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Proposed Presentation to APA Conference in Minneapolis April 29, 2009


Two Communities Implementing the APA Policy on Sustainability

Presented by Gary L. Peterson, AICP

Jeanne Hoffman, City of Madison




Learn how 2 adjacent communities, one large and one small are implementing the American Planning Association (APA) Policy on Sustainability. The city of Madison and the town of Cottage Grove have Sustainability Plans in place and are actively administering them. Learn how this ground up process has used employee input to save their municipalities money, reduce pollution and improve employee moral.



Presented as Part of the Environment, Natural Resources and Energy Track.


This session will compare two common boarder communities implementing the APA Policy on Sustainability. The city of Madison, WI (Population 223,280) has over 3000 employees and a budget of $213 million while the town of Cottage Grove (Population 3,902) has 7 employees and a budget of $2,100,000. Each has adopted an Eco-Municipality Resolution and an Implementation Plan. The City is utilizing dedicated staff to implement the program while the Town utilized a consultant to develop their program.


The presenters will be Ms. Jeanne Hoffman, Facilities and Sustainability Manager for the City and Gary L. Peterson, AICP, Sustainability Consultant for the Town.


The APA Policy on Sustainability is based on The Natural Step (TNS). TNS has been presented previously at APA Conferences. What is unique about this presentation is we will present the results of the 4 Step Process of Implementing TNS. Those 4 steps are:


1.      Awareness/Education


2.      Baseline Analysis/Inventory


3.      Develop a Vision (a creative process-backcasting). 


4.      Action Planning: getting down to business


The presentation from each presenter will also include:

  1. How we got started
  2. How we obtained political support.
  3. How the leaders obtained training
  4. How groups were selected to participate.
  5. How much time was needed to develop the Plan
  6. Excerpts from the Sustainability Plan
  7. Actual Projects Implemented
  8. The cost savings and pollution reductions
  9. Other benefits including employee moral.
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