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Healthy and Sustainable Communities Project

How will we sustain our quality of life for future generations – and how do we measure our progress?

Ladies strolling on a walking path.Following Council’s direction in the 2007 Growth Policy, environmental planning staff delivered an initial set of potential “Healthy and Sustainable Communities” policy goals and indicators, or ways to measure progress. The Board approved the recommendations in September and sent them to the County Council for review. These goals and indicators will help policymakers and community members judge how their policies, programs, and actions contribute to achieving goals such as clean air and water.

The Framework for Action report, drafted in a partnership with the County Department of Environmental Protection, evolved from public input gathered at a Healthy and Sustainable Communities workshop in June. We also included many comments contributed online at the Planning Department’s website, where people could submit comments – and view what others said – on each of the indicators.

The report specifies six goals and recommends a number of indicators that will help measure the county’s collective efforts toward reaching those goals. We see the project as a starting point and will continue our work with the County Executive to create more indicators to measure our mutual goals for housing, transportation, public safety, education and others.

Healthy and Sustainable Communities Workshop

The Healthy and Sustainable Communities Workshop, held June 25-26 in Rockville, set the stage for a new dialogue on suggested goals and indicators that will serve as a barometer to measure how well we have met our sustainability goals. Together, the goals and indicators provide a comprehensive picture of our collective sustainability efforts and will help generate coordinated policies.

Workshop co-sponsored by the Montgomery County Planning Board and the
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See notes and summaries of the workshop below:.

The workshop help set the agenda for county planners as well as a new county Sustainability Working Group.

Goals and Indicators

green roofAs our county works toward achieving a number of environmental sustainability goals, we will develop indicators that will serve as a barometer measuring our progress. For example, the number of high-ozone days and daily vehicle miles traveled serve as useful indicators of clean air.

Together, the goals and indicators will provide a comprehensive picture of our collective sustainability efforts and facilitate coordinated policies.

  1. Climate Protection Workshop
  2. Clean Air Workshop
  3. Clean Water Workshop
  4. Green infrastructure Workshop
  5. Smart Communities Workshop
  6. Healthy People Workshop
  7. Green Economy Workshop
  8. Environmental Justice Workshop

Using these measures, county officials, in concert with the newly established Sustainability Working Group, will make decisions on county spending and programs that lead to increased sustainability.  County residents and businesses will be able to see more clearly their role in forging a sustainable future and more easily engage public officials in policy deliberations.  

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The Sustainability Working Group

A Sustainability Working Group, comprised of 26 senior experts from county government and the private sector, was appointed by the County Executive and approved by the County Council in mid-July.  This group will use the goals and indicators to develop a Climate Protection Plan that will guide county officials in making decisions that lead to increased sustainability for the county.

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Date of last update: December 12, 2008