Aspen wants input on environmental objectives | AspenTimes.com

Aspen wants input on environmental objectives

Staff report

The city of Aspen wants input from the public about how to proceed with environmental goals.

Taking steps to make the city and the community more environmentally sustainable is one of the City Council’s top 10 goals. On its Open City Hall Web page, the city asks what environmental sustainability in Aspen means to residents and asks them to complete an online questionnaire.

“While the city and many community organizations have long held environmental sustainability as a value, there isn’t consensus on what environmental sustainability is or how you measure it,” a statement from the city said.

Input from residents will help the city to create a dashboard that helps define “a sustainable Aspen,” the statement added.

City employees recently completed two days of focus groups in early May with other staff and outside experts in an attempt to articulate what sustainable Aspen means and what Aspen will look like if it reaches sustainability in five areas: energy; water; air; waste and parks; and trails and open space.

The focus groups brainstormed potential measures and identified top priorities using criteria that included importance to the community, quality and availability of data, relevance to the described outcome and ability to influence the measure in a positive direction.

The public questionnaire aims to be a “check in” to verify how aligned the experts’ initial ideas about environmental sustainability are with the interests of the broader community. City staff will use the focus-group results and the resident feedback to draft recommendations to the council.

The city’s ongoing environmental initiatives include:

The adoption of goals to reduce greenhouse-gas generation by city operations.

The adoption of city codes to manage stormwater more effectively.

City programs to encourage carpooling and mass transit.

Monitoring of air quality and actions to reduce particulate generation.

Outreach to the community regarding energy efficiency and waste reduction.

The inclusion of environmental-stewardship policies within the Aspen Area Community Plan.

To access the questionnaire, visit http://www.aspenpitkin.com and click on the “Open City Hall” link beneath the “City Spotlight” headline. The survey will be available through Monday. City staff plans to present a draft of the dashboard to the council in July.


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