Professional report


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  • are threatening the stability of an increasingly global society.
    through mitigation and adaptation strategies.
    can unify the City’s vision around social, environmental, and economically just and sustainable goals.
    about how to develop comprehensive and holistic sustainability policies.
  • 1990 levels of GHG emissions by 2020
    For the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions or the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.
    Mandated CEQA guidelines to address GHG emissions
    Reduce VMT’s by redesigning communities, linking housing, land use, and transportation planning to reduce sprawl.
    On January 20, 2005, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted sustainability as a core value for all California Water Boards’ activities and programs, and directed California Water Boardsユ staff to consider sustainability in all future policies, guidelines, and regulatory actions. (
  • Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs
    A responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations; founded on respect for nature, universal human
    rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace (
    Sustainable Development is about interrelationships. A sustainable community balances environmental, social, and economic imperatives from conception through development and maintenance. A community that fosters a healthy relationship between people and nature is sustaianble.
    A sustainable U.S. will have a growing economy that provides equitable opportunities for satisfying livelihoods and a safe, healthy, hight quality of life for current and future generations (
  • “There is no existing Sustainability Element that incorporates a holistic approach (environmental, economic, and social equity); rather many jurisdictions approach sustainability from an environmental perspective” (M. Drouse, 2007, City of Irvine Memo).
  • Mentioned as a reflection on the original intent and Constitutional directive of Police Power
    And, to suggest that States and Cities are responsible for addressing the threats of Climate Change, environmental pollution and degradation, and systems of inequality that our traditional planning (unsustainable) has created and continued to reinforce.
  • Basically, this is a sustainability directive from OPR about the purpose of the General Plan.
  • This slide is suggesting the different frameworks through which sustainability is manifest in local jurisdictions.
    Land Use Law: advisory vs. binding and enforceable
    “Almost all court decisions hold that an adopted plan that is not required and made the ‘governing law’ by state statute or local ordinance is ‘advisory’ only and not legally binding or controlling” (Selmi, Kushner & Ziegler, 2008, p. 209).
  • The predominant theme in the City of Irvine’s 2000 General Plan seems to be “Quality of Life”, which has been a more historic way of suggesting the principles of sustainability. I think it is time that not only the City of Irvine, but all levels of government become much more explicit in making a “Sustainable” society our goal, vision, and the framework for achieving a healthy, harmonious, and equitable world.
    We need to recognize the gravity of our situation and respond with not only mitigation strategies, but also invest in local community sustainable infrastructure and systems as adaptation strategies for the coming social and environmental challenges of climate change, among others.
  • City of Irvine (2000). General Plan. Retrieved May 5, 2009 from
    The vision is for planning and sustainable development, now it is important that the body of the General Plan lays out the concept in full, addressing the holistic trifecta of economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental integrity.
  • Source: Waterman, R. (2004). Addressing California’s Uncertain Water Future by Coordinating Long-Term Land Use and Water Planning: Is a Water Element in the General Plan the Next Step? Ecology Law Quarterly, 31, 117.
  • This partial definition by OPR describes the educational component of the development process for General Plan updates.
    Source: Office of Planning and Research. (2003). General Plan Guidel
  • This partial definition by OPR addresses the aspects of public participation and inclusive management through shared community decision-making.
    Source: Office of Planning and Research. (2003). General Plan Guidel
  • Changes in OPR General Plan Guidelines from 1998 to 2003:
    Guidance for addressing environmental justice
    Guidance on developing optional water and energy elements
    Expanded guidance on public participation in the development of the General Plan
  • Source: Environmental Protection Agency. (2009). Environmental Justice. Retrieved May 13, 2009 from
  • Where the administrators invited representation by other departments within the city to participate in the governance process and thus establish opportunities of this nature throughout the city government.
    Transition Towns
  • A bill to provide for the conduct of an in-depth analysis of the impact of energy development and production on the water resources of the United States, and for other purposes. Introduced to Congress March 5, 2009, currently referred to Committee.
    Source: Moresco, J. (2009). Congress to Examine Link Between Energy and Water. earth2tech. Retrieved May 13, 2009 from
    Source: Krebs, M. (2007). Water-Related Energy Use in California. California Energy Commission: Public Interest Energy Research Program. Retrieved May 13, 2009 from
  • The agricultural production group requires large volumes of water. It takes large amounts of electricity, for electrical pumps, to move the enormous volumes of water needed for irrigating all of California's crops.Energy and Water Integration Act 2009
  • I conducted a survey of environmental and sustainability programs of all the cities in Orange County.
    Irvine had the most number of programs and policies of any city in Orange County, on which the survey was developed.
    The gaps or programs that Irvine is still currently lacking, not necessarily a comprehensive list.
