Green Cities California, the collaborative of 10 cities and counties acknowledged as sustainability leaders, launches a website today that's to serve as a resource for other communities striving to go green.
The website, www.GreenCitiesCalifornia.org, is designed as a repository of best practices and other tools for policymakers who are trying to improve the environmental performance of their locales.
"Certain cities have already blazed a trail (toward sustainability) and it would be so much easier if that information were available to others," said David Assmann, who is the deputy director of San Francisco's Department of Environment and a member of Green Cities California's steering committee.
"There are obstacles and issues you have to look at," he said. "In virtually every area there are stumbling blocks, and the site enables everyone to learn from each other."
Say you're trying to develop a zero-waste policy for your town and you want to know what other local governments have done to wipe out waste, but you don't have a big budget for research or a lot of time to do it. The Green Cities California site summarizes zero-waste efforts in Oakland and San Jose -- and provides 15 documents that can be used as templates as well as links to sites that can serve as models for your efforts.
Change is almost always easier to enact locally than at state and national levels. It will be neat to watch as this California-based resource generates case study additions from both across the state and -- perhaps -- across the country.
I'd be particularly curious to see what kind of successful approaches are developed by locales with very different political views, and to learn more about why different approaches might work better for different areas. They key, of course, is that they have to actually work to achieve their goals...