City buildings with trees
City buildings with trees

Environment & Sustainability

An ever more critical area of focus for cities, environmental and sustainability-minded approaches to governance ensure cities can continue building on today’s successes into the future. We offer resources based on our own research, and equally as important, we are a convener where cities can share proven best practices.

Environment & Sustainability subtopics:

Recent

  • News Announcement

As a part of the Obama Administration's effort to cut energy waste in the nation's buildings and facilities, today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National League of Cities launched the Better Buildings Zero Energy Districts…

city at night
city at night
  • Grant Programs

The Sustainable Cities Institute at NLC is part of a team providing no-cost consulting services to cities through SolSmart, a national designation and technical assistance program that recognizes leading solar communities and empowers additional…

  • Case Studies & Practices

Tempe's sustainability and resilience initiatives were typically housed within the Department of Public Works. To broaden the city's mission and commitment to sustainability, Tempe created a citizens' Sustainability Commission, and the city…

  • Case Studies & Practices

The Leadership in Community Resilience project will help South Bend assess the extent to which urban forest and other green infrastructure can be developed to help manage stormwater, urban heat, and improve neighborhood quality. By first updating…

  • Case Studies & Practices

In 2016, the city of San Antonio adopted SA Tomorrow, a coordinated planning effort including an updated Comprehensive Plan, Sustainability Plan, and Multimodal Transportation Plan. The plans are intended to help the city manage…

  • Case Studies & Practices

The city of Saint Paul hosted several city and regional plans related to climate adaptation, mitigation, and sustainability. This includes achieving the goals of the Compact of Mayors, finalizing a Resilience Framework, developing a Climate…

  • Case Studies & Practices

Food systems, primarily agriculture has a long history in southern California. After decades of population growth and urban sprawl, the city of Riverside is developing a coordinated regional effort to support local farmers and bring forth…

  • Case Studies & Practices

The city of Providence leveraged their Leadership in Community Resilience grant to align with and support an existing Partners for Places Equity Pilot Initiative, an intensive nine-month community-building process. Working with Groundworks Rhode…

Rhode Island School of Design Shellfish habitat project with Providence skyline in background
Rhode Island School of Design Shellfish habitat project with Providence skyline in background
  • Case Studies & Practices

Portland residents and business owners experience the impacts of rising sea-levels and more frequent, intense floods as a result to heavy rainfall on the city’s aging stormwater systems. Nowhere is the threat of climate change on property and…

Portland's working waterfront and historic downtown
Portland's working waterfront and historic downtown
  • Case Studies & Practices

The City of Des Moines is focused on building trust and strengthening relationships with communities in low-income and underrepresented areas that are most susceptible to incurring impacts from climate change. The Leadership in Community…