By Tammy Zborel
In the spring of 2012 NLC welcomed the Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI) to the Center for Research and Innovation. This dynamic, online platform continues to be a ‘go-to’ resource for local government leaders seeking information, support, and guidance across a range of sustainability areas. Topics covered within SCI include energy, transportation, community engagement, waste management, land-use and more. Local sustainability leaders – elected officials and staff – come to SCI to find practical tools such as case studies, model policies, reports, guides, checklists and communication materials.
Over the past six months NLC has contributed nine brand new case studies to SCI – from residential solar in Beaverton, OR, and comprehensive sustainability planning in Riverside, CA, to active living programs in Rochester, MN, and many more. And in our discussions with members and city leaders about their needs and interests for tools to support their sustainability initiatives, we have also heard consistent messages: keep it simple, streamlined and practical.
As the field of sustainability grows, so too have the range of services, tools and resources catering to local governments. So in conjunction with developing in-house materials, SCI is also vetting external resources, posting only the very best sources of information to help inform and support local government efforts. There is still a lot of work to do but with the ongoing involvement and support of members SCI will remain, and continue to grow as, a leading resource for advancing local government sustainability.
In addition to the dynamic resources found on the Sustainable Cities Institute website, NLC produces a monthly SCI Newsletter and maintains an active twitter feed (@SustCitiesInst), events calendar and blog. We encourage you to follow these resources and invite you to complete this brief questionnaire to help us better understand your needs. Results from this questionnaire will be used to inform future developments within SCI and NLC’s ongoing work on sustainability. In addition, we always welcome feedback, questions and ideas for resources or case studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join NLC on September 21st at 2:00pm (ET) for a webinar – co-hosted by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) – on Streamlining Code Compliance. Representatives from IMT, the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) and building officials from Montgomery County, MD will present on strategies that local governments can use to increase building code compliance to reduce energy consumption and save money.
Building Sustainable Communities will be one of three strategies presented this year at NLCs Congress of Cities, November 28 – December 1st in Boston, MA. A full schedule of events is now posted online with descriptions of workshops covering topics such as energy efficiency, green infrastructure, performance metrics, local food, partnership building and more!
Also don’t miss out on two great pre-conference training sessions focused on sustainability! “Engaging the Public on Sustainability” (Wednesday November 28th, 1:30pm) will provide city leaders with frameworks, tools, and techniques to effectively communicate sustainability principles to diverse audiences. During “Implementing STAR: The Sustainability Framework Built By and For Local Governments” (Thursday November 29th, 9am) participants will learn about the nation’s first framework for evaluating, quantifying, and improving the livability and sustainability of communities. NOTE: All pre-conference training sessions require additional fee and registration. Learn more about Congress of Cities program and registration here.