Integrating City Sustainability

The Sustainable Cities Institute (Home Depot) offers a range of resources to support a community’s progress towards sustainability.

One interesting current case is Ann Arbor’s journey. Their situation is likely similar to that of many cities who have many disparate sustainability initiatives on the ground, but which are uncoordinated or only loosely so.

City Program finalist, Ann Arbor, Michigan has over 20 city plans in place, and many of them address sustainability and the efficient provision of services. What Ann Arbor lacks is a cohesive framework to bring all of these efforts and plans together. With the help of the Sustainable Cities Institute, the City of Ann Arbor is creating a framework to integrate current planning efforts and to guide future planning.

This framework, whose intent is to create a more transparent organization of sustainability goals, has two key components:

  • A written document that identifies and integrates city planning efforts and goals.
  • A web-based component that highlights relationships between city plans and increases public accessibility to information.

The timeline for this project is 18 months and consists of four key phases:

  • Phase 1: Analyze gaps and plan interaction
  • Phase 2: Develop the framework
  • Phase 3: Present the framework
  • Phase 4: Draft the action plan

The Ann Arbor team is nearing the end of Phase 1, and is completing report summaries of their findings associated with each city plan.

Learn about the team’s next steps in the discussion forum, and “watch” for automatic updates on Ann Arbor’s journey.

(Source: Sustainable Cities Institute – June 2011 Newsletter.)

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