Smart Policies for a Changing Climate
ASLA released a blueprint for helping secure a sustainable and resilient future that summarizes the panel’s work and recommendations.
Smart Policies for a Changing Climate: The Report and Recommendations of the ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change and Resilience found that the U.S. needs a new paradigm for communities that works in tandem with natural systems. It recommends that public policies should:
- Be incentive based
- Promote holistic planning and provide multiple benefits
- Take into account environmental justice, racial and social equity
- Reflect meaningful community engagement
- Regularly evaluated and reviewed for unintended consequences
- Address broader regional issues as well as local and site-specific concerns.
Smart Policies for a Changing Climate also found that:
- Designing and planning in concert with natural systems promotes resilience, capitalizes on the benefits of natural systems and provides greater long-term return on investment. Key strategies include use of green infrastructure, native plants, urban and suburban tree planting plans, and healthy soil management practices
- Compact, walkable, and transit-oriented “smart growth” communities reduce energy use and are climate smart.
- Special attention must be paid to vulnerable communities in coastal and inland flood plains and underserved and low-income communities.
- Transportation should be considered critically as not only a connection point between home to work/services, but also as a source of greenhouse gas emissions, and a contributor or detractor to a community’s appearance and function in light of a weather event.
- Agricultural systems must be addressed because they are being stressed by unsustainable farming practices and farmland is being lost to expanding development and sprawl.