“Green Your City’s Blueprint”: A Valentine to Cities

February 11, 2011

EMBARGOED UNTIL: February 14, 2011

CONTACT:
Jeremy Madsen, Executive Director, jmadsen@greenbelt.org, (415) 543-6771
Jennifer Gennari, Communications Director, jgennari@greenbelt.org, (415) 543-6771 x318

“Green Your City’s Blueprint”: A Valentine to Cities

Greenbelt Alliance’s new report shows local residents how to help
their cities reduce greenhouse gas pollution

San Francisco – Greenbelt Alliance, the Bay Area’s leading advocate for smart growth and open space protection, is sending a Valentine to the region’s cities. Green Your City’s Blueprint: A Toolkit for Climate-Friendly General Plans explains the connection between how we grow and the environment, and how collectively we can reduce our carbon footprint.

“We love our cities and believe that local economies can rebound and people can thrive if cities are designed well, with good transportation and housing choices,” said Executive Director Jeremy Madsen. “Green Your City’s Blueprint is really a guide to our best practices—and now we’ve made it available to every city and every resident who wants a better future.”

Cities can plan for minimal environmental harm and optimal living for people. Updating a General Plan, a city’s blueprint for future development, is one of the best ways to lessen our shared footprint. And making those changes will take the leadership of the people and local elected officials.

Green Your City’s Blueprint provides local advocates with clear instructions to change a general plan to be more climate-friendly and the tools to succeed. The toolkit:

• Explains the basic structure of a general plan
• Describes specific language you can ask city staff to insert in each element
• Provides step-by-step instructions for working with city staff and leaders
• Gives an overview of California’s ground-breaking smart growth law, SB 375, and how it impacts city plans for the future.

Green Your City’s Blueprint benefits from the expertise and experience of Greenbelt Alliance’s long history of advocacy, including the good policies that have been added to San Jose’s General Plan. It’s useful for any planning process, such as the one for El Camino Real on the Peninsula or the neighborhood plan for Broadway in Oakland. The toolkit will be essential as Bay Area cities work together to form a Sustainable Communities Strategy.

“Each community can make profound reductions in greenhouse gases by reshaping development patterns over time. Green Your City’s Blueprint explains how general plans can save open space, strengthen neighborhoods, and reduce how much we drive,” said Matthew Taecker, Principal Planner for downtown Berkeley, and Secretary for the California Planning Roundtable. “It is a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in taking on climate change at home.”

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For 50 years, Greenbelt Alliance has been the San Francisco Bay Area’s advocate for open spaces and vibrant places, with offices in San Francisco, San Jose, Walnut Creek, San Rafael, and Santa Rosa. www.greenbelt.org

Founded in 1971, Save Mount Diablo’s mission is to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, and watersheds through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide recreational opportunities consistent with protection of natural resources. www.savemountdiablo.org

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