APA Colorado State Chapter’s Sustainability Committee will continue. It produced one of the new Sustainable Community Division’s by-right sessions at the 2013 National APA Conference in Chicago, Mobilizing Sustainability Planning and the publication, The Challenge of Sustainability Planning — State APA Chapters and the new APA Sustainable Communities Division (p 4). The next step will likely involve acting as a local section of the National Sustainable Communities Division in a resource-sharing initiative of State Chapter Sustainability Committees.

Invitation to Collaborate

Contribute and collaborate in ways that fit your time and interests (see the Invitation to Collaborate page for details). Your work in any of the following roles would advance sustainability in the Northern Section.

  • Volunteers (writers, editors, researchers, web publishing wizards)
  • Northern Member Sustainability Experts (share resources, projects, expertise)
  • Research Partners (University Programs, Professors, Students)
  • Expert Sustainability Advisors
  • Organizational Alliances and Support

Subscribe to the Committee’s email list and E-Update to stay current on events, resources, news. Send us your questions, comments, collaboration interests, and suggestions for resources you would find most valuable. We look forward to working with you, Dave Javid and Katja Irvin, co-directors  (see bios)

 Featured Resources

<<Past Featured Resources>>

Key Resources (resources page)

Also:  The APA CA Chapter Northern Planners Working Group on Energy and the Built Environment is working on an key aspect of sustainability.

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