Sustainable City Plan - Update Process
In reviewing the progress made since the 1994 adoption of the program, the Task Force on the Environment recognized the need to update and expand the Sustainable City goals and indicators to provide a more complete picture of community sustainability, and to develop new indicator targets for 2010. The Task Force felt that a comprehensive update would allow Santa Monica to build on its initial success and to better address the challenges to sustainability that remain.
The update process began in July 2001 with the formation of the Sustainable City Working Group - a large group of community stakeholders that included elected and appointed officials, City staff, and representatives of neighborhood organizations, schools, the business community and other community groups. The Working Group met numerous times over the course of 15 months to discuss the myriad issues related to the sustainability of the community. They evaluated the long-term sustainability of Santa Monica using a framework comprised of three forms of community capital that need to be managed with care in order to ensure that the community does not deteriorate. These include natural capital – the natural environment and natural resources of the community; human and social capital – the connectedness among people in the community and the education, skills and health of the population; and financial and built capital – manufactured goods, buildings, infrastructure, information resources, credit and debt.
The group proposed significant changes to the initial Sustainable City goals and indicators, and assisted with the creation of new indicator targets. Early drafts of the proposed update were revised based on a large amount of public input received during the summer of 2002.
The result of this process is the updated Santa Monica Sustainable City Plan which represents the community’s vision of Santa Monica as a
sustainable city. The change in name from Sustainable City Program to
Sustainable City Plan was made to better reflect the long-term
comprehensive nature of Santa Monica’s vision and the community’s
efforts to become a sustainable city.
Since its inception, the Santa Monica Sustainable City Program has achieved much success. Many of the initial targets have been met or exceeded and Santa Monica is now recognized as worldwide role model for sustainability. However, we are not “there” yet. While we have made progress in the right direction, Santa Monica’s economy and the activities of its residents, businesses, institutions and visitors continue to negatively impact human health and the environment. And our community does not yet provide for the basic needs of all its members. Many challenges remain before Santa Monica can truly call itself a Sustainable City. The Sustainable City Program is a call to action for all of us to work together as a community and create change that will realize a Sustainable Santa Monica.