Boston-based ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA has released a Sustainability Planning Toolkit that provides a model, including standardized methods and metrics, for cities and counties that are creating or expanding
Jurisdictions of all sizes can use ICLEI's toolkit to bring together individual environmental, economic and social initiatives under one holistic vision, according to ICLEI. "This toolkit draws from the most recent best practices in the United States to help cities and counties take their sustainability planning efforts to the next level," said Jeb Brugmann, ICLEI Global's founder and current Executive Director of ICLEI USA. "Our message to all local governments is that the secret to a successful sustainability plan is a rigorous planning process, and this toolkit walks local governments through what can be a very complex process."
Inside the toolkit, local government staff will find guidance on how to structure their planning process, what types of strategies and measures to include in their plan, best-practice examples, checklists, templates and guidelines for organizing a team to develop the plan. The Sustainability Planning Toolkit is the first of two major sustainability resources offered by ICLEI USA. The STAR Community Index, to be launched in 2011, aims to be a national, consensus-based framework for gauging the sustainability and livability of U.S. communities. A soft launch of the set of municipal goals that will comprise this new framework is set for early 2010.
View the toolkit's table of contents, introduction and related free resources. Only ICLEI member local governments, however, may download the complete toolkit.