Santa Monica, CA

(Sampled from the Climate Protection Manual for Cities)
Santa Monica was one of the first cities to develop comprehensive sustainability indicators, adopting them in 1994.  In 2001, when Santa Monica’s task force reviewed the progress made since the original adoption of indicators in 1994, members decided it was time to update their indicators to portray a more comprehensive picture.  This process began in July 2001 with the Sustainability City Working Group.  The group met often during a 15-month period to discuss future goals.  After receiving public input, the task force introduced a new Santa Monica Sustainable City Plan. The plan includes eight goal areas that as a whole represent a vision for sustainability in the community.  The goals are:

  1. Resource Conservation
  2. Environmental and Public Health
  3. Transportation
  4. Economic Development
  5. Open Space and Land Use
  6. Housing
  7. Community Education and Participation
  8. Human Dignity

The Santa Monica Sustainability Matrix[14] presents the goals and indicators and the relationship between them.  The following shows a segment of the Resource Conservation Indicators and how each performance metric addresses Santa Monica’s eight goal areas.

Minneapolis, MN

(Sampled from the Climate Protection Manual for Cities)

In 2006, the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution establishing 24 sustainability indicators.  The initial indicators were developed in two public roundtable meetings facilitated by Crossroads Resource Center (through a grant from the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance).

The process involved asking approximately 100 residents and professionals to express a 50-year vision for the City’s future.  The City then set 10-year targets to provide numerical and focused goals to move the city towards this vision.

The indicators reflect areas in which the city aspired to improve.  These are high level, forward- looking measurements on specific topics.  They center on a vision for the community’s long-term future and address the linkages between various issues.

As directed by the City Council, the principles, goals and indicators from the Sustainability Report will be incorporated into all city decision-making.  Elements from the report will become part of all City departments’ business plans.  Each department will develop strategies to meet the sustainability goals that correspond to their business areas and report on annual progress in their business plans.  Coordination among City departments is critical to achieving these goals.  Stronger alignment among stakeholders will help by streamlining resources, spurring creativity and institutionalizing sustainability principles.

Obama’s Climate Action Plan (2013)

President Obama created a national platform for reduction in greenhouse gases, increase energy efficiency, expand low-carbon energy sources, and increase resilience to extreme weather and other climate impacts.  Combined with the Administration’s other actions to increase the efficiency of our cars and household appliances, the President’s plan hoped to reduce the amount of energy consumed by American families. Learn about Obama’s CAP progress in 2016 here. The policies outlined in this CAP are important at multiple scales, but executive order from President Trump has overturned many of these initiatives.

More coming soon!