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Sustainable Los Altos Presentation for IE Sustainable Los Altos Presentation for IE Presentation Transcript

  • Living Sustainably inLos Altos, California Presentation by Kathryn A. Stern 1
  • Sustainable Development The 1983 World Commission on Environment & Development defined sustainable development as: "development that meets the needs of the presentwithout compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." I used this lens to determine if the residents of myhometown, Los Altos, California, live sustainably. 2
  • Sustainable ExamplesThe following slides will examine successful examples of a sustainable lifestylein Los Altos, California. 3
  • Bronze Bike Friendly Community DesignationBicycle- FriendlyMany Los Altos residents are avid cyclistsand prefer getting around town without acar. In fact, it is not unusual to see agroup of local executives commutingtogether by bike. In 2011, Los Altosreceived the Bronze Level award for beinga Bicycle Friendly Community. Local Los Altan Commuting to WorkBike-Friendly Initiatives include:•  10+ miles of bike paths•  $30,000 in funding for K-8 cycling education•  Creation of a pedestrian and bicycle bike bridge•  Clear bike signage•  A city-wide Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board (BPAC) 4
  • Bike-Friendly- Silver Bike Friendly Business Award BusinessesSustainable development in Los Altosalso encompasses sustainable businesspractices. While working at Passerelle, Iestablished a Bicycle-Friendly-Business(BFB) initiative that was designated witha Silver Award by the League ofAmerican Bicyclists.BFB Highlights:•  1/3 of the employees commute to work by bike•  On-site shower and locker facilities for those employees•  Sponsorship of local bike-friendly-community events•  Collaboration with the City Council to ensure that the Passerelle Investment Company downtown becomes more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists•  Installation of more bike parking than required by the city for our guestsOther business owners have followed suitand also encourage their employees tocommute by bike instead of by car. Thereis even a Bicycling Baker who deliversher baked goods to local residents andbusinesses by bike. 5
  • Safe Routes to School & Safe Routes to School ProjectBicycle InfrastructureSustainable development also meansmaintaining infrastructure for bicycles.BPAC is in the process of replacing adeteriorating bicycle path that isheavily traveled by local schoolchildren.Los Altos has even implementedsharrows (bike arrows) that alert carsto share the road with cyclists.Unfortunately the city did not place Sharrow in Downtown Los Altosthe sharrows in the middle of the lane.This can lead to a dangerous situationwhere a cyclist does not have enoughroom to ride safely.Another city-wide effort is the annualbike rodeo where students learn aboutbicycle safety and they can trade intheir old bicycle for one that fits them.Reusing old bicycles reduces the needto consume new ones. 6
  • Bike to Work Day & Bike to Work Day 2012Drive Less ChallengeEach year during Bike to Work Day,BPAC hosts a breakfast energizerstation along our major bike route.This encourages more Los Altans tocommute by bike instead of by car.Los Altos Bike to Work Day Stats*•  2011--350 bicyclists passed through the energizer station between 6:30 – 8:30 AM.•  2010—385 bicyclists passed through in 2.5 hours•  2009—463 bicyclists passed through in 2.5 hours Drive Less Challenge 2012The Drive Less Challenge is aregional competition to see howmany pounds of CO2 can be offset byusing sustainable means oftransportation during a two weekperiod. In 2012, Los Altos residentswon 1st place in the regionalcompetition. 7
  • Pay-to-Use Charging Station at Town Hall Electric Vehicles The electric vehicle company, Tesla,is located in the next town, andmany Los Altans are proud Teslaowners.Recently, there has been a surge inEV popularity and our town hallinstalled a pay-to-use chargingstation to cater to its citizens. Thereare other charging stations located atthe local baseball field and at severaldowntown businesses. Theimplementation of EV chargingstations around Los Altossymbolizes the growing popularityof sustainable means oftransportation. 8
