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Sustainable Indicators: A Barometer of Innovative Thinking and Taking Sustainability Seriously

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					Sustainable Indicators: A Barometer of Innovative Thinking and Taking Sustainability Seriously

What Is The Impulsion For Cities To Create Sustainable Indicators? Ever since Sustainable Seattle formulated indicators to assist in measuring their community‟s progress towards long-term sustainability, a number of other innovative cities have adopted indicators and developed a monitoring process. The development and constant revision of indicators is a major step for any city to show that it is taking sustainability seriously. This method of performance benchmarking highlights where each city is taking steps forward or stalling in efforts to create programs to decrease the drain on the environment. Discussed in the paper will be the impetus for individual cities to take the initiative to create sustainable indicators and whether or not the indicators are commonly part of a strategic plan encompassing a large number of city services and departments. In developing a hypothesis for the motivation in support of creating a sustainable indicators project, cities that had a major environmental crises within the last fifteen years would seem more likely to follow through with such a project. Initially, I saw very little reason why cities that had a strong environmental services department or that had a comparably clean environment as compared with the rest of the United States to develop indicators. Also, it appears that planning departments play a major role in the creation and implementation of indicators stemming from initial research into the sustainability program in San Diego and an article by Scott Campbell, Urban Policy Researcher at Rutgers University, titled “Urban Planning and the Contradictions of Sustainable Development.” Campbell argues that planning departments “face tough decisions about where they stand on protecting the green city, promoting the economically growing city

and advocating social justice”(Campbell 251). I hypothesized that a planning department that implemented elements of sustainability into a strategic plan would be a main contributor to the success of a sustainability program in a city. My hypothesis is stated as follows: “Cities that have faced significant humancaused threats over the past fifteen years and that have influential strategic planning departments will be more likely to create and take actions to monitor sustainability indicators as part of a general city plan than cities who have not faced significant environmental threats and do not have an influential strategic planning department.” To operationalize the hypothesis, the criteria must be concretely defined. Earthquakes and natural mudslides do not constitute significant environmental threats because they are not directly related to the sustainability of a city that can be altered by humans. To achieve consistency I narrowed my definition of human-caused threats to serious air pollution problems from exhaust and factory emissions in the cities and serious water contamination problems stemming from the hazardous waste byproducts of human causation. The choice to use fifteen years is a sufficiently narrow time period so as to limit the study to just before the sustainable indicators concept was generated. For a city to have an influential strategic planning department there must be sustainability and and operationalized strategies to deal with city-specific environmental issues laid out in a strategic plan. Many cities call their proposals general plans or comprehensive plans, and all attempt to create long-term tactics to improve sustainability. Land use plans that do not include indicators or sustainability initiatives are out of context based on the above criteria.

The vast majority of the evidence gathered and research conducted has refuted the conclusion stated in the hypothesis. The research indicates that the cities that have been monitoring indicators in the past five years are not the cities that faced a significant environmental crisis. Also, these cities were also much more likely to have intergrated sustainable indicators and environmental projects into a strategic plan for their respective cities. The air quality index from the EPA and the water-ranking index formulated by Robert Weinhold, author of The Rating Guide to Environmentally Healthy Metro Areas, identified the cities that had the most critical air and water problems in the country. These cities were analyzed and, even though steps were taken by those cities to mitigate the individual problems, sweeping changes were not made to create an impetus for the development of sustainability indicators.

What is Sustainability in the Context of Creating Indicators? Sustainable Seattle, the non-profit community organization that ushered in a new method of looking at ways to measure and improve sustainability defines the term as, “the "long-term, cultural, economic and environmental health and vitality" with emphasis on long-term, "together with the importance of linking our social, financial, and environmental well-being”(Sustainable Seattle). The social, economic, and environmental cogs of society each take a different outlook on what sustainability means in their field, and experts within each field differ as to what the operational definition of the concept should become. B.J. Brown and others look at the aspects of sustainable agriculture, energy, society, economy, and development in their article titled, Global Sustainability: Toward Definition. Their list of essential elements in defining

sustainability including, “the continued support of life on Earth, long term maintenance of biological stock and agricultural systems, stable human populations, limited growth economies, and continued quality in the environment and ecosystems” (Brown 717) provide a generalized definition that is not specific to any one sector. This logic follows the broad guidelines based on the 1987 Brundtland Report, the most broadly used definition of sustainability. It states that sustainability is: "meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (Brundtland Report). For the context of this paper, the use of sustainability will be defined along the framework of the Sustainable Seattle definition with a specific focus on environmental health and vitality. The focus will be where there are weak connections between the economy and social construct and the environmental movement. Constricting our definition to focus on effects on the environment will allow for greater specificity in conclusions.

