This week Haris Alibasic, Director of Energy and Sustainability for the City of Grand Rapids comments on how Grand Rapids maintains a leadership position in sustainability both nationally and world-wide.
Because of the uniqueness and success of the 2010 Grand Rapids Sustainability Plan, Grand Rapids is considered one of the “most forward looking cities in terms of sustainability planning,” says Alibasic. The plan focuses on managing the economic, social, and environmental resources of the city. A progress report published last year noted that 92% of the sustainability targets laid out in the Sustainability Plan have made progress and 8% of those targets have been reached.
Sustainability projects in Grand Rapids include establishing renewable solar and wind energy resources, using geothermal energy at Fire Departments and installing electric charging stations throughout Grand Rapids
What makes sustainability successful in Grand Rapids is “tying the sustainability targets directly to the budget process,” says Alibasic. When any city department submits a budget proposal, it must tie back to the economic, social and environmental targets as laid out in the sustainability plan.
According to Alibasic, sustainability is a community effort. The city’s management of economic, social and environmental resources are successful because of the commitment citizens, local businesses, and non-profits have to sustainability.
To learn more about sustainability in Grand Rapids, listen to this episode of A Watershed Moment online.
“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life. Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.