The City of St. Cloud has a growing population and is now in fourth place for the fastest growing large city in Minnesota. The city is anticipating another 3.2% increase, as population grows and environmental health declines, there is a proposal for an Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator position. This position would work with the community to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly projects. The Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator would help develop a city wide program of environmental stewardship, energy conservation, sustainability policy, and environmental literacy through integration of education and research.
The Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator would also work to promote the economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and equity. We, as a community need to show we understand climate change (and be a part of the solution)
The Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator would make sure that the taxpayers money is going towards useful projects and that the taxpayer’s are getting the best bang for their buck. The economy has a large role in the development of a city.
If there is low economic growth in a region there tends to be a series of events that can lead to an impact on the welfare of the people occupying that region. The best way to avoid low economic growth is to plan for growth. Being open to change and including a large selection of stakeholders to help with these plans. These plans are not set in stone, they are flexible and will save room for adjustments for future technologies, economic and political changes.
These plans will also need to focus on the sustainable growth, that is where the Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator would assist and lead the development of sustainability programs that reduce the city’s impact on the environment with strategies the use green solutions and implement renewable energy innovations.
In addition to getting the best bang for their buck, taxpayers will be reassured that the city will be using full cost pricing. Full cost pricing is a justified calculation of the difference in taxes, if the tax goes up or down, this reassurance includes the environmental impact a project might have. The environmental impact analysis would be part of the Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinators position.
The Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator should be a fast paced worker who gets projects and project proposals done in a timely manner. Being an efficient Environmental/ Sustainability Coordinator is important for success, working efficiently produces dependable and immediate results. Data collection for projects and incentives would be a positive way to enhance the efficiency of results. Promoting efficiency would also include promoting recycling by educating and creating clubs that encourage others to join positive environmental health. Renewable energy is a hot topic today, finding ways to use energy and minimize our global footprint. Having incentives for renewable energy would inspire more citizens to partake in the decreasing use of nonrenewable energies.
To be effective an Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator needs to produce results by achieving their goals. Effectiveness leads to growth, the Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator would help create and promote strategies to integrate sustainability principles/policies into operations within the city by infuse these principles into short and long term planning, building design, construction and grounds. They would also work closely with county policy makers, departments, local agencies, and the public to research and plan innovative ideas and solutions, collaborate on county wide developments, improve educational opportunities for employees, represent departments to research and develop sustainable practices, and promote sustainability-focused events.
Equity is a very important part of the community, in order to work effectively people need equal opportunity. Environmental equity would be another aspect of the Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator position, this would make sure that no minority group or low-income area has more environmental risk. The Environmental Protection Agency is consistently working to improve their method of environmental protection. The EPA realizes that each person is impacted differently with each environmental issue, the Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator would help address the environmental issues that impact their community. These environmental issues would be ranked from highest impacts or greatest risk to lowest.
Environmental justice is the fair management and significant participation for all people without a second thought to their race, color, nationality, gender or income. Environmental justice includes air quality, water quality and soil quality, the Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator would work with the EPA to make sure no one is being affected by environmental issues regardless of who they are, each person deserves environmental rights. According to the University of California, Los Angeles, “Environmental equity means protection from environmental hazards as well as access to environmental benefits. Through research and collaborations with stakeholders to advance the goal of environmental equity (Environmental Equity, UCLA)”.
The Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator would have many different roles within a community. They would work to promote a healthy economy by promoting sustainability projects that positively impact the environment and justify where taxpayer money is going (for environmental purposes). They would promote efficiency by incentivizing renewable energy approaches and working to help educate the public on recycling programs and other programs that would better the economy. The Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator would help implement strategies that use sustainable practices to promote effectiveness within the community to complete a goal. Finally, the Environmental/ Sustainability Planning Coordinator would work to include everyone, regardless of their background, to have minimal environmental risk, everyone deserves a healthy environment and the coordinator would help minority groups and low-income areas have a voice.