April 9, 2009

Online Resource Helps With Climate Change

Searchable database profiles communities' energy use and climate change strategies

CHICAGO — Communities want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but often struggle with how to go about implementing the necessary changes. The American Planning Association (APA) in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) has created a new online, searchable database to help communities learn about how others have started to address energy and climate issues and find pertinent resources.

The Planners Energy and Climate Database offers information on the variety of approaches that communities have taken to address energy and climate change issues. Available at the fingertips of planners, community leaders, and local officials are such resources as case studies, ordinances, plans, and other notable examples of local and regional efforts.

View the Planners Energy and Climate Database.

The database currently features more than 150 resources that cover energy and climate change efforts from across the country. Additional resources are added regularly, and users are encouraged to recommend materials and resources for inclusion. A number of search parameters are available, enabling users to filter information regionally, state-by-state, by community size, planning tool, topic, or keyword search.

"The database provides information on a variety of resources, organized into a user-friendly application," said Suzanne Rynne, AICP, manager of the Green Communities Research Center at APA. "We hope our work will help communities and planners understand how they can address these issues."

The database is part of a multi-year research effort designed to assist communities with cutting greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to a changing climate, and transitioning to renewable energy resources.

The upcoming report, Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future, will focus on how communities can integrate energy and climate change into planning and feature case studies from across the country. The report, developed in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Asheville and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will be available Fall 2009.

Funding for this research project has been provided by the Surdna Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, and APA's Environment, Natural Resources and Energy Division. For more information about the project and other project resources, visit: www.planning.org/research/energy. To submit a resource for the database, e-mail energy@planning.org.

This research project is being conducted under the auspices of APA's Green Communities Research Center, one of APA's National Centers for Planning. The center engages in research, policy, outreach and education that advance green communities through planning. For more information, visit www.planning.org/nationalcenters/green/

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1984 by a bipartisan congressional caucus dedicated to finding innovative environmental and energy solutions. EESI works to protect the climate and ensure a healthy, secure, and sustainable future for America through policymaker education, coalition building, and policy development in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, agriculture, forestry, transportation, and urban planning.

Contacts

Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395; rrewers@planning.org
Jan Mueller, EESI, 202-662-1883; jmueller@eesi.org