  • Sanoff (2000), “The concept of community participation is based on the principle that the environment works best if the people affected by its changes are actively involved in its creation and management instead of being treated as passive consumers” (as cited in Passon et al., 2008)
  • Professional report

    1. 1. General Plan Sustainable Development: Holistic Sustainability Policy for the City of Irvine Montgomery Norton May 14, 2009
    2. 2. Report Significance • Social, environmental, and economic challenges • Cities are key agents for promoting sustainability • Irvine can continue to be a leader in planning for a sustainable future. • Integrating sustainability into the General Plan • This report may be used to educate staff, community members, and other cities
    3. 3. Professional Report Objectives:1. Identify best practices in city sustainability planning 2. Propose how to address holistic sustainability in the General Plan 3. Provide strategic process recommendations to achieve public participation and inclusion 4. Identify further implementation programs and successful strategies not yet achieved within Irvine’s sustainability portfolio
    4. 4. Sustainability Policy in CA • AB 32: Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 • CEQA Guidelines (July 1, 2009 to CARB) • SB 97 (2007) • OPR 2003 General Plan Guidelines • SB 375 (2008) • Water and Sustainability
    5. 5. Defining Sustainability • Brundtland Commission – Environmental and Social Justice? • The Earth Charter • Urban Land Institute – “Developing Sustainable Planned Communities” • President’s Council on Sustainable Development – “Sustainable America: A New Consensus”
    6. 6. Holistic Sustainability
    7. 7. Police Power: The purpose of local government • The authority conferred upon the states by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and which the states delegate to their political subdivisions to enact measures to preserve and protect the safety, health, welfare, and morals of the community.
    8. 8. General Plans • “Identify the community’s land use, circulation, environmental, economic, and social goals and policies as they relate to land use and development.” Source: Office of Planning and Research. (2003). General Plan Guidel
    9. 9. Plans vs. Policies • Environmental / Climate Action Plans • Energy Plan • General Plans • Zero Waste Resolution • Construction and Demolition Ordinance • Implementation Tools/Programs – Building Code – Zoning Ordinance – Housing Regulations – Development Agreements
    10. 10. Quality of Life City Council’s 4 Strategic Goals: 1. Clean & Well Maintaned Environment 2. Safe Community 3. Economic Prosperity & a Livable Community 4. Effective Government Source: City of Irvine Strategic Business Plan (2008)
    11. 11. Vision of the City “The creation of a livable and viable and visually attractive community through skilled planning and sustainable development as outlined in the General Plan.”
    12. 12. General Plans • Incorporate Informational and Procedural requirements (Waterman, 2004)
    13. 13. General Plans • Inform citizens, developers, decision- makers, and other cities and counties of the ground rules that guide development within a particular community.
    14. 14. General Plans • The general plan also serves to: Provide citizens with opportunities to participate in the planning and decision-making processes of their communities.
    15. 15. Governance • Public Participation • Inclusive Management • Civic Engagement • Democracy • Empowerment
    16. 16. EnvironmentalEnvironmental JusticeJustice • Minority communities disproportionately affected by environmental pollution, currently and historically • Prominent Examples: – African Americans of Cancer Alley in Louisiana – Native Americans in the Southwest by Uranium mining – Latinos exposed to pesticide- use in agriculture
    17. 17. EPA: Environmental Justice • "Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. • (This) will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work."
    18. 18. Social Justice • “CEQA requires only an analysis of the physical environmental effects, not the social impacts, of a given action” (Waterman, 2007) • Access to affordable housing and employment opportunities (jobs/housing balance) Source: cs/2009%20Community%20Indicators.pdf
    19. 19. Community-Driven Strategic Planning • The New Public Service: serving citizens instead of customers, accountability, value rather than just productivity, and the citizen as a responsible participant in the government. (Denhardt and Denhardt, 2000) • Grand Rapids 2002 Master Plan project: Community-Oriented Government • Civic Discovery: citizens are encouraged and empowered to identify their own challenges and form a deliberative process to devise their own solutions. (Reich, 1988)
    20. 20. Community-Driven Strategic Planning Create a community-driven, strategic planning process that brings people together to identify , key issues, develop a vision, set goals and benchmarks, and determine actions to improve their community. (President’s Council on Sustainable Development, 1996)
    21. 21. Water and Energy • Water, (Food), and Energy are interdependent although rarely integrated in policy (Moresco, J., 2009). • Considering energy and water together could offer substantial economic and environmental benefits • Water-related energy use “consumes about 19 percent of the state’s electricity, 30 percent of its natural gas, and 88 billion gallons of diesel fuel every year (Krebs, 2007, p. 3).
    22. 22. Water Element • Recommended inclusion by Office of Planning & Research’s 2003 General Plan Guidelines • Water management covered by 5/7 mandatory elements, but disconnect between the land use and water planning functions - water supply nor quality, only flooding • Collaboration with water agency’s Urban Water Management Plan
    23. 23. Description Electricity Use (million kWh) Natural Gas (milliion Therms) Agricultural Production- Crops 2,996 140 Agricultural Production- Livestock 1,107 16 Agricultural Services 1,068 38 Source: The California Energy Commission. (2009). Agriculture and Energy Why is the production crop sector the biggest energy consumer? Agriculture is the 3rd largest consumer of electricity & natural gas in CA by industry.
    24. 24. Local Sustainability Policies • Environmental and Sustainability Programs Survey • Gaps: – Sustainability Element – Water Element – Community Sustainable Food Policy/Program – Comprehensive Inclusive Process – Green Jobs Ordinance/Program – Green Roofs Program
    25. 25. Recommendations • Process for Product – Collaboration, Education, Engagement, Stewardship • Youth and Planning • Web-based General Plan (i.e. Ontario) • Sustainable Food Policy • Green Assessment Districts • Water Element • Collaborative Resources, Best Practices • Regional Cooperation & Planning • Green Jobs
    26. 26. Recommendations, cont’d • Sustainability must get beyond planning exclusively for the physical environment and begin to develop adaptation strategies that protect communities from environmental pollution, food insecurity, and climate change.
    27. 27. Santa Ana Watershed (SAWPA): Regional Sustainability Planning
    28. 28. Thank You!