Essential Concepts Indicators projects have been the cornerstone of the sustainability initiatives in a handful of innovative cities and the barometer to measure success in their efforts. Professor Kent Portney of Tufts University compiled data to form an index that differentiates cities based on the pure number of different recognized sustainability initiatives. In his book, “Taking Sustainability Seriously, Portney collected data for twenty-four cities and, of the top twelve cities that take sustainability seriously, eight of them have and indicators project that has been monitored over the past five years and that

has a “plan of action” within the description of indicators of a strategic plan (Portney 7071). Indicators are qualitative and quantitative forms of data that are used to measure trends over the long-term. Some measurements track environmental cleanliness such as the annual number of days of beach closures and postings in San Diego‟s indicators while others track the amount of energy consumed by the population of a city. Admittedly, there are many resource uses cannot be measured, but the indicators projects measure many variables to get an overall sense of where the community stands in achieving its goals. Indicators like citywide use of hazardous materials is not a realistic indicator, however many cities add that aspect of sustainability to the list even though they have no intentions on measuring it. The greater the breadth of indicators, the more complete the sustainability goals will become. A strategic, comprehensive, or general plan is a report that entails some type of specific action that is bound to the guidelines in the report. General plans are not restricted in their extent of specificity, and are specific to the needs of each individual city. In many instances the guidelines for monitoring sustainable indicators is located within the general plan. However, most communities have ignored including indicators and, in many instances, environmental concerns all together. Land use and economic prosperity are the sole objectives in many reports such as in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Variable formulation and analysis Through the use of two dichotomous independent variables, the presence of a strategic planning department and the occurrence of some environmental threat in the

past fifteen years, light will be shed on any correlations with the city‟s use or disuse of sustainable indicators, the dependant variable. It would be tautological to analyze whether the presence of indicators inherently presupposes a city that is taking sustainability serious. Cities like Seattle, Santa Monica, and Jacksonville have been on the forefront of the sustainability movement, and those cities have indicators. Cities that do not take a vested interest in becoming sustainable will almost certainly refrain from creating sustainable indicators. Planning departments in cities are divided into strategic planning and project planning. Strategic planning departments are motivated to plan for the long-term and publish concrete goals and standards with which to aspire. Project planning departments focus on mitigating short-term problems and rarely look ahead to impending dilemmas. The second independent variable recognizes major human-caused environmental threats to residents. I expected that cities that have had major environmental threats in the past fifteen years would learn from their poor foresight and form a sustainable indicators project. The indicators would allow them to track their performance mitigating the threat and give them the necessary long-term outlook with which to prevent further crises. A long-term outlook defines strategic planning departments, and I hypothesized that these departments would be more likely to monitor sustainable indicators. I expected to be able to look at cities that had environmental threats and discover that a sustainable indicators project was created a couple years later. I saw no reason why cities would create an indicators project if their city were either environmentally friendly or without any major environmental disasters.

Measurement Strategic planning department – This dichotomous variable is measured by the existence or absence of a strategic, general, or comprehensive plan. Economics and social programs are requisite for plans of action, but the city must also designate a section for sustainability and the environment in order to further the link between strategic plans in response to environmental threats. Environmental threats – In order to create specificity for the variable, this study concentrated on selecting cities with the worst air and water pollution ratings in the recent past. Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas have been selected as being among the worst performers in the Air Quality Index (AQI). The AQI “measures how polluted air is by measuring five major pollutants: ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide. Based on the amount of each pollutant in the air, the AQI assigns a numerical value to air quality as follows: 0 to 50 (good); 51 to 100 (moderate); 101 to 150 (unhealthy for sensitive groups); 151 to 200 (unhealthy); 201 to 300 (very unhealthy); 301 to 500 (hazardous)”(Air Quality). Each year the day in which the AQI in each city rose above 100 were tallied and listed in a chart. The three cities listed above were in the top five in worst air quality in 1990 and 2000, yet all three showed significant pollution reductions over the decade. The cities Boise and Fresno were selected for analysis based on their status as the bottom two in water quality a water quality index formulated by Robert Weinhold. He analyzed each city‟s drinking water and gave each city a point value that corresponded to the number and danger level of contaminants in the water. The EPA lists regulated eighty-seven contaminants and another sixty that are unregulated. Milwaukee was chosen based on the widespread news

coverage of the 1993 sickness outbreak affecting over 400,000 people as a result of contaminated drinking water.

