Sustainability is a term that refers to the extent which a system in its current state will be able to meet the economic, environmental, and social needs of future generations. Sustainability Plans for municipalities are guiding documents designed to help a community plan and act more sustainably by providing structure to its long-term and short-term resource management and policy decisions.
The purpose of the City’s Sustainability Plan is to improve our resources, prevent harm to the natural environment, protect human health, and benefit the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the community for present and future generations. In addition, the Plan also functions as the work plan for the city’s participation in the Energy Economic Zone (EEZ) Pilot Program, which is an economic development program administered by the Florida Department of Community Affairs.
The Plan fuses Guiding Principles, Program Areas, Goals, Indicators, Targets and Initiatives into a cohesive living document. The Plan assists the city to accomplish its Key Intended Outcome (KIO) of enhancing environmental sustainability and also guides the Sustainability Committee in its mission. The Plan’s development process will include the establishment of baselines for Indicators and Targets in order to measure change over time.
The adoption and implementation of a sustainability plan will provide both short-term and long-term benefits to government operations and the community. Short-term benefits include decreased energy costs; improved alternative transportation and mobility; increased diverted solid waste diverted from the landfill; improved urban forest and local air quality; and increased environmental awareness and stewardship. Long-term benefits are numerous and include reducing the city’s carbon footprint; reducing potential risks and costs from environmental impacts; preserving natural resources and maintaining a high quality of life for residents and visitors; and reinforcing the City of Miami Beach as a world-class city by preserving its resources for the future.