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NREL Report on Energy Plans in Denver and Austin

by Natasha Umer Apr 07, 2011

Denver and Austin Case Studies (NREL)

A new report released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) outlines the best ways to implement an effective energy plan despite financial or political obstacles.

From NREL:

NREL analyst Dave Peterson, along with Ester Matthews of Austin Climate Protection Program and Michele Weingarden of Greenprint Denver, recently published the report "Local Energy Plans in Practice: Case Studies of Austin and Denver." This report examines the successes and difficulties that two large cities, Denver, Colorado, and Austin, Texas, have experienced in implementing their respective citywide energy plans.

The report considers factors that have assisted or hindered putting energy initiatives from each plan into practice, including political, financial, and logistical realities. The report also examines the goals and design of each plan and how throughout the implementation process the cities have altered expectations or the direction of energy initiatives included in the plans. This report provides state and local government policymakers and analysts with a more nuanced understanding of the successes and challenges distinct cities encounter in putting a citywide energy plan into practice.

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NACTO Launches Urban Bikeway Design Guide

by Adrienne DeAngelo Mar 14, 2011

NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Photo credit: NACTO website

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has unveiled a new tool  for designers and planners that will take their bikeway plans to the next level.

NACTO's comprehensive new Urban Bikeway Design Guide was developed by cities for cities to provide practical, street-wise solutions that are safe and enjoyable for bicyclists. To create the Guide, the team conducted an extensive survey of expert knowledge, existing design guidelines from places around the world, and projects on the ground.

The guide can be adopted by individual cities, counties, or states as either a stand-alone document or as a supplement to other guidance documents. NACTO says the guide will be updated regularly and will have a website with engineering drawings, 3-D renderings and images of the various design treatments, as well as a professional discussion area.

Among the topics covered in the guide:

  • Bike Lanes
  • Cycle Tracks
  • Intersection
  • Signals
  • Signing & Marketing
  • City Projects (detailed case studies from a variety of cities)

>> View the Urban Bikeway Design Guide

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EPA Launches Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative

by Natasha Umer Mar 13, 2011

EPA logoEPA has launched the Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative to assist water and wastewater utilities in implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, with the goal of a more resilient water sector.

Several CRWU-related tools and resources are available, and others are under development, to help water and wastewater utilities assess climate change impacts and develop adaptation measures: 

CREAT Logo Climate Adaptation Toolkit

The Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT): This is an interactive tool designed to assess potential climate change impacts on water and wastewater utilities.

Climate Ready Water Toolbox

The Climate Ready Water Utilities ToolBox: The CRWU Toolbox is a searchable online database of climate-related resources for utilities at all stages of the planning and decision making process.

Table Top Tool

The Tabletop Exercise Tool for Water Systems: Emergency Preparedness, Response, & Climate Resiliency. The TTX tool helps users plan, customize, and conduct water sector-specific tabletop exercises on five climate change scenarios.



CRWU-Related Tools and Resources are also on ICLEI USA's Free Climate Adaptation Resources Page

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Get DOE's Updated Solar Guidebook for Local Governments

by Don Knapp Feb 08, 2011

Palm Desert Solar Panels

Solar panels in Palm Desert, CA

As more local governments set up solar panels to capture the sun's energy, the Department of Energy is capturing something nearly as valuable: their lessons learned.

solar powering your community guide coverToday DOE's Solar America Communities program released the second edition of "Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments," a free, comprehensive resource to help local governments scale solar in their communities. The Guide is designed to help any local government understand the range of strategies, successes, policies, and programs trailblazed by DOE's original 25 Solar America Cities. A little more than a year has passed since DOE released the first edition of the Guide. What's different in the second edition?

"Profiles of new innovations and market developments, and additional case studies that share in-depth experience from leading local governments," says Lisa Milligan, ICLEI USA's Director of Sustainable Energy, who is leading up ICLEI's partnership with DOE to deliver technical trainings and guidance to local governments based on the Guide.

small green arrow icon View the Guide


Inside the Guide

DOE's Solar America Communities website describes the Guide as follows:

The guide introduces a range of policy and program options that have been successfully field tested in cities and counties around the country. The guide describes each policy or program, followed by more information on:

  • Benefits: Identifies benefits from implementing the policy or program.
  • Implementation Tips and Options: Outlines various tips and options for designing and implementing the policy or program.
  • Examples: Highlights experiences from communities that have successfully implemented the policy or program.
  • Additional References and Resources: Lists additional reports, references, and tools that offer more information on the topic, where applicable.


