Sustainability is the capacity to endure or as commonly also described, to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well-being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions. Dialogue about this definition focused on the necessary aspects of sustainability that must be addressed known as the "Three E's" - economy, environment, and social equity.
The City has undertaken a wide range of initiatives to improve the sustainability performance of both government operations and the community at large—including updating our 2007 Climate Protection Plan— and offers a wide variety of programs that may help you take actions enhance your own sustainability efforts.
Sustainability and Climate Action Plan Underway The City launched its new Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP) initiative in August 2014 to chart a path to a more sustainable future, find ways to improve our quality of life, grow prosperity and create a thriving and resilient community—all while dramatically reducing our carbon footprint.
Palo Alto is already a world leader in climate protection strategies. The S/CAP will build on that leadership — and our successes exceeding the goals of our 2007 climate plan — to create an ambitious plan that also considers broader issues of sustainability, such as land use and biological resources.
In coordination with ongoing efforts — including the Comprehensive Plan Update now underway—and with significant community input, the S/CAP will clearly articulate the challenges facing our city, a vision for the future, and a set of cohesive strategies to realize that vision.
Climate Ideas Expo: November 18 In support of the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP) we are now developing (see more info below), the City is hosting an interactive “ideas expo” to invite ideas from the community to help advance the City’s sustainability goals. This dynamic event will introduce the S/CAP and highlight global best practices and municipal advancements in sustainability. Regional and local partners will present and solicit feedback on proposals, and we'll ask the community to generate new ideas to help accelerate the pace of change in Palo Alto.
Join us on Tuesday, November 18th, 6-8 pm at the Downtown Library to help answer the question: What can a small, innovative city contribute to the sustainability revolution? Bring your big ideas—the bolder the better!