May 15 2013

Communities Working Together: The Lake Tahoe Sustainability Collaborative

“There is growing concern for the issue of sustainability — whether the Earth’s resources will be able to meet the demands of a growing human population that has rising aspirations for consumption and quality of life, while maintaining the rich diversity of the natural environment or biosphere.” – American Planning Association (APA)

Communities across the country continue to face the effects and challenges of a changing climate. As we move into the future, there is a pressing need to plan for these changes, and ensure that local, regional, and national efforts are coordinated. The need for community involvement in the planning process has never been greater. Community members are called to provide input, monitor, and evaluate planning processes and make certain that our local governments are taking the proper actions towards achieving sustainability goals in our communities. The Lake Tahoe Sustainability Collaborative (LTSC) provides an exemplary model of how such involvement can be coordinated within a region.

Lake Tahoe: Emerald Bay

The regional effort needed to protect and enhance the sustainability of the Tahoe basin is critical. The LTSC has recognized this need, and created a multi-stakeholder organization that provides community input in the planning process and works towards meeting its region’s community, environmental, and economic goals. The LTSC says, “The case for a collaborative is fairly simple and direct: absent a coordinated multi-stakeholder process for aligning environmental, community, and economic health, Lake Tahoe will not operate as a “region” but rather as a heavily-regulated environment with separately-governed and highly-local communities of interest.”

LTSC is made up of six workgroups across the Tahoe basin. Each workgroup strives to determine the best sustainability management practices and strategies for the basin, and works with local jurisdictions to achieve these goals. I have had the privilege to see firsthand how effective LTSC workgroups can be. Sitting in on meetings with the Community Mobility workgroup has provided me with insight into how communities can work together with their local jurisdictions to prioritize their needs and promote walkable and bikeable communities.

Some of the many faces of LTSC!

Some of the many faces of LTSC!

What are your thoughts? What are some other ways communities can work together to achieve local, regional and national sustainability goals?

Credits: Photo by Amanda Christian. Data linked to sources.

Alex Riemondy

Alex Riemondy is a recent graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Environmental Studies, and a Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning. Her interests in urban planning first stemmed from a cross-country bicycle trip in support of affordable housing. During the trip she became fascinated with connecting communities through the development of safe cycling routes. On a bike, she is constantly thinking about her urban environment and how it can grow to meet the needs of her community. Although currently living in Hummelstown, PA - having recently returned from working on a permaculture farm in Costa Rica - she plans to pursue a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning in Southern California. Finding happiness through connecting with her community and environment, she is most interested in improving citizen quality of life though: bicycle and pedestrian planning, green street design, and increasing citizen participation in the planning process.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 at 9:07 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Energy, Environment, Government/Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


One Response to “Communities Working Together: The Lake Tahoe Sustainability Collaborative”

  1. Alex Riemondy’s Farewell to Global Site Plans and The Grid | The GRID | Global Site Plans Says:

    [...] through blogging. Each topic has expanded my thinking of both simple and complex ideas, such as what truly makes a community, or what are some of the greatest barriers to entry for individuals choosing bicycling as a means [...]

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