Sustainability Plan Process
On June 20, 2005 Mayor Higgins called a joint meeting of all City Boards to introduce and kickoff the Sustainability Plan. At that meeting, a preliminary outline of the topics to be addressed in the plan was developed.
The Mayor has appointed a Sustainability Plan Advisory Committee to advise the City on the planning process. The Advisory Committee includes representatives from City Boards, community groups/neighborhood associations, residents, businesses, and institutions. A Steering Committee will be appointed as we proceed to assist staff with the day to day management of the process. The Office of Planning & Development and the Mayor's Economic Development Coordinator will coordinate and manage the process.
Sustainability Plan Elements
This preliminary outline was prepared at an All Boards meeting on June 20, 2005. It will be revised and refined as the process proceeds. Sustainability Plan Elements
American Institute of Architects Sustainability Assessment
The first step of the Plan was a Sustainability Assessment. The City was chosen by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to participate in their Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program. Northampton was one of six communities in the U.S. to be chosen in the first year of the program. AIA contributed $20,000 towards this assessments.
The collaborative team brought together design and planning professionals assembled from across the country, to provide a roadmap for communities seeking to improve their sustainability – as defined by a community’s ability to meet the needs of today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The AIA approach to sustainability includes economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, and social equity.
The sustainable design assessment team leaders spent two days in Northampton in August, 2005, gathering data and meeting with different constituencies to identify the concerns around sustainability for Northampton in relation to economic development, land use patterns, energy use, housing, and transportation. The full team returned to Northampton in October, 2005 for a series of roundtable working sessions with community representatives and public meetings to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of Northampton with regards to sustainability, along with the opportunities and obstacles to change.
The AIA SDAT report will form the starting point for a comprehensive plan to be developed over the next year.