Environment, Energy & Climate Change

Article Features by Wendy Sommer

How Cities Can Build Resiliency and Fight Climate Change With Healthy Soil

Seventeen cities in Alameda County are employing carbon farming, which increases the ability of soil and plants to pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it deep in the soil. Carbon farming also increases water-holding capacity, reduces erosion, creates healthier plants, and increases forage production; it’s an essential part of a resiliency strategy.

Greening the Concrete Jungle: Daly City Partners With Residents

Project Green Space is a robust urban forestry and green infrastructure program convened by the city and driven by residents. The program empowers community members to actively reshape the future of their neighborhoods by adopting new trees and planting and maintaining rain gardens.

Article Features by Karalee Browne

The Environment, Energy, and Equity: How Cities Are Moving Forward in Today’s Economy

Cities are grappling with tough decisions about how to balance the essential needs of their communities with projects that were planned to address energy, equity, and the environment. Despite immediate and looming budget shortfalls, many cities are moving forward with Climate Action Plans.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government by Nicole Enright

New Clean Mobility Options Roll Out in Arvin

With just a few taps on a smartphone app, residents can check out an electric vehicle, get in, and go.

West Sacramento’s On-Demand Ride-share Service Addresses Transit Needs

The ride-share service improves access to critical daily amenities and is helping to change the lives of transit-dependent residents. The program has improved mobility for all, especially seniors and youths.

Article Features by Maria West

What Cities Need to Know About SB 1383 and Funding Organic Waste Management

Cities should immediately begin planning for and implementing the required organic waste collection and edible food recovery services. This work includes assessing and securing adequate capacity for organics processing and edible food recovery, which can be done individually or in conjunction with counties, other cities and regional agencies.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government by Nicole Enright

Scrap Your Fears About Food Waste Regulations: Preparing for SB 1383

California cities are preparing to comply with new targets to reduce statewide emissions of short-lived climate pollutants and reduce organic waste in landfills. To help cities with this, the Institute for Local Government is partnering with CalRecycle to raise awareness and connect local governments with resources and expertise.

Article City Forum by Jill Oviatt

Lessons Learned From Utility-Initiated Power Shutoffs

Since October 2019, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company has cut power to Californians more than half a dozen times, with the smallest power shutoff affecting about 30,000 people and the largest affecting nearly 2.5 million. But cities have made it clear that this cannot be the new normal, and power shutoffs are in fact putting residents at real risk.

Article Features by Dan Carrigg

2019 Legislative Year in Review

When the 2019 legislative session began, Democrats had gained historic supermajorities in the Legislature. Yet progress for the progressive Democratic agenda was muted. And in the face of multiple attacks on local zoning authority and other challenges, the League and cities emerged surprisingly well.

Article Features by Michael McLaughlin

Connecting the Dots on Emergency Preparedness, Recovery and Resilience

The challenges associated with disasters include tech-related issues, risk management and the need to create incentives for updating and retrofitting homes to improve wildfire and earthquake resilience.

Article Features by Brian Haddix

Small Cities Fund Public Works Infrastructure Projects With Clean Energy Savings

How can a city shift its power supply to clean energy, create jobs, complete projects on its deferred maintenance list and improve its bond rating — without raising taxes or local water and sewer utility rates? Two small cities offer a model.

Article Web Exclusive by Chris Callard

Environmental Tag Team: The Unique Partnership of Paramount and the Air Quality Management District

When a reporter called asking about an abnormal level of a carcinogenic toxin in the air, city leaders were surprised to learn of it.

Article Features

Exceptional Efforts: Local Streets and Roads Awards Recognize Innovation

The awards program honors counties and cities throughout California for creative and cost-effective projects that improve local streets, roads and bridges. It also showcases projects that promote fiscal and environmental sustainability in the local transportation system.

Article Features by Karalee Browne

E-commerce, Energy and the Environment: The Effects of Freight and Warehousing on Our Communities

Local government leaders face a dilemma in balancing economic opportunities with consumer needs and the environmental impacts of a booming e-commerce industry.

Article City Forum by Heidi Sanborn and Jordan Wells

Good News for Cities: Producer-Paid Medication and Needle Collection Is Coming

A new law requires a statewide system of drop-off kiosks for unwanted medications and a fully funded mail-back system for sharps. It also includes education, oversight and data tracking mechanisms to ensure successful implementation.

Article Executive Director's Message by Carolyn Coleman

Making Strides Toward a Sustainable Future

Cities are leading the way in finding innovative methods to leverage local assets, protect natural resources and ensure a sustainable future for their communities.

Article Features by Dan Carrigg

City Economic Development in 2019: Resources, Options and Prospects

Resources are available  for those with  the determination to understand and use the new tools and funding options.

Article Features by Karalee Browne

Community Choice Aggregation Drives Economic Development

This option reduces electricity costs, provides cleaner energy options, and offers economic opportunity and increased transparency.

Article Executive Director's Message by Carolyn Coleman

Cities Adapt as Tools for Economic Development Evolve

City leaders are pursuing new and innovative ways to enhance their community’s economic well-being.

Article Legal Notes by Christian Marsh

California’s Public Trust Doctrine Draws Attention in the Courts

During the past decade, California has experienced a surge in the volume of public trust cases and recent court decisions.