WILLIMANTIC, CT (11/29/2017) Written by Lynn Stoddard
Sustainable CT, an exciting new initiative to support Connecticut's cities and towns, launched on Nov. 28 at the annual convention of Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. The initiative, created by towns for towns, includes a detailed menu of sustainability best practices, tools and resources, peer learning and recognition.
"Sustainable CT provides support to help all of our communities achieve the shared values of health, economic development, cost savings and environmental stewardship," said Ted Shafer, first selectman of Burlington and chair of the Sustainable CT Advisory Committee.
The Sustainable CT platform supports a broad range of actions, including improving watershed management; supporting arts and creative culture; reducing energy use and increasing renewable energy; implementing "complete streets" (streets that meet the needs of walkers and bikers as well as cars); improving recycling programs; assessing climate vulnerability; supporting local businesses; and providing efficient and diverse housing options.
There is no cost to participate and communities will voluntarily select actions that meet their unique, local character and long-term vision. After successful implementation of selected actions, municipalities will be eligible for Sustainable CT certification.
The initiative was developed through the leadership of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, in partnership with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Three Connecticut philanthropic organizations - the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Hampshire Foundation and the Common Sense Fund - have supported the program's development and launch.
"Sustainable CT builds on many current success stories in our communities to create and support more great places to live, work and play," said Lynn Stoddard, director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy. "This positive vision has inspired more than 200 municipal leaders, experts and community members to work together for the past 18 months to develop Sustainable CT. We are all very excited about launching the program. Lots of towns want to be the first to participate."
"We are excited to partner with the Institute for Sustainable Energy on this initiative," said Joe DeLong, executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. "Sustainability actions, policies and investments deliver multiple benefits to all residents and help municipal leaders make efficient use of scarce resources and engage a wide cross-section of residents and businesses."
Municipalities may now begin to participate in the program and use its tools and resources. Residents, businesses, non-profits, and colleges and universities are important partners and can play a role in supporting communities through the Sustainable CT platform. Additional regional launch events will provide information for all who are interested and will be held throughout the state in January. For more information and the schedule of regional launch events, see www.sustainablect.org.