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Sustainability in the Master Plan and Zoning Code Webinar: View it Now

by Rena Ragimova Nov 22, 2010

land use plan













We'd like to extend a huge thank you to those of you who registered and joined ICLEI's Sustainability in the Master Plan and Zoning Code webinar today, led by our Midwest Regional Director, Michael Davidson.

Despite the modern utility of sustainability plans, many communities prefer the time-tested approach of the comprehensive plan. During this webinar, the panel discussed the role of the master plan and zoning code in creating sustainable communities.

If you weren't able to attend, you can still view the webinar and the presentation slides below.

small green arrow icon View the Recorded Webinar

small green arrow icon View the Presentation Slides

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Economic Development and Sustainability Resources

by Art Von Lehe, ICLEI Senior Policy Officer Nov 21, 2010

People Walking Sidewalk

New York City, NY. Photo credit: mgarbowski on Flickr.

Did you miss ICLEI’s two-part webinar series, Clean Energy and Sustainability as a Local Economic Development Strategy? Watch the recordings or download the PowerPoint slides, filled with key insights for local governments.

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Report: Bicycling Plays a Crucial Role in Local Climate Action Planning

by Rena Ragimova Sep 21, 2010

Girl on Bike in Manhattan by Dom Dada

Bicyclist in New York, NY. Photo Credit: Dom Dada from Flickr.

Action Resources Icon

Is there a bicycling component to your local governments climate action plan? A new report from the League of American Bicyclists, "Climate Change and Bicycling," explains the GHG emissions reduction benefits of having one, and offers ways cycling advocates can get engaged in the creation of comprehensive climate action plans.

small green arrow icon View the Report

Using case studies and examples from existing plans, this report examines:

  • How pro‐bicycling policies have been written into the Climate Action Plans of states, cities, and universities
  • Examples of plans that include bicycling
  • How bicycling advocates can best support these efforts
  • How to ensure that governments follow through on the promises made in their plans.
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A Compendium of Clean Energy Best Practices for Cities and States

by Don Knapp Sep 20, 2010

Man Carrying Solar Panels

From the EPA State and Local Climate and Energy Program e-mail update:

Action Resources IconThe Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, the Alliance to Save Energy, and the American Council on Renewable Energy have released a collaborative report on state and local best practices in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The report, entitled Compendium of Best Practices: Sharing Local and State Successes in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy from the United States, describes state and local policies, financing mechanisms, and other initiatives that have succeeded in creating favorable market conditions for energy efficiency and renewable energy. These practices were chosen based on their ease of implementation, ability to be replicated, achievable energy savings, cost effectiveness, mitigation potential, and job creation.

small green arrow iconGet the Compendium

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Get the Green Procurement Toolkit

by Don Knapp Sep 14, 2010

Globe Surrounded by Cardboard

From the California Sustainability Alliance website:

Action Resources IconTo help local governments improve their sustainability and reduce their environmental impacts, the California Sustainability Alliance has developed a guidebook for local governments thinking of adopting an environmentally-friendly procurement and purchasing plan. By weighing not only the purchase price of a product but also its full lifetime cost, green procurement policies can help local governments save money, create local green jobs and improve their environmental sustainability.

small green arrow icon View the Green Procurement Toolkit (online)

small green arrow icon Download the Green Procurement Guide (pdf)

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Analyzing Strategies to Reduce Transportation Emissions

by Justus Stewart, Regional Associate May 15, 2010

DOT transportation and greenhouse gas emissions reportReducing emissions from the transportation sector is one of the most important solutions for achieving climate stability, and one of the most challenging. A strong economy has traditionally meant huge increases in travel, with over 90 percent of the fuel coming from fossil sources. Between 1990 and 2006, emissions from transportation increased 27 percent, accoAction Resources Iconunting for almost half the total emissions growth for that period.

One of the primary challenges is that direct interventions such as increased fuel efficiency interact in complex ways with indirectly related sectors such as land use and housing. A recently released report from U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Center for Climate Change & Environmental Forecasting provides one of the first national-level analyses of our transportation system that takes this complexity into account.

"Transportation’s Role in Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions," which was released on Earth Day 2010, analyzes six strategies for reducing emissions from the transportation sector. The report also outlines five policy frameworks for implementing those strategies, and calculates the cost/benefit of implementation.

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