Introduction and Approach
Sustainability can be defined as taking care of the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations. It also can be defined as the intersection between three principals; environmental stewardship, economic health; and social justice.
This plan acknowledges all three of these principles by incorporating values beyond just the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to looking at how the City of Santa Fe can reduce it’s contribution to GHG emissions, this plan addresses how the City can prepare to be more resilient to respond to the impacts of global warming on the community. This plan anticipates effects higher fuel prices rise, possible reductions in the availability of potable water that are expected to result in the coming years.
This plan addresses more than just greenhouse gas emissions. It looks to the history and culture of Santa Fe and incorporates other values of this community. By doing this, it takes a plan that would normally have a single focus and uses it as a catalyst to promote “community sustainability” by also considering other social and economic goals. It attempts to distribute the benefits and costs of moving towards sustainability in an equitable way.
This plan draws from other studies that have been conducted by the City as well as the initiatives and priorities included in the City Council Strategic Plan. This plan is consistent with the City’s Economic Development Strategy which calls for Santa Fe to become the “clean energy capital of the U.S.” along with attracting and developing associated small businesses in the City. This plan is also consistent with the goals of providing good jobs and workforce development and education. Each of these goals speaks to the value of making Santa Fe more economically healthy, with an eye towards providing employment opportunities for the young people growing up here, so they can stay here.
 AngelouEconomics, Cultivating Santa Fe’s Future Economy: Economic Development Strategy, April 2004
Council Strategic Plan Initiatives
The first City Council Strategic Plan initiative is to “Support Sustainable Development and a Green City”. The priorities for this initiative that are consistent with this plan include:
- Adopt and enforce land use codes and policies that promote sustainable, energy-efficient, carbon-neutral development.
- Provide for alternatives to the automobiles.
- Keep neighborhoods livable and protect rural areas from sprawl.
- Provide economic opportunity throughout the city. . .
- Restore and maintain watershed conditions that provide for healthy parks and open spaces, better management of storm water from all hard surfaces, water harvesting at every opportunity, and an living river system to include the Santa Fe River, and its tributaries and associated uplands.
- Implement a smart growth strategy for Santa Fe, including a water acquisition plan through 2040.
Other initiatives that this plan is consistent with include:
- Work towards a Unified Santa Fe
- Ensure Future for Youth
- Provide for a Safe Community
- Celebrate and Preserve Santa Fe’s History, Culture and People
- Embrace Technology
The Sustainable Santa Fe Commission identified the components to be included in the Plan by reviewing resolutions passed by the City Council and organizing them into topics. Measures for reducing GHG within each topic area are provided with specific goals and methods for measuring progress, where available. Success in the large range of topics covered by this plan will require commitment from the entire Santa Fe government and community including the decision-makers, administration, staff, local non-profits, businesses and individual community members.
This document is intended to be a “living” document. It will be updated to reflect progress in its implementation and changes in technology and lessons learned here and elsewhere. This will enable Santa Fe’s sustainability program to respond to evolving conditions and new approaches in this fast-changing area.
As the City moves forward with the initiatives proposed in this plan, it is the intention to work in concert with the County, and other entities within the region, to create a regionally coordinated approach. Many of the initiatives require a regional approach and many would benefit from the economy of scale afforded by such cooperation.