Image Source: Eric Sehr. Source License: CC BY-SA 2.0. Adaptations: cropped.

The Inventory of Local Sustainability Policies and Programs, a product of the Air Quality work group, summarizes a survey done through the CONNECT process of existing community policies, regulations, and programs that support environmental and social sustainability.

Why is this important to your community?

The CONNECT region is one of the fastest growing regions in the country, with a projected doubling of population by 2050. While this population growth will support existing businesses and create new opportunities, it will also result in a significant increase in construction projects and vehicle miles traveled —in turn leading to higher levels of emissions throughout the region. This change will impact air quality and exacerbate issues related to our changing climate. Referencing, updating and maintaining the CONNECT Inventory of Local Sustainability Policies and Programs will help communities learn from each other how to grow in ways that protect important environmental and social resources. It will contribute to an ongoing growth framework that builds on existing plans and programs and ensures that the region’s air quality is not further impaired by increased development pressure.

How does it work?

The Air Quality work group surveyed communities throughout the CONNECT region to determine what policies and programs municipalities have in place to support sustainability, including comprehensive land use plans, bike and pedestrian plans, green building policies, climate action plans, sustainability goals, clean fleet policies, and related programs used by municipalities, businesses, and institutions were collected. The group then analyzed these policies and programs to find commonalities that can be built upon to further reduce air pollution, and opportunities to encourage further reductions in air pollution. The matrix is organized by county and gives the average usage for the region based on 45 municipalities. (see Inventory of Local Sustainability Policies and Programs). As new programs emerge or change, the matrix will be updated to reflect advances in local sustainability. The matrix is a resource to communities seeking to implement sustainable practices, and to inspire cross-pollination and knowledge exchange between communities throughout the CONNECT region.

Ready to get started?

Using the Tool

  • Review the on-line Inventory of Local Sustainability Policies and Programs – for programs and policies that may benefit residents and improve air quality and sustainability in your area. Contact the COGs for contact information, or contact communities directly, if you see communities doing things or implementing programs that you are interested in for your community.
  • Submit your own municipality’s policies and programs for inclusion in the matrix. Consider including measures of progress, success stories, and lessons learned to benefit other communities interested in implementing similar policies or programs.
  • Check back often to see what new sustainable policies and programs are being utilized in communities throughout the CONNECT region.
  • Share the matrix with local officials and with your residents by linking to it on your local website and sharing the link with non-profits in your community.

Where has it worked?