Examining Strategic Sustainability Plans and Rigorous Sustainability Actions in California Cities

Bedrosian Center Research Presentations:

Yan Tang

October 27, 2014

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Professor Shui-Yan Tang and Dr. Myungjung Kwon will present findings from their study: Examining Strategic Sustainability Plans and Rigorous Sustainability Actions in California Cities. They look at what obstacles keep cities from adopting or implementing strategic sustainability plans.

Examining Strategic Sustainability Plans and Rigorous Sustainability Actions in California Cities

Local government leaders must overcome many public management, socio-economic, political, and institutional obstacles in order to adopt a meaningful strategic plan for climate protection and/or energy use and to implement it successfully.  Given many potential obstacles, what types of strategic sustainability plans and actions are more likely than others to be adopted by cities?  What are the key internal and external obstacles for adopting and implementing these plans and policy practices?  Based on data obtained from RAND California, the League of California Cities, and survey conducted in 2011, the article shows that California cities have remained reluctant to undertake rigorous sustainability actions that are difficult to implement, especially those in relation to smart growth land-use practices. Those cities that have a strategic sustainability plan in place tend to be more willing to undertake more rigorous actions.  A number of public management obstacles, socio-economic, and political factors can help account for a city’s likelihood of having a strategic sustainability plan.