Friday, October 10, 2008

Planning Resources for Greenhouse Gas Reduction & Energy Efficient Land Use

You might remember me telling you about a continuing education workshop that I attended at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). It revolved around new state legislation related to water resource planning and what is expected in all community Comprehensive Plans from here on out. This turns out to be very timely as it relates to the City Lake Worth - look at the transmittal memorandum regarding our EAR based amendments to our Comprehensive Plan that appeared on the agenda last Tuesday night. Check out the second page, second and third paragraphs:

So kudos to Rachel Bach for being on top of these new legislative additions which affect our Comprehensive Plan.

One of the best things about going to seminars and educations sessions like these, beyond the people that you bump into - some that you haven't seen in a while -, is the informational resources that you find out about. There is so much information available on the web now about planning, environmental impact, resource management and ecological sensitivity - green think, simply put. Here are some of the links to Internet resources that I discovered through this session. Click on the link and I will give an annotated version of what to expect from the site:

South Florida Regional Planning Council - one of eleven regional planning agencies in Florida. This one serves Monroe, Dade and Broward counties and is the equivelant to the regional planning council that we do a lot with - Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. There are many links on both sites that may be of interest. All amendments to Comprehensive Plans go through these agencies on the way to review by the state Department of Community Affairs.

South Florida Regional Planning Council's Climate Change Community Tool Box - You will find a TON of information on this site which includes maps showing various effects of sea level rise through the three counties under the agency's jurisdiction. World sea level rise impacts are also explored - including preparations in New York, London and other world capitals. This is something to come back to often - an excellent resource! Treasure Coast, are you working on this?

Florida Planning Toolbox - I think that I have posted a link to this site before - this is now administered by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at FAU - broader information availability, but still a focus on the environment.

Urban Land Institute - link to where you can order the book "Growing Cooler" by Reid Ewing, Keith Bartholomew, Steve Winkelman, Jerry Walters, and Don Chen.

United States Green Building Council - the group involved in LEED certification. LEED for Neighborhood Development - this is where Lake Worth shines - in many ways, we are already here. If only the whole world were more like us!

American Society of Landscape Architecture - Sustainable Sites Initiative - "
The Sustainable Sites Initiative is an interdisciplinary partnership between the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the United States Botanic Garden and a diverse group of stakeholder organizations to develop guidelines and standards for landscape sustainability. The motivation behind this initiative stems from the desire to protect and enhance the ability of landscapes to provide services such as climate regulation, clean air and water, and improved quality of life. Sustainable Sites™ is a cooperative effort with the intention of supplementing existing green building and landscape guidelines as well as becoming a stand-alone tool for site sustainability."

American Planning Association "The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmentally sustainable societies. EESI believes meeting this goal requires transitions to social and economic patterns that sustain people, the environment and the natural resources upon which present and future generations depend. EESI produces credible, timely information and innovative public policy initiatives that lead to these transitions. These products take the form of publications, briefings, work shops and task forces.