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Home > Feature Articles > Municipality Strategies for Sustainable Community Best Practices

Saving the World is HARD!

Urban planning is changing, getting more complicated...and compliance is coming.

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But destroying it is so easy! There's a disconnect here :-)

The realization is setting in among planners that climate change is going to affect planning practice – especially environmental review practice – very deeply. As a result, planners at this year’s California Chapter, American Planning Association conference are anxiously seeking guidance.

At last year’s CCAPA conference, planners embraced the issue of climate change with gusto. They clearly saw climate change as their issue, and the conversation was very enthusiastic, even somewhat heady at times.

A year later, cold reality is setting in, and planners are full of questions.

  • How does one actually address climate change in a general plan update?
  • Which policies will truly be effective?
  • How do I keep from getting sued by Jerry Brown?
  • What the heck does my city do with the applications that keep coming across the front counter?
  • How should an environmental review document address a project’s potential greenhouse gas contributions?
  • Can I still use a negative declaration?
  • And what about the potential impacts of climate change on a project?

But practitioners looking for hard answers are generally having to settle for suggestions and hints. The state of the art is evolving, state officials are still drafting rules and guidelines, and case law is nearly nonexistent.

Another clue: Anthony Eggert, science and technology advisor to the California Air Resources Board, said that the revised AB 32 scoping plan due out next week will call for more greenhouse gas emission reductions from land use and transportation than were in the preliminary scoping plan.

For 20 years, California Planning & Development Report has been regarded as the authoritative periodical on planning and development issues - required reading for planners, land-use lawyers, developers, environmentalists, citizen activists, and others interested and involved in the process of planning and development in California.

Paul Shigley provides an expert birds eye view of the community planning landscape and skyscape...and business view on his blog. Check him out...

Planners And Climate Change – Saving The World Is Hard 23 September 2008

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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