Methodology To get at the root of why some cities choose and other ignore creating and monitor sustainable indicators, the first step was to identify the cities that have been on the forefront in formulating comprehensive plans within their planning department within the past fifteen years and that maintained sustainable indicators. Jacksonville, Portland, Santa Monica, Olympia, San Jose, and San Diego were chosen as cities that fit that description. The main goal of choosing these cities was to find out if there had been a major environmental threat within the past fifteen years to jump-start an indicators program. This decision will allow a deeper look into the impetus for these particular cities to create or spurn indicators. Next I identified the cities with the lowest ratings of air and water pollution in 2000. Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston, Fresno, Boise, and Milwaukee fit that description. Research completed on these cities would provide evidence for the hypothesis if they had created indicators as part of a strategic plan. By selecting some cities with strategic planning and indicators and others with environmental crises, the intent was to fill in the blanks and bring to light the validity of the hypothesis. The following are an introductory look at the cities chosen for the study: Jacksonville, FL Population: 693,630 Strategic Plan: 2010 Comprehensive Plan Major Indicators topics: Compliance with air standards, water quality, wastewater management, stormwater management, floodplain management, wetlands, wildlife, fisheries, public education, beaches, construction standards, etc. Website: http://www.jcci.org/ Portland, OR

Population: 538,544 Strategic Plan: Comprehensive Plan Major Indicators topics: Energy preservation, solid waste and recycling, green building, sustainable technology and practises Website: http://www.sustainableportland.org/ Santa Monica, CA Population: 84,084 Strategic Plan: Comprehensive Plan Major Indicators topics: Sustainable use of nonrenewable and limited resources, minimize accumulation of human-made substances in the air, water, and ground, preserve the productivity and diversity of nature, provide the range of human needs in a fair and efficient manner Website: http://www.mtn.org/iasa/santamonica.html Olympia, WA Population: 27,447 Strategic Plan: Port of Olympia Comprehensive Plan Major Indicators topics: Education, air quality, groundwater, promote wildlife diversity, demonstrate leadership in city-managed projects, and monitor progress Website: http://www.portolympia.com/execsummary/1to10.pdf and http://www.trpc.org/resources/olycompplan03_ch2_environment.pdf San Jose, CA Population: 944,857 Strategic Plan: San Jose 2020 General Plan Major Indicators topics: Watershed management, waste management, energy and air programs, transportation, economic development, environmental compliance, and community relations and public education Website: http://www.sanjoseca.gov/esd/PDFs/scrptft.pdf San Diego, CA Population: 1,223,400 Strategic Plan: San Diego General Plan Major indicators topics: Reduce traffic congestion, create better neighborhoods, clean up beaches and bays, increase safety, pursue energy independence, water conservation, environmental management systems, civic engagement, and residents reaching a living wage Website: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/auditor/pdf/adoptedplan_04-06_lueg.pdf and http://www.sandiego.gov/environmental-services/sustainable/pdf/indicators.pdf Dallas, TX Population: 904,078 Environmental Threat: Air. In 2000, 20 days with AQI above 100 Website: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0872695.html Los Angeles, CA Population: 2,966,850 Environmental Threat: Air. In 2000, 48 days with AQI above 100 Website: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0872695.html Houston, TX Population: 1,595,138

Environmental Threat: Air. In 2000, 42 days with AQI above 100 Website: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0872695.html Fresno, CA Population: 218,202 Environmental Threat: Water. Weinhold Index: 284 points Concerning Contaminants in Water: Arsenic, nitrates, pesticides, radioactivity, VOCs, turbidity Website: http://www.organicstyle.com/pdf/water_ranking.pdf Boise, ID Population: 102,451 Environmental Threat: Water. Weinhold index: 167 points Concerning Contaminants in Water: Arsenic, nitrates, radioactivity Website: http://www.organicstyle.com/pdf/water_ranking.pdf Milwaukee, WI Population: 636,212 Environmental Threat: Water. Cryptosporidium came from the fecal matter of cows that graze near the streams and rivers that feed into Lake Michigan, the source of Milwaukee's water. At the time of the epidemic, the system was unable to filter the tiny cryptosporidium bacteria out. Concerning Contaminants in Water: Turbidity, nitrates, and cryptosporidium Website: http://www.mpw.net/Pages/wqr2001.html (Population statistics taken form http://www.citypopulation.de/USA.html#Stadt_gross) City Analysis: Jacksonville, Florida As a community, Jacksonville takes sustainability fairly seriously. “Each year since 1985, a report on Life in Jacksonville: Quality Indicators for Progress has been produced in the community of Jacksonville…the information is used to monitor community performance in a number of key areas including: education, the economy, public safety, the natural environment, health, social environment, government/politics, recreation and mobility”(Quality Indicators for Progress: Jacksonville). Lois Chepenik, Executive Director of the Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI), stressed that this indicators report is an essential feature of the movement to become more sustainable. The JCCI is a non-profit organization initiated by members of the city who had a concerted interest in the future of their community. With the local Chamber of Commerce, the JCCI was able

