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, Governor Andrew Cuomo has made $9.6 million available to municipalities for regional sustainability planning. Regional sustainability planning is the first stage of the Cleaner, Greener Communities program.
The sustainability plans outline actions for greenhouse gas emissions reduction, energy efficiency improvements and deployment of renewable energy sources in 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.
Cleaner, Greener Communities regional sustainability planning programs have been developed by municipalities (city, county, town, village, Indian tribe or nation) acting on behalf of a consortium of municipalities within ten 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)
Some projects identified in sustainability plans may be eligible for inclusion in the comprehensive regional economic development plans . 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 (link on right).
More about Sustainability Planning:
- Sustainability Plan Guidance - Regional Sustainability Plan Guidance.