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Sustainability Plan engages 4,000 residents in San Antonio, TX

San Antonio, TX, USA

At a Glance

The City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability created a sustainability plan that was informed by extensive community engagement and the best available science, resulting in more than 20 specific metrics and 68 specific actions.

Problem Addressed

San Antonio is currently the 7th largest city in the United States and is anticipating another one million people by 2040. To address current and future opportunities and challenges associated with this growth, the City of San Antonio launched a community-based planning process, SA Tomorrow, in 2014.

SA Tomorrow is a three-pronged planning effort designed to guide San Antonio towards smart, sustainable growth and to meet and build upon the collective vision articulated for San Antonio through the SA2020 visioning process in 2011. Part of the SA Tomorrow plan, was to build a Sustainability Plan that focused on the three pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental, and social) and would serve as the roadmap for both the community and the municipal government to achieve the overall vision of a sustainable San Antonio. Without a plan to reduce emissions and prepare San Antonio for environmental impacts, the city’s residents, natural resources, and physical infrastructure are at risk. Questions like "What is San Antonio's share of responsibility for global climate change?" needed to be answered with the city's residents input taken into account. Because the Sustainability Plan requires a continued commitment on the part of the whole San Antonio community, the city wanted to engage its residents and have them participate in the planning process.

San Antonio, TX used/is using KLA’s sustainability planning services to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

As part of the SA Tomorrow Sustainability Plan project, the KLA Team delivered a number of services. With the focus on involving residents, an integrated sustainability planning process was designed that was aligned with the STAR Community Rating System and drove public engagement online and in-person. Leadership & Advisory Committee meetings were facilitated, in addition to KLA hosting the city’s first Sustainability Forum that sought to educate citizens as to environmental impacts. As part of SATomorrow, the team created LGOP & GPC Compliant greenhouse gas emissions inventories, a Climate Vulnerability Assessment, a Community Engagement Plan, and a Sustainability Framework for parallel planning processes. The community engagement plan in particular laid the path for the community to have a hand in helping define the sustainability goals of the city, and to have accountability in making sure the goals were met.

In collaboration with the community, a sustainability plan was also developed that detailed current conditions, goals, actions, metrics, and targets for 8 focus areas. A Sustainability dashboard was built out to provide ongoing engagement and reporting related to the identified goals and targets. Efforts from the KLA team informed a sustainable return on investment analyses.

Outcomes

  1. Engaged more than 4,000 people in the Sustainability Planning process
  2. Brainstormed 68 specific actions to be implemented in 7 Focus Areas
  3. Identified 23 metrics to track progress toward goals
  4. Receive ongoing reporting related to goals and targets provided through the Sustainability Dashboard.

Something Unique

This was the first time the City had held a Sustainability Forum, with the project placing a large focus on inclusive and equitable engagement.

Who Should Consider?

Any local government interested in addressing climate change to create a more sustainable and resilient future that engages all community members equitably.

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