to identify and work towards improving their indicators. Ms. Chepenik noted “We were established as an organization in 1975 as a result of the Amelia Island Conference by business and civic leaders to become the citizen convenors for citizen involvement, community planning, and advocacy. Ten years later, in 1985, JCCI expanded its efforts into measuring community indicators, mostly as a result of the vision and efforts of our executive director at the time, Marian Chambers”(Interview with Lois Chepenik). While the fact that this city is monitoring their indicators is a step in the right direction, Jacksonville has recently included an environmental “plan of action” within the 2010 Comprehensive Report managed by the city‟s planning department. Included under the goals and indicators are more strict inspections and testing of air pollution sources, denying industrial activities in Florida aquifer zones, and implement a “dredging plan” to protect the sensitive habitats of endangered species (Jacksonville 2010 8-16). The city government works in cooperation with JCCI to integrate sustainable practices throughout their department structure. The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce works more directly with JCCI to make the business community an active player in the effort.

Portland, Oregon Portland is renowned for take sustainability extremely seriously. The Portland Office of Sustainability “continues to embrace the goals set by Portland‟s City Council that are critical to the health and viability of our city: We have pledged to recycle and reduce solid waste, conserve energy and natural resources, increase the use of renewable energy, prevent air, water and land pollution and find new ways to improve personal and community health”(Portland OSD). Very few cities have an office devoted entirely to

sustainable development, and Portland has maintained a substantial commitment to sustainability by publishing an annual report concerning progress and future goals. Portland first developed a plan in 1993 with goals to reach by 2010. Their success has been encouraging. They set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by ten percent from 1993 to 2010 and they achieved a thirteen percent reduction through energy conservation and waste reduction efforts.

The graph above, taken from their 2004 report is an illustration of their success. Also, in that same time period the city government was able to reduce its energy bills by two to three million dollar per year through the use of renewable power sources like wind turbines and solar panels.

These two examples illustrate how Portland is setting goals and actually accomplishing them. Other efforts in recycling, green building programs, and multifamily assistance

highlight the extent to which Portland is serious about sustainability (Portland OSD). Portland‟s indicators project and annual progress reports set clear goals and organizational structures with which to envision and realize sustainability.

Santa Monica Dean Kubani, the Environmental Analyst for the City of Santa Monica, believes that, “indicators are an essential part of our Sustainable City Plan because they allow us to closely track our progress toward meeting our goals in these areas and monitor the effectiveness of the program and policy actions we have taken in order to meet the goals”(Santa Monica Sustainable Indicators). In Santa Monica, indicators are a benchmark for determining the effectiveness of the environmental services program and they allow the city government track its progress in sustainability efforts. Santa Monica also acted upon indicators that were expressing poor results by creating a hazardous waste consumer ordinance, retrofitting city energy usage, and implementing sustainable construction guidelines (Interview with Dean Kubani). Through cooperation between the city council and the environmental services department, a Sustainability Task Force was formed to monitor, create an action plan, and revise their indicators. It appears that the city council legitimizes the sustainability effort by creating task forces and appointing experts to committees that then fall under the environmental services department to operate and maintain. Also, a Sustainable City Plan was constructed in 2001 at the charging of Santa Monica City Council. They are currently working on a constant updating indicators project website where information will always be kept up-to-date.

Santa Monica‟s impetus for creating their indicators project was not the result of an environmental threat, but at the persistence of a handful of members of city council.

Olympia, Washington Olympia has a strong planning department that has created a strategic plan that includes the creation and monitoring or sustainable indicators. The air and water quality in this city is not among the lowest in the country, and no major human-caused environmental have occurred. “In 1991, Olympia, the capital of the state of Washington, accepted a challenge from the State Department of Ecology to help define what it would take to become a sustainable city…Instead of addressing each of these problems independently, Olympia is beginning to employ a more holistic approach, thinking of the city as an ecosystem where everything is connected and interdependent”(Olympia Sustainable City Initiative). In 1992, Olympia created a non-profit corporation called the Sustainable Community Roundtable. The organization was charged with creating dialogue in the city about sustainability and organizing action teams to improve sustainability through education and cooperation with city council members (Sustainable Community Roundtable). After failing in various attempts to contact the Roundtable and with the knowledge that the website has not been updated in over three years, it is possible that this organization has gone out of existence. However, the planning department in Olympia seems to have picked up where the Roundtable left off by including environmental and sustainability issues in their comprehensive report. They aim to complete citywide as well as region-wide initiatives. The city has adopted a water comprehensive plan, an urban waterfront plan, and a solid waste plan. Regionally, the

