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Local and Municipal Law Research: Best Practices: Sustainability

This research guide contains resources to accompany Professor Dernbach's Sustainability Law and Practice Course.

Best Practices

A Best Practice is a method or technique used in industry, governments, non-profits, and associations that is accepted as, or prescribed as being, correct or most effective and that is used as a benchmark.

Web Sites on Best Practices: Sustainability

Compendium of Best Practices

Published in 2010, the Compendium of Best Practices is the result of extensive outreach, data gathering, and analysis conducted to identify leading state and local-level best practices in energy efficiency and renewable energy in the United States. The report describes more than 20 practices and includes examples of their effective implementation in states or cities.

Institute for Local Government: Sustainability Best Practices Framework

The Institute for Local Government’s Sustainability Best Practices Framework offers options for local action in ten areas. They are drawn from practical experiences of cities and counties throughout California. The options vary in complexity and are adaptable to fit the unique needs and circumstances of individual communities.

Minnesota Green Cities

The Minnesota GreenStep Cities program offers these 29 best practices to become a GreenStep city.

New Designs For Growth

EPA's Smart Growth Program convened a panel of national smart growth code experts to identify the topics in local zoning codes that are essential to creating the building blocks of smart growth. This document, Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Urban and Suburban Zoning Codes, presents the panel's initial work. It is an evolving document, one that will be regularly revised, added to, and updated, and is intended to spark a larger conversation about the tools and information local governments need to revise their land development regulations.

New Urbanism Best Practices Guide

New Urbanism, a reaction to sprawl, is a better way to plan and build 21st Century communities. It is based on principles of planning and architecture that work together to create human-scale, walkable communities. A pdf of the report "The New Urbanism: A better way to plan and build 21st Century communities" by the guide's authors is included as a pdf in this library item.

Partnership for Sustainable Communities

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities (PSC) works to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money, and reduce pollution.

Philadelphia Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability (OOS) works with partners around the City to improve quality of life in all Philadelphia neighborhoods, reduce the City’s carbon emissions, and prepare Philadelphia for a hotter, wetter future.

OOS is responsible for implementing Greenworks Philadelphia, the City’s comprehensive sustainability plan, which is made up of eight visions:

  • Accessible food and drinking water
  • Healthy outdoor and indoor air
  • Clean and efficient energy
  • Climate-prepared and carbon-neutral communities
  • Quality natural resources
  • Accessible, affordable, and safe transportation
  • Zero Waste
  • Engaged students, stewards, and workers

Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification

The Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification, a project of the Pennsylvania Municipal League and Sustainable Pittsburgh, is a voluntary performance recognition program to help municipalities achieve their sustainability goals to save money, conserve resources, and encourage innovation.

Sustainable Urban Transport Project

We support developing cities through the dissemination of best practice, policy advice and capacity building on sustainable urban transport.

Subject Guide

Brent Johnson's picture
Brent Johnson
Widener Law Commonwealth Library
3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110