The Green Edition

18 Apr

On Monday, April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day. It was nearly 43 years ago that Senator Gaylord Nelson called for an “environmental teach-in” in reaction to the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. Inspired by the era’s student anti-war movement, the 1970 teach-in would morph into an annual worldwide demonstration of support for environmental protection. It is with this in mind that we take a moment to look back at the environmental accomplishments we have achieved to date, while staying focused on the challenging issues we have yet to face. This month’s issue hits on our usual range of topics, but we’ve framed each discussion through the lens of sustainability. One of the enduring triumphs of the environmental movement has been its ability to inject elements of sustainability, preservation, and rehabilitation into many of our public policymaking decisions. This month, we look at how environmental sustainability has permeated our economic development strategies, altered the calculus on transportation investments, and dictated the way we approach greenhouse gas emissions reductions. In all of this, we see the recurring trend of big ideas and bigger aspirations. And of course, our constant refrain is: to effect change, you must start with a coherent vision.

Sincerely yours,

Cecilia V. Estolano | Jennifer LeSar | Katherine A. Perez-Estolano

Integrating Sustainability and Economic Development

17 Apr

Promoting environmental sustainability and pursuing economic development strategies have typically been considered two separate and (often) competing goals. But times are changing, and a growing body of evidence supports the notion that sustainability typically delivers more enduring and broad-based economic returns. Cities across the continent are beginning to wed environmental sustainability to economic development, looking at investments in a sustainable economy as one tool to build broad-based prosperity. Continue reading

Living Up to the Potential of Clean Transportation

17 Apr

Transportation accounts for a sizable share of our carbon output. In 2006 almost a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions came from the movement of goods and people. As we continue to tackle the task of curbing emissions from this unwieldy and varied sector of the economy, local governments and policymakers are devising techniques to integrate clean transportation investment into larger sustainability and economic development goals. Everyone seems to agree that we need to invest in improved (and more sustainable) transportation infrastructure, but a coherent transportation investment strategy that serves as a driver for economic development still seems to allude us. Continue reading

Are Climate Action Plans Worthwhile?

17 Apr

Although it’s clear that we need to curb global greenhouse gas emissions, there’s little consensus on how we go about reaching long-term emissions targets. In fact, we don’t even agree on what those targets should be, whether it’s economically feasible to implement broad emissions reduction strategies, or if it’s already too late to take meaningful action. In the absence of a coherent global or national strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the battle to curb emissions in the U.S. is being waged at the local level. Continue reading

LADWP’s Pre-Craft Utility Program

16 Apr
Image from PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives: http://www.flickr.com/photos/acwa/8461634441/sizes/h/in/photostream/

Image from PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives: http://www.flickr.com/photos/acwa/8461634441/sizes/h/in/photostream/

California has long been a national leader in energy efficiency and clean energy, investing upwards of $6 billion a year across both sectors. Many of these investment dollars are held by public and private utility companies. This substantial investment in energy also presents a unique opportunity for utility companies to be drivers of economic development, leveraging their investments to create and transform jobs in the construction and utility sectors. Continue reading

Katherine Perez-Estolano Appointed to the CA High Speed Rail Authority

29 Mar

On Thursday, March 28th Governor Jerry Brown appointed Katherine A. Perez-Estolano to the California High Speed Rail AuthorityContinue reading