city participates in a coordinated water system plan, a groundwater management plan, and the Thurston Country Moderate Waste Plan (Comprehensive Plan for Olympia). From the evidence above, it appears that the impetus to create the sustainable indicators project and the strategic planning vision was from concerned citizens, and the city government stepped in and helped the citizens further their vision to the point where the Roundtable could be disbanded. An interview with Steve Hall, the Assistant City Manager in Olympia, uncovered insight into how the city „s vision and action changed from year to year. “When we began the concept in 1990, we didn‟t understand it well at all. We began with projects such as a 10% price preference to recycled paper goods and using alternative fuels to retrofit our city fleet with hybrid cars with electric engines…The innovation to use sustainable indicators came from a couple of employees. They regarded it as a tool of performance management, something that has been known about for years. The indicators were helpful in measuring if we could make a difference”(Interview with Steve Hall). When asked about the reason why the indicators project was sustained, he replied, “The familiar challenges of rapid urbanization: sprawl, development of wildlife habitats, water pollution, rising costs of living, homelessness, and traffic jams”(Interview with Steve Hall). Most cities have these problems, but only those that have the desire to monitor their progress in improving their environment will take on an indicators project.

San Jose, California “How do we know when we get there?” replied Mary Tucker of the San Jose Sustainable City Strategy when I asked her for the driving force that led San Jose to create an

indicators project. She explained that indicators were a mode of performance benchmarking (Interview with Mary Tucker). The finance and land use departments have the abilities to use dollar signs as a mode of benchmarking to measure progress and whereas the environmental services department needed goals and a vision that can be measured. “In August of 1994, San Jose's City Council adopted San Jose 2020 as its general plan. Included within the plan was a new Strategy entitled the "Sustainable City Major Strategy.” The Sustainable City Major Strategy is a statement of San Jose's desire to become an environmentally and economically sustainable city”(San Jose Sustainable City Status Report). The mayor, city council, and NGO‟s worked together to create substantial change. The results since the sustainability plan was integrated into San Jose 2020 are uplifting. “In 1997 the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant treated over 50 billion gallons (139 mgd) of wastewater, and removed over 94 million pounds of solids (258,600 lb/day) and 88 million pounds of BOD (257,000 lb/day)…By the close of fiscal year 96/97, the City's water efficiency programs had achieved the flow reduction goal of 15 mgd from the 1986 conservation plan and 1991 Action Plan. More than 5 mgd of this reduction was completed during the last three years of that period and occurred during a time of tremendous regional growth. Water use rates continue to remain below baseline levels in 1987”(San Jose Sustainable City Status Report). Environmental services become much more useful when there are more concrete goals to aspire to rather than broad initiatives which are useful but not measurable.

San Diego, California The San Diego Sustainable Community Program has very specific goals in mind to make the San Diegan environment a cleaner and safer place to live. Goals of reducing traffic congestion, cleaning up bays and beaches, pursuing energy independence, and promoting water conservation are all valid goals (San Diego Sustainable Community Indicators). The environmental services department in the city of San Diego controls the majority of the sustainability effort. They have strong programs in place for green building, recycling, removal of hazardous waste, conserving energy, the City of Villages project, car pool lanes, Brownfield Redevelopment, and a comprehensive land use plan. The planning department of San Diego has included environment and energy conservation within their General Plan. As a unit, the city of San Diego takes sustainability very seriously.

Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston, Fresno, Boise, Milwaukee This group of cities is best analyzed when taken together. These were considered the cities that had air and water threats within the past fifteen years. These cities were hypothesized to be more likely to create and monitor sustainable indicators than cities in which no major environment threat was present. While each of these cities have their own land use plan, only Fresno included environmental sustainability within the context of the strategic plan. Furthermore, not one of these cities has taken steps to pursue sustainable indicators. It must be conceded that there are many great individual programs occurring within the cities listed above, but their failure to create indicators weighs on

their level of taking sustainability seriously. The City of Dallas has wonderful “green building” and alternative fuels programs, Los Angeles has great water pollution control systems, Houston has a good solid waste management project, Boise has a standard air quality program, and Milwaukee has a good Brownfield redevelopment program. However, individual programs can only take a city to a certain level of sustainability.

