[UPDATED 12/16/16]: The Long Beach City Council unanimously approved the 2017 work plan and policy priorities for the Long Beach Office of Sustainability and Sustainable City Commission on December 6.
According to a report from Sustainable Long Beach staff, the work plan and policy recommendations were developed following public meetings, stakeholder feedback and an annual commission retreat.
“These policy priorities focus on initiatives that will guide the city in its efforts to improve the well-being of those who live, work, and play in the City of Long Beach,” the report stated. “The commission asks that the city council endorse the goals outlined below, and direct the appropriate city departments to incorporate these commitments into their work. The Sustainable City Commission stands ready to support staff and provide our expertise in these policy areas.”
Work plan items include the following programs and projects:
• An electric vehicle (EV) charger give-away program (300 chargers to qualified residents)
• Installing 10 EV charging stations through a Southern California Edison program
• Finalizing a feasibility report for urban agriculture incentive zones
• Participating in the city’s climate action and adaptation planning process in support of Mayor Robert Garcia’s signing of the Compact of Mayors
• Completing the grant-funded restoration of 12 acres at Willow Springs Park, including a sustainability demonstration and signage
• Completing educational signage about turtles in the San Gabriel River
• Continuing a partnership with Southern California Edison to increase energy efficiency at city facilities and earn cash incentives for future projects
• Participating for the third consecutive year in the Cool California Cities Challenge and expanding resident and organization participation
Additionally, the commission would like to continue the following ongoing programs:
• Mulch delivery and pickup for residents and local organizations
• Planting trees on parkways in front of residences upon request
• The food-waste composting pilot program supporting The Growing Experience urban farm
• Continuing to operate a community edible garden after it is relocated due to civic center construction
Below are the policy priorities of the Sustainable City Commission for 2017, as outlined in the report to the city council.
Commitment to 100% Renewable Energy
• A commitment to utilizing only renewable forms of energy to power our future is imperative, and these resources are available to the city
• A growing number of cities are making the pledge to 100% Renewable Energy, and the City of Long Beach can be a leader in this effort
• Forming a Community Choice Energy program that focuses on local generation of renewables can help the city achieve this goal while boosting our economy by bringing green jobs to Long Beach and reducing utility costs to customers
Sustainable Waste Management
• Our waste management should be guided by a long-term plan centered on a zero waste policy
• This includes new sustainable infrastructure, as well as programs to meet the needs and expectations of our residents and businesses
• The city should continue to be a regional leader while collaborating with other agencies and partners
• Shifting our waste management system will likely require a public five-year notice
• The city should continue to facilitate and encourage the transition of moving goods and people using zero emission and sustainable means, including:
o Electrification of the Port of Long Beach, cold ironing, on-dock rail, etc.
o Bicycle infrastructure, amenities, incentives and education
o Encouraging zero emission vehicles, including cityfleet
o Zero emission mass transit such as Long Beach Transit buses
o Implementation of EV charging plan to encourage private EV use
Sustainable Buildings and Neighborhoods
• Update green building policy to incorporate “cool” roofs and pavement practices
• Require solar installation on large commercial properties
• Establish sustainable landscaping requirements that phase out toxic practices and equipment such as pesticides, two-stroke commercial lawn equipment, etc.
• Continue to be a leader in water conservation
• Identify opportunities to increase groundwater recharge
• Maximize the use of recycled water, increase education on greywater systems
A Connected Ecosystem
• Preserving and enhancing our remaining parks and open space; identifying and maximizing benefits of open space including exercise, recreation, habitat, etc.
• Establish a plan to mitigate drought impacts to our existing urban forest while growing it in future years
Commitment To Enhancing Quality Of Life
• Nourishing our residents with local, healthy food through promoting farmer’s markets, urban agriculture, food recovery programs, etc.
• Continuing effort to make our communities more walkable and bikeable
• Addressing local sources of air pollution to improve health outcomes
• Push for investment in Long Beach to create local, green jobs
Commitment to Stakeholder Engagement
• Increase profile of commission meetings, promote topics in advance and encourage stakeholder engagement
• Host or sponsor events and activities to engage the community outside of staffed meetings (in partnership with other nonprofits to minimize city costs)
• Partner with local businesses to pilot and showcase new initiatives, develop findings and recommendations before programs are rolled out citywide.