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Tucson, Arizona: From economic development initiatives to sustainable city programs

Sustainable Cities in a Comparative Perspective URPL-GP.2613
by

Ali Wimer

on 18 April 2013

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Transcript of Tucson, Arizona: From economic development initiatives to sustainable city programs

From economic development initiatives to a sustainable city Tucson, Arizona Continuously settled for more than 12,000 years.
Spanish settlement in 1776.
Gadsen Purchase - joined United States in 1854 Quick Facts LEED Design Green Building Improvements in Energy Efficiency Energy and Climate Change Transportation Improvements and Planning Transportation Alternatives Water Resources Planning Water Resources Environmental Remediation Environmental Health Waste Reduction and Recycling Creating Urban Greenspace Urban Nature Located in the Sonoran Desert, one hour drive from Mexico
Situated between five mountain ranges: the Tucson, Santa Catalina, Rincon, Santa Rita, and Tortolita
Bordered by Catalina State Park, Coronado National Forest, Saguaro National Park East and West, and the Tohono O'odham Nation to the south.
Average of 350 sunny days per year 2010 Census reports population: 520,116 (city); 1,020,200 (metro); 2,793.6/sq mi (density) 1997 Livable Tucson Vision Program formed interdepartmental Livable Tucson Team in 1999

April 2006, Mayor and City Council approved first Sustainability Plan

Sustainable Tucson, a non-profit, grass-roots organization initiated in 2006, works through networks of public/private partnerships to build networks of organizations in efforts to implement various sustainability sketches and city plans

City of Tucson’s Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development (OCSD) community-based Internet tool to inform and engage the community Planning Towards Sustainability Tucson Recycles and Waste Diversion Other Green Building Projects Solar Energy Projects Methane Gas to Energy Regional Transportation Authority Plan/ Sun Tran and Sun Van Alternative Fuels in City Fleet Other Transportation Alternatives BikeFest and Clean Air Days Household Hazardous Waste Drought Preparedness Water Conservation Program Reclaimed Water System Improved Pump Efficiency Water Loss Control Program Conservation Effluent Pool Water Harvesting at City Facilities Trails Program Maintaining Urban Greenspace Riparian Habitat Preservation and Restoration Habitat Conservation Plans Current Planning Processes Outreach and Education City Brownfields Program Reduce resource consumption and resulting greenhouse gas emissions LEED Silver or higher rating for all new City buildings and renovations greater than 5,000 sq/ft Integrating CDBG/Home Funds to create 45 affordable housing units meeting Pima County's Green Building Standards; 56 additional units with LEED Silver ratings
Residential Grey Water Ordinance in all new residential construction since June 1, 2010
Residential Solar Readiness Ordinance in all new residential construction since March 1, 2009 Promote energy conservation, improve energy efficiency, increase the use of renewable energy City government facility electricity use decreased by 29% between 2000-2007; greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 6%
City participates in Energy Star Challenge - all facility data available online Awarded Solar America City in 2007; hosted first Solar America Cities National Conference in 2008
City has installed 8 photovoltaic (PV) systems with combined 220 kW peak capacity rating, 5 solar water heating systems, a solar outdoor lighting system, over 250 solar-powered bus stop shelters, solar-powered data acquisition systems for remote well sites, solar-powered traffic hazard signals and day-lighting systems. Methane gas produced at the Los Reales Landfill is piped to Tucson Electrical Power Irvington Road plant - burned to generate 6,000 kWh of electrical power p/y; expected to generate electricity for additional
40 years Transportation improvements that are environmentally sensitive
in design; greater alternative transportation options; reduce fossil fuel consumption by increasing alternative fuels; educating the community about transportation options Neighborhood Traffic Management - improves quality of neighborhoods using street trees/landscaping as part of traffic control system
"Context-sensitive solutions" approach to roadway planning - carpooling, bikelanes, etc. Extending service areas, times, express service, while considering Wildlife Linkages in order to alleviate construction of new roads/reduce impact of existing barriers to wildlife
100% of Sun Tran's fleet untilizes cleaner-burning fuels (biodiesel, compressed natural gas) Modern Streetcar Project; City Cycle Bike-Sharing; Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community (2006, 2008) City's 220 Flex Fuel vehicles - 4 fueling stations; 460 biodiesel Fleet Services
City's 79 Fleet Services run on compressed natural gas Events to build awareness and encourage collaborative community engagement in environmentally sustainable activities through cultural events Reduce the load on landfill system; giving products a longer useful life expectancy, which will conserve energy and water resources cms3.tucsonaz.gov/ocsd Between 2003-2008 more than 250,000 tons of materials diverted from landfills (recycled); household recycling increased from 55%-85%; waste diversion increased from 9%-21% More than 350,000 individuals participated in HHW program in 2008; 741 tons of HHW collected; and, 98% of materials were reused or recycled. Education and Outreach 378 presentations in 83 schools; bilingual outreach Recycling InfoLine; bilingual door campaigns and collateral materials Community's most valuable resource - conservation efforts; smart water management; comprehensive planning to meet long-term population needs; maintain clean water supply Expanding use of Colorado River water supply (Southern Avra Valley Storage and Recovery Project) Drought Preparedness and Response Plan adopted in 2006 Residential water usage drop approx. 99 gallons per day - Conservation Fee of .03c per ccf La Madera Park piloting reclaimed water in new park restrooms - use reclaimed water in toilets where reclaimed water available City's 25 exisiting well pumps average 28.8% in increased efficiency after audits and upgrades City's Water Audit Program - next steps include public database capturing details for all City facilities, landscapes, equipment Established in 2000 to provide water supply for Endangered Species Act compliance Rainwater Harvesting is currently implemented in 16 parks, schools and gov't facilities. Creation of recreational linkages with public art and indigenous flora and fauna between South Tucson and downtown Tucson Promoting and maintaing urban nature; accessbile parks and recreation facilities; preservation of natural habitats; protecting urban greenspace; mobilizing community groups, developers and other stakeholders in decision-making processes Utilizing impact fees, RTA funding and bonds, developing an interconnected system of paths for alternative transportation and recreation. In addition to public awareness campaigns, the City has begun the beautification projects that involve revegitation for visual screening from sewage ponds. Developed comprehensive Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance to protect and enhance habitats, while allowing development and economic growth in approved areas. 2008 American Society of Landscape Architects Awards highest distinction to the City of Tucson Dept. of Urban Planning and Design for Urban Landscape Framework Staff, departments and community groups are educated on Urban Heat Island mitigation measures City staff and departments provide technical assistance to develop sustainable designs, provide educational workshops and information on mitigation efforts Address the biological, chemical and physical conditions affecting individual wellbeing; mitigating toxins in air, water and products used Groundwater remediation projects, including remediation of gasoline contaminated soil, landfills, and replacing of pipelines with phosphate-base, anti-corrosive materials. To spur economic development and revitalize blighted areas, while maintaining natural habitats, projects include: Cleanup of former Tungsten Ore Mill site; historic preservation of Adkins property, adjacent to Ft. Lowell Park; and Brownfields Job Training Grant (EPA) to support these efforts.
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