Results Due to the evidence presented in this paper, the hierarchy of taking sustainability seriously seems to start at the ground floor with cities that do not have any projects that promote sustainability. The next level consists of cities that have programs promoting sustainability but those programs are not organized into one vision and are not measured, thus performance over the long-term remains muddy. The next level consists of cities that have their sustainability programs tied together with goals and a long-term vision under sustainable indicators. The highest level of taking sustainability serious consist of a fully cohesive and co-operative sustainability program integrated into a strategic plan listing the indicators. This top level also includes an action plan located within the pages of a strategic plan with which many departments in city government as well as NGO‟s can participate. The twelve cities in this study fall under the following categories in the diagram on the following page.

Env. Threat and No Threat, Strategic Project Planning Planning Monitor Indicators

Threat, Project Planning

No Threat, Strategic Planning Jacksonville, Portland, Santa Monica, Olympia, San Jose, San Diego

Don‟t Monitor Indicators

Fresno

Dallas, LA, Houston, Boise, Milwaukee

As it turns out, cities that have had major air and water threats are satisfied to use a project mentality rather than a strategic mentality. Efforts were made by the cities to mitigate the threat, however they only seem to concentrate on the short-term problems. To create favorable conditions for the creation and maintenance of an indicators project, there must be either a group of concerned citizens, an NGO, the environmental services department, the city planning department, or the city council to start the drive to pursue sustainability. Once this task has been accomplished, an agent of the city, whether it is the environmental services department or the planning department, must take the lead in the initiative. The JCCI and Sustainable Seattle are two NGO‟s that do not follow this model exactly, but in the majority of situations an aspect of city government must take pro-active steps to secure indicators.

Implications I was not expecting such clear differences between the two groups of cities. All cities researched that had strategic planning departments with sustainable indicators within a strategic plan did not perform poorly in the air and water pollution ranking, and

not one of the cities that performed poorly on the air and water pollution ranking had a sustainable indicators project. This leads me to the conclusion that cities with sustainability indicators projects are able to monitor levels of pollutants better than cities that do not. Also, cities with indicators projects will be more able to see potential threats and take steps to monitor and eliminate the threats before they become a problem. As more cities explore and eventually legitimize their own set of indicators to monitor progress in attaining sustainability, the successes will prompt other cities to join the movement. Seattle and Jacksonville were innovators, but it is time for the rest of the country to build upon these advances. Green building programs, pollution reduction, Brownfield Redevelopment, and many other programs show that communities are taking this topic very seriously. If cities around the country tackle indicators projects there will be more awareness and action regarding helping our environment survive for future generations.

Works Cited “Air Quality in Selected U.S. Cities.” Infoplease. Accessed on 01 May 2005. Source: EPA. <http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0872695.html> Brown, Becky et al. “Global Sustainability” Towards Definition. In Environmental Management, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. 713-719, 1987. “Brundtland Report.” Sustainable Development. 4 December 2004. Accessed on 05 May 2005. < http://www.are.admin.ch/are/en/nachhaltig/international_uno/unterseite02330/> Campbell, Scott. “Planning: Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities? Urban Planning And the Contradictions of Sustainable Development.” In The Earthscan Reader In Sustainable Cities, David Satterthwaite, ed.., Chapter 12, pp. 251-273. London: Eathscan Publications, 1999. Comprehensive Plan for Olympia and the Olympia Growth Area. http://www.trpc.org/programs/planning/olympia/olympia+comprehensive+plan.ht m. Updated in 2002. Accessed 6 May 2005. Interview with Dean Kubani, Environmental Analyst for the City of Santa Monica. 4/14/05 Interview with Lois Chepenik, Executive Director of the JCCI. 4/14/05 Interview with Mary Tucker, San Jose Sustainable City Strategy. 4/14/05 Interview with Steve Hall, Assistant City Manager for the City of Olympia. 4/14/05 Jacksonville 2010 Comprehensive Plan: Conservation/Coastal Management Element Jacksonville Planning and Development Department. November 2004. “Quality Indicators for Progress.” (Jacksonville) Community Sustainability Resource Institute. Accessed 12 April 2005. http://www.sustainable.org/casestudies/SIA_PDFs/SIA_florida.pdf Portland Office of Sustainable Development 2004 Report. Accessed 1 May 2005. < http://www.sustainableportland.org/osd_pubs_annual_report_2004.pdf> Portney, Kent. Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously: Economic Development, the Environment, and Quality of Life in American Cities. MIT Press, 2003. San Diego Sustainable Community Program Indicators, City of San Diego. Updated 2 March 2004. Accessed last 4 May 2005. <http://www.sandiego.gov/environmental-services/sustainable/pdf/indicators.pdf>

