Council Adopts Newest Version of Sustainable Cities Plan

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At last night’s meeting, the Santa Monica City Council adopted the next version of the Sustainable City Plan (SCP). The Sustainable City Plan guides the work and plans to achieve water self-sufficiency, zero waste, and carbon neutrality, as well as economic vitality and social equity. The indicators and targets adopted will help drive decisions and meaningful outcomes to achieve the City’s sustainability goals. At last night’s meeting, Council also approved the SCP’s twelfth guiding principle to reaffirm Santa Monica’s commitment to equity and inclusion. 

The latest edition of the Sustainable City Plan includes twelve guiding principles and 147 performance indicators with updated targets for 2030 in nine goals areas: Resource Conservation, Environmental and Public Health, Transportation, Sustainable Local Economy, Housing, Open Space and Land Use, Civic Participation and Community Education, Quality of Life, and Arts and Culture.  

Recent Sustainability Indicators include: 

  • As of 2020, Santa Monica has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 60% below 1990-levels. 
  • As of 2022, 94% of residents and businesses are receiving renewable energy through the Clean Power Alliance. 
  • In Fiscal Year 2021/22, the community reduced their waste generation to 3.5 pounds per capita per day. 
  • In 2021, Santa Monica generated 8.8 megawatts from solar.     
  • In Fiscal Year 2021/22, the Santa Monica Farmers Market generated $22.1 million in gross sales. 

The updated SCP incorporates current best practices established in the LEED for Cities certification, as well as review of peer cities. The City will continue to measure the performance of the indicators identified in the SCP. The Sustainable City Plan performance dashboard is available at santamonica.gov/sustainable-city-plan.  

 
The City of Santa Monica’s Sustainable City Plan was originally adopted on September 20, 1994, and subsequent editions have been adopted over the years. The early adoption of this comprehensive framework helped to guide decision-makers to enhance resources, prevent and remedy harm to the natural environment and human health, and benefit the social and economic well-being of the community for the sake of current and future generations. The SCP was designed to help Santa Monica as a community begin to think, plan and act more sustainably.  

“By evaluating the long-term impacts of our decisions, we can think about the future when as we make decisions about the present,” says Chief Sustainability Officer Shannon Parry. “With the early adoption of the Sustainable City Plan and Santa Monica’s leadership in sustainability, Santa Monica has paved the way for cities to implement similar programs and plans and Santa Monica is now recognized worldwide as a role model for sustainability.”  
 
The adoption of the 5th version of the Sustainable City Plan comes after City Council unanimously adopted Sustainable & Connected Community as a council priority at its March 11, 2023, special meeting. As part of recent sustainability efforts, the Zero Emission Building Code went into effect on January 1, 2023.  An electrification roadmap was recently published to identify possible strategies to reduce carbon emissions and improve indoor air quality in existing buildings. Discussion and consideration for existing building electrification will include stakeholder engagement and review by Commissions and Council prior to policy adoption.  

For more information, see the resources below:  

Link to the Sustainable City Plan Update Staff Report  

Link to the Council Presentation  

Link to Sustainable City Plan Dashboard 

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