APA’s new Sustainable Community Division’s new sustainability program offers insights and resources for amplifying national, state, and local initiatives. With the election of Bob Kern as Chair of APA’s new Sustainability Community Division, the division is poised for it’s first full program initiative (read it here and excerpted below for convenience). It is illustrative of upcoming directions for APA Sustainability and a powerful platform of resources for State APA Chapters and local planners.
Program: The Division needs to promote active engagement with sustainability issues. There is already significant knowledge and discussions occurring about sustainability. The Division should add value by promoting members’ leadership and expertise. Bob’s vision for our Division is to strategically direct efforts into three areas.
The first area is to focus on a communications campaign. Sustainability is too often misunderstood or dismissed by people because it is not well defined. This campaign would redefine sustainability in ways that better connect with public and private sector decision-makers.
The second initiative is to build a sustainability leadership network nationally and in APA state chapters. This network would grow a movement of planners across the country that advances sustainable solutions in their respective regions, but have a national “toolkit” of materials to catalyze and leverage their efforts.
The third initiative I envision is a virtual training and best practices program. These online resources would be complimented with in-person sessions at national and state professional meetings. Developing a core curriculum with a handful of topics such as comprehensive planning, zoning, etc. is an important first step.