San Jose Sustainable City Status Report: Executive Summary, 6/98. < http://www.sanjoseca.gov/esd/suscityexecsummary.htm> “Santa Monica Sustainable Indicators.” Email to JohnMValentine@gmail.com from Dean.Kubani@smgiv.net. 20 April 2005. Sustainable City Initiative (Olympia): Community Roundtable. Olympia, WA. Update on 12/97. Accessed on 20 April 2005. < http://www.sustainable.org/casestudies/SIA_PDFs/SIA_Washington.pdf> Sustainable Community Roundtable. Last update 13 February 2001. Accessed 10 April 2005. http://www.olywa.net/roundtable/ 2006. Sustainable Seattle website. Accessed 2 May 2005. http://sustainableseattle.org/

4/14/05 Interview Transcript Lois Chepenik Executive Director Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (904) 396-3052 Ms. Chepenik? My name is John Valentine. I was wondering if I could ask you a question or two about the sustainable city program in Jacksonville for my college research paper. Who started the initiative to create sustainability indicators in your city? (Mayor/City Council/Non-Profit/Grassroots/Planning Dept.) Jacksonville Community Council Inc., Non-Profit Organization Who has taken the lead on the indicators project currently? (Mayor/City Council/Non-Profit/Grassroots/Planning Dept., ?) JCCI still leads the indicators project

What was the impetus for creating an indicators project? What gave way to ones formation… (Political environment/Seeing it done in other cities/Major environmental threats, ?) Citizens concerned about the future of their community and the local Chamber of Commerce. We were established as an organization in 1975 as a result of the Amelia Island Conference by business and civic leaders to become the citizen convenor for citizen involvement, community planning, and advocacy. Ten years later, in 1985, JCCI expanded its efforts into measuring community indicators, mostly as a result of the vision and efforts of our executive director at the time, Marian Chambers.

Did you model your indicators after anyone‟s indicator project? And what indicators did you tailor to your individual city? We followed the guidelines of Seattle’s program and then customized it to fit our needs. What is being done to monitor and take action on these indicators? Annual Quality indicators for Progress reports and Community Agenda: Indicators for Health and Human Services

Has there been a major environmental threat to your city in the past 20 years? Not that I know of

4/14/05 Interview Transcript

Dean Kubani Environmental Analyst City of Santa Monica (310) 458-2227 Mr. Kubani? My name is John Valentine. I was wondering if I could ask you a question or two about the sustainable city program in Santa Monica for my college research paper. Who started the initiative to create sustainability indicators in your city? (Mayor/City Council/Non-Profit/Grassroots/Planning Dept.) City Council created the Santa Monica Task Force Who has taken the lead on the indicators project currently? (Mayor/City Council/Non-Profit/Grassroots/Planning Dept., ?) -Santa Monica Sustainability Program was backed by the City Department of Environmental and Public Works and 7 citizens nominated by city council. No budget - Sustainable City Advisory Team

What was the impetus for creating an indicators project? What gave way to ones formation… (Political environment/Seeing it done in other cities/Major environmental threats, ?) -To ensure that Santa Monica could continue to meet its current needs – environmental, economic, and social – without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. Did you model your indicators after anyone‟s indicator project? And what indicators did you tailor to your individual city? What is being done to monitor and take action on these indicators? -Progress reports. -Created the hazardous waste consumer ordinance, city energy retrofitting, and sustainable construction guidelines

Has there been a major environmental threat to your city in the past 20 years? No

John Valentine <johnmvalentine@gmail.com>

RE: Santa Monica Sustainable Indicators 1 message Dean Kubani <Dean.Kubani@smgov.net> Wed, Apr 20, 2005 at 5:28 PM To:John Valentine <johnmvalentine@gmail.com> Hi John, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this. I've been out of the office with a nasty flu for awhile and I'm only now catching up on my emails. Here are more complex answers to your questions: Who started the initiative to create sustainability indicators in your city? (Mayor/City Council/Non-Profit/Grassroots/Planning Dept.) It was started by the City's Task Force on the Environment - a group of seven City council appointed experts in various areas of environmental policy. They are all residents of the City and act in an advisory role to the City Council on matters of environmental policy. In the early 1990s they worked with City staff on developing an initial draft of the city's Sustainable City Program that included indicators to track progress toward meeting the goals of the program. Who has taken the lead on the indicators project currently? (Mayor/City Council/Non-Profit/Grassroots/Planning Dept., ?) Once that initial program was adopted by our City Council in 1994 City staff in the Environmental Programs Division became responsible for collecting data for the indicators and reporting back to Council. The Task Force on the Environment continues to stay involved by reviewing these reports and by recommending programs and policies to influence the indicators in positive ways. In 2001 the city began a comprehensive update and expansion of the Sustainable City Program. The outcome of that was the adoption in February 2003 of the Updated Sustainable City Plan, which contains a much larger set of indicators than the original Sustainable City Program. Following the adoption of that plan, City council created a Sustainable City Task Force to oversee implementation of the plan and encourage community participation. This group now advises Council regarding community actions necessary for sustainability. The City's Environmental Programs Division still oversees all of the data collection and reporting for the indicators.

