Sustainability Committee’s State Conference Session: Integrating Sustainability

Sustainability Committee’s State Conference Session: Integrating Sustainability

Conor Merrigan, Principal, C2 Sustainability

The Sustainability Committee will be presenting a session focused on the challenges, lessons learned, and best practices relating to integrating sustainability at the municipal level. Representatives from three different organizations (Boulder, Lakewood, and Nederland) with various approaches will be presenting and there will be a lively discussion moderated by committee co-chair Conor Merrigan. The session will be on Friday October 3rd at 10:45, so be sure to enjoy the wonderful town of Crested Butte the night before to ensure you’ll make it.

On one end of the spectrum, Mayor Joe Gierlach will address the challenge of implementing sustainability as a guiding principle without any specific resources and how Nederland has leveraged the internet, grant funding, and a sustainability-minded populace to start integrating sustainability into governance. In Lakewood, Sustainability Manager Jonathan Wachtel will focus on what has and hasn’t worked in developing a specific sustainability division to help the city embrace the elements of sustainability that make the most sense for residents. Finally, Chris Meschuk, a Planner II from the City of Boulder, will provide an update on the process of attempting to tie sustainability goals into the budgeting process and other methods that Boulder has found to be effective in encouraging sustainability in the meantime.

The topic of exactly how sustainability is effectively integrated into organizations remains one of high interest for public and private sector planners. The Guerrilla Sustainability event co-hosted by the Sustainability committee and the APA Student chapter was well attended and left attendees eager to hear more, and comes up consistently as a high interest discussion at committee meetings. Since sustainability as an organizational concept (especially at the municipal level) is relatively new, there aren’t many examples of the long term success or failures of such programs. Approaches vary, and sometimes the challenge of how to get started may be enough to freeze forward momentum. This moderated panel presentation will be focused on the successful steps for a diversity of municipal types and contain lessons that will apply to organizations across sectors. Come join some of the leaders of the movement on the Front Range (and a little bit higher) as we get into the details of what works and stick around as we continue the conversations over the rest of the conference.

If APA members have specific questions they would like to see raised or issues that they are seeing in relation to integrating sustainability, you are encouraged to send an e-mail to for inclusion.





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