Sustainable CT, a new statewide initiative to support Connecticut’s cities and towns, will have a regional launch event on January 9th, at the Comstock Community Center in Wilton, in collaboration with the Western Council of Governments, at 1:00 p.m. Created by towns for towns, the initiative includes a wide-ranging menu of sustainability best practices, tools and resources, peer learning, and recognition.
“Sustainable CT will foster creative thinking and problem solving within and between municipalities. It is the tool communities can use to bring together seemingly divergent stakeholders for the common goal of sustainability,” said Laura Francis, First Selectman of Durham and Chair Elect of the Sustainable CT board of directors.
Many area municipal leaders, experts, and community members have worked together for the past 18 months to develop Sustainable CT, including Thomas Madden, Director of Economic Development of the City of Stamford and Co-Chair of the Local Economies Working Group; and Steve Nocera, Director of Project Excellence of the City of Danbury and Co-Chair of the Public Services of Working Group.
The Sustainable CT platform supports a broad range of actions, such as improving watershed management, supporting arts and creative culture, reducing energy use and increasing renewable energy, implementing “complete streets” (streets that meet the needs of walkers and bikers as well as cars), improving recycling programs, assessing climate vulnerability, supporting local businesses, and providing efficient and diverse housing options. There is no cost to participate, and communities will voluntarily select actions that meet their unique, local character and long-term vision. After successful implementation of a variety of actions, municipalities will be eligible for Sustainable CT certification.
“Sustainable CT provides support to help all of our communities achieve the shared values of improved well-being, economic vitality, and environmental stewardship,” said Christina Smith, executive director of Groundwork Bridgeport and officer of Sustainable CT’s pending board of directors.
The initiative was developed under the leadership of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University in partnership with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Three Connecticut philanthropies – the New Haven-based Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Hampshire Foundation, and the Common Sense Fund – have supported the program’s development and launch.
The Fairfield area regional launch event is for anyone interested in learning more about Sustainable CT and how to get involved in supporting implementation of Sustainable CT actions. Event attendees will include municipal elected officials and staff, residents, nonprofits, businesses, college and universities.
Regional launch events will be held throughout the state in January. For more information and to register for any regional launch event, visit www.sustainablect.org.
This launch event for Sustainable CT will be a part of the quarterly Planners’ Lunch, which will feature another presentation about the CIRCA Municipal Resilience Planning Assistance Project. This meeting is free and open to the public. The agenda with information about the presentations can be found here.