  • Sustainability Me at the Water ExhibitEducationLos Altos is serious abouteducating its citizens aboutsustainable water practices. Thelocal history museum even curatedan exhibit on how much water LosAltans consume and how they canstop wasting water.Another aspect that Los Altanscare about is the protection ofnative plants. The town has has anative plant demonstration garden Native Plant Gardenin order to teach school childrenand residents about how to growlocal plants.These educational efforts informLos Altos residents about theimportance of sustainability andhow they can make a positivedifference in their own community. 9
  • Water Packard Foundation BioswalesConservationStorm water mitigation is anotherimportant step in sustainabledevelopment. The PackardFoundation, located in Los Altos,recently introduced bioswales aspart of our city infrastructure.Bioswales enable storm water tofeed into streetscaping instead ofbeing wasted down a drain. Theyare becoming popular in both Zero-scaping in Downtown Los Altosresidential and commercial projectsin Los Altos.Local business owners have alsotaken strides to become water saavy.New planter boxes downtowncontain native plants that requirelittle to no water. 10
  • Sustainable Energy Town Hall Solar Panels and Native Plant GardenMany Los Altans are solar paneladvocates and use them to either heatwater or to mitigate their use ofelectricity sourced from coal. CityHall has installed solar panels inorder to offset their use of electricity.You can track their electricityconsumption by visiting their site :(www.losaltoshills.ca.gov/sustainability/solar).Another major sustainable Solar Panels in the High School Parking Lotdevelopment effort was theimplementation of solar panels in thehigh school parking lot. This energyupgrade was made possible due to aballot measure that was passed byLos Altos residents. Unfortunatelythough, as you can see from theimage, most Los Altos high schoolstudents commute to school by carinstead of by foot or bike. 11
  • Age-Friendly City Certificate from the WHOSocial EquitySocial equity is anotherimportant sustainabledevelopment factor. Los Altos isa multigenerational communitythat ensures that all citizens havea healthy, vibrant, and safe placeto live.The World Health Organizationrecently inducted Los Altos intoits Global Network of Age-friendly Cities. We take pride inthe fact that our community cansustain and enrich the lives ofpeople from multiple age-groups. 12
  • Unsustainable BehaviorThe following slides will examine several unsustainable behaviors of LosAltos residents. 13
  • Over-ConsumptionThis Los Altos home has several unsustainable features:•  Three cars for one household equates to a large carbon footprint.•  An unnecessarily large home requires more energy to heat, cool, and illuminate at night.•  The landscaping consists of vegetation that requires a lot of water and maintenance. 14
  • Over-ConsumptionSustainable development, asdiscussed earlier, is developmentthat meets the needs of the presentwithout compromising the abilityof future generations to meet theirown needs.Unfortunately, Los Altans fall intothe trap of needing to purchase thelatest gadget, have the newest car,or own the nicest house. All ofthese material items that weconsume destroy natural resourcesand negatively impact futuregenerations. By using more than what we actually need, we rapidly decrease our ability toprovide future generations with clean water, fresh air, and healthy food. The residents of myhometown need to refrain from over-consumption and instead be grateful for the things theyhave. 15
  • Are Los AltansLiving Sustainably? 16
  • We are workingon it!Most Los Altos residents areenvironmentally conscious. We An Efficient Prius next to a Gas-Guzzling Yukon XLpromote the use of sustainabletransportation, we practice waterconservation, we are starting tomainstream the use of solarpanels, we teach sustainability toour community members, andwe promote social equity.Although we still need to workon reducing our levels ofconsumption, we have madegreat strides as a community toensure that future generationsinherit a beautiful and healthyplanet. 17
  • Thank you for viewing my presentation! 18
  • References•  Images •  Slide 1: http://losaltoschamber.org/ •  Slide 3 and 13: http://townmapsusa.com/d/Map-of-Los-Altos-California-CA/los_altos_ca•  References •  Slide 4: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/ communities/bfc_los_altos.php •  Slide 7: http://www.ci.los-altos.ca.us/committees-commissions/bpac/content/ goals.htm 19