How Are We Doing?
Can the City of Shoreline be forevergreen? The metrics included here are indicators of the five focus areas defined by the City's Environmental Sustainability Strategy. In each area, there are multiple indicators to show how we're doing. See the Site Map or About Us for site information. Visit the Environmental Services page for more information on City programs designed to create an environmentally sustainable community!
Shoreline’s forevergreen Sustainability Indicator Tracking web page was developed with funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the 2009 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.
Direction to measure baselines and track metrics came from a recommendation in the Environmental Sustainability Strategy, adopted in 2008:
"Create baselines for all Sustainability Strategy focus areas and implement indicator tracking system to track progress over time."
The Sustainability Strategy was developed to provide guidance for the 2007-2010 Council goal to "create an environmentally sustainable community." Staff formed an interdepartmental team, contracted consultants, and held "community conversations" to establish priorities important to Shoreline residents.
Once the Strategy was adopted, staff reorganized the City's Green Team and began working on implementation. As of the launch of this web page in April 2012, 84% (42 of 50) recommendations in the Strategy are complete or in progress, with the remainder tabled for future consideration.
Accomplishments of the City's Green Team between 2008 and 2012 include:
- Creation of a Communications Plan, web page, brochure describing sustainability initiatives, and forevergreen logo;
- Adoption of Green Office Policies and Procedures, sustainability as a City value, decision-making criteria, and Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Guidelines;
- Winning American Planning Association and Planning Association of Washington award for Sustainability;
- Signing the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration Pledge and participating in regional roundtables;
- Incorporating sustainability into Comprehensive Plan, Subarea Plans, and Transportation, Parks, and Surface Water Master Plans; and
Development of this indicator tracking website.
The City's Green Team reorganized again in 2012 to shift focus from incorporating sustainability into internal operations to communication about City initiatives and providing information and resources for households to make sustainable decisions. The City recognizes the importance of contributing to sustainability through directing public projects to provide connectivity of trails and transit, land use to encourage commercial development that provides jobs and services to neighborhoods, and innovative stormwater and building practices that promote low-impact development. However, when you examine Shoreline's overall carbon footprint, the portion that is attributed to City operations is small. If the community is to make a significant difference in their impact on local and global systems, it will be because of individual and household choices.
The focus of the City is also shifting from environmental sustainability to the other 2 prongs of a 3-pronged "triple-bottom line" approach, or what is often referred to as the 3E's of sustainability: Environment, Economics, and Equity. This is described graphically below, and is reflected in revised Council goals, Vision 2029 Framework Goals for the Comprehensive Plan Update, and Framework Goals for light-rail station-area planning.
For example, the draft framework policies for station-area planning include:
Policy SA6: Allow and encourage uses in station areas that will foster the creation of communities that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable and are supported by planned minimum and maximum residential densities.
Station Areas represent an opportunity to combine environmental, economic, and equitable development in that they can incorporate green building practices and restoration of ecological functions that have been degraded; include a mix of uses that provide jobs and services to the community; and make housing available at different income levels for people who would most benefit from having access to transit and amenities. This is one example of how the City and community can work together to plan growth as a truly sustainable model.