Meet Current Needs, Provide for Future Generations
Sustainability -- meeting our own needs while protecting the ability of future generations to meet theirs - has several faces:
- Harvesting renewable resources, including food and raw materials, at a rate that allows time for regeneration;
- Replacing use of non-renewable resources, including fossil fuel-based energy, with equivalent renewable substitutes;
- Generating no more waste than our environment can assimilate without harm.
Currently, we consume about 30 percent more resources than the earth can continue to provide. This resource "debt" is very likely to come due during the lives of our children and grandchildren.
Sustainability: A Regional and Community Effort
Sustainable products and businesses offer fresh potential for economic growth. Reconfiguring communities for sustainability can open unprecedented opportunities for productively reconciling environmental, social and economic needs.
But transitioning to sustainable practices requires resources -- financial and human. Governor Andrew Cuomo's Cleaner, Greener Communities competitive grants program can help communities obtain resources to assess how sustainability can benefit them and to carry out the approaches that best fit their goals.
Cleaner Greener Communities Regional Sustainability Planning
To implement the Cleaner Greener Communities program, the Governor has now made $9.6 million available to municipalities for regional sustainability planning.
Please note that applications for sustainability planning grants are due October 31, 2011.
Regional sustainability planning is the first stage of the Cleaner, Greener Communities program and will provide the necessary resources for each region in New York State, as defined by the boundaries of the recently formed Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs), to develop a sustainability plan.
The sustainability plans will outline tangible actions for greenhouse gas emissions reduction, energy efficiency improvements and deployment of renewable energy sources. These actions might be related to any of the following sectors: energy supply, transportation, water and waste management, land use, open space, agriculture, housing and economic development. The plans will guide and inform funding decisions for specific sustainability projects during a second stage of the Cleaner, Greener Communities program to be announced in the next several months.
An eligible applicant for the Cleaner, Greener Communities regional sustainability planning program must be a municipality (city, county, town, village, Indian tribe or nation) acting on behalf of a consortium of other municipalities within one of the ten following economic development planning regions:
- Capital Region (Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington)
- Central New York (Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego)
- Finger Lakes (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates)
- Long Island (Nassau, Suffolk)
- Mid-Hudson (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester)
- Mohawk Valley (Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie)
- New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond)
- North Country (Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence)
- Southern Tier (Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins)
- Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara)
More than one planning consortium may be formed in a region to compete for the regional planning grant. In such cases, competing grant applications will be scored by the Regional Economic Development Council and a technical evaluation panel to be convened by NYSERDA. Evaluation of the planning grant applications will consider the proportion of a region's municipalities that are represented by each consortium and the number of participating municipalities that have made the Climate Smart Communities pledge. One sustainability planning grant will be awarded per region; if no sustainability planning consortium has formed in your region, we encourage you to consider taking the lead in organizing one.
The Consolidated Application link on right accesses further information and application forms. (Click on link and follow application title "Cleaner, Greener Communities Regional Sustainability Planning Program.")
Some projects identified in sustainability plans may be eligible for inclusion in the comprehensive regional economic development plans now being prepared by Regional Economic Development Councils. A pool of state implementation funding will help support the highest-priority actions identified in regional economic development plans.
Further information about the Regional Economic Development Councils is available at the Governor's website. See link on left.
More about Sustainability Planning:
- Sustainability Plan Guidance - Regional Sustainability Plan Guidance.