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Inclusive and Lasting Impacts
Inclusive and Lasting Impacts
Planning is a tool that communities can use to envision their future. The intentional incorporation of sustainability in planning documents can help a community establish and work toward their own environmental goals. Voices that are representative of the community need to be sought after and acted on to improve the planning process and outcomes.
The following provides tangible actions catalyst communities can take to ensure a just transition to decarbonization as it pertains to planning for inclusive and lasting impacts, and coincides with Michigan Green Communities. Relevant resources, webinars, and community examples accompany each action below.
Embed Sustainability in the Planning Process
Integrate sustainability targets and actions into core community planning documents such as a master plan or sustainability plan. A sustainability plan is a strategy document that sets goals and outlines a set of initiatives to improve the sustainability of a community. Using a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory as the foundation, this plan defines GHG reduction targets and identifies priority actions. By providing a framework for achieving these goals, the plan facilitates coordination between broader community engagement and local government leadership. In addition, the plan supports effective action over time because it establishes methods for assessing progress and adjusting the local strategy if GHG targets are surpassed or not fulfilled.
- Local Action Framework: A Guide to Help Communities Achieve Energy and Environmental Goals
- The Carbon-Free City Handbook
- Sustainable Development Code
- Master Planning for Resiliency and Sustainability
- Master and Capital Improvement Plans Can Help Build green and Blue Economies
- Michigan Green Communities
Webinars & Workshops:
- City of Royal Oak Sustainability and Climate Action Plan
- Meridian Township Climate Sustainability Plan
- Muskegon County Sustainability Plan
- City of Ann Arbor Living Carbon Neutrality Plan
- Sustainable Southfield: Comprehensive Plan
- Liveable Petoskey Master Plan
- City of Lansing Sustainability Action Plan
Leverage Local Expertise
Include residents, local business owners, and other stakeholders to provide valuable context and insight when implementing municipal and community sustainability actions. This could be a commission or partnership between local non-profits, could involve staff members from different city departments, or an extension of an existing department.
Integrate Equity into Community Sustainability
Build and strengthen municipal processes to be more inclusive, cohesive, and representative of all community members, now and in the future. This could include sustainability team members attending equity trainings, and/or developing and adopting a statement on the community's shared vision for equity. These system-wide, structural changes are an important step in creating open and equitable communities.
- Ten Lessons for Taking Leadership on Racial Equity
- Racial Equity Toolkit
- Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate
- ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability USA Sustainable Communities Suite: Equity: First Steps Guide
- Planning for Equity Policy Guide
- Sustainable Development Code: Chapter 6.3 Environmental Justice
Identify and track partnership opportunities with other municipalities, state and regional agencies, non-profits, nearby universities/colleges, local/regional businesses, etc. to broaden engagement and increase the impact of sustainability actions.