What was the impetus for creating an indicators project? (Political affiliations/Seeing it done in other cities/Major environmental threats, ?) The desire to improve the local environment in all areas (air/water/land). Indicators are an essential part of our Sustainable city Plan because they allow us to closely track our progress toward meeting our goals in these areas and monitor the effectiveness of the program and policy actions we have taken in order to meet the goals. Did you model your indicators after anyone's indicator project? And what indicators did you tailor to your individual city? Back when we originally developed our indicators (in the early 1990s), there weren't many sustainability indicator programs out there to steal from. However, we did look at Sustainable Seattle's indicators, as well as Jacksonville's program. But what we came up with was specifically designed to measure progress toward our specific goals here in Santa Monica. What is being done to monitor and take action on these indicators? My office is constantly collecting data on the indicators and periodically reporting on them to Council. This information is used to inform program and policy development to help meet our sustainable City Plan goals. We are currently working on creating a web-based indicator report that will be updated on an ongoing basis so that all decision-makers in the city will have access to the most current data when they need it. I expect that this will be completed within the next 3 or 4 months. What role does your city's planning department have in creating and editing indicators? Very little. They were involved in the update process I described above, but that involvement was little more than having a couple of staff members from that department attend meetings and give feedback. Let me know if you need any additional information. Dean Kubani Sustainable City Coordinator City of Santa Monica 310 458 2227 www.smepd.org

Interview Transcript 4/14/05 Steve Hall Assistant City Manager Olympia, WA (360) 753-8447 Mr. Hall? My name is John Valentine. I was wondering if I could ask you a question or two about the sustainable city program in Olympia for my college research paper. Who started the initiative to create sustainability indicators in your city? (Mayor/City Council/Non-Profit/Grassroots/Planning Dept.) State Department of Ecology issued a challenge to the City of Olympia to create indicators to measure performance Who has taken the lead on the indicators project currently? (Mayor/City Council/Non-Profit/Grassroots/Planning Dept., ?) -The Sustainable Community Roundtable (NGO) What was the impetus for creating an indicators project? What gave way to ones formation… -Citizens concerned about the future of their community and the local Chamber of Commerce (Quality indicators for progress) When we began the concept in 1990, we didn’t understand it well at all. We began with projects such as a 10% price preference to recycled paper goods and using alternative fuels to retrofit our city fleet with hybrid cars with electric engines. We also knew that it was important to be inclusive to the public regarding the process. All we knew then was that an indicators project would be a great tool to measure whether or not we could lessen the impact of our waste on the environment. The innovation to use sustainable indicators came from a couple of employees. They regarded it as a tool of performance management, something that has been known about for years. The indicators were helpful in measuring if we could make a difference. (Steve Hall) -The familiar challenges of rapid urbanization: sprawl, development of wildlife habitats, water pollution, rising costs of living, homelessness, and traffic jams. Did you model your indicators after anyone‟s indicator project? And what indicators did you tailor to your individual city? We monitored our indicators project after other cities, but I cannot get ahold of the person who knows exactly which ones. (Steve Hall) What is being done to monitor and take action on these indicators? Annual Quality Quality indicators for Progress reports and Community Agenda: Indicators for Health and Human Services

Interview Transcript 4/14/05 Mary Tucker San Jose Sustainable City Strategy 408.277.5533
mary.tucker@sanjoseca.gov

Ms. Tucker? My name is John Valentine. I was wondering if I could ask you a question or two about the sustainable city program in San Jose for my college research paper. Who started the initiative to create sustainability indicators in your city? (Mayor/City Council/Non-Profit/Grassroots/Planning Dept.) Combination of mayor, city council, and NGO’s Who has taken the lead on the indicators project currently? (Mayor/City Council/Non-Profit/Grassroots/Planning Dept., ?) - The indicators project has turned into a system in which every element of city government has become involved. What was the impetus for creating an indicators project? What gave way to ones formation… (Political environment/Seeing it done in other cities/Major environmental threats, ?) -Performance benchmarking…done in other cities…how do we know when we get there? - City service areas…Looking broadly at what the city does in a lot of different areas. All city departments like health, traffic, finance… What is being done to monitor and take action on these indicators?


				
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