Board unveils sustainability recommendations for city

May 26, 2009

By Contributor

NEW — 6 a.m. May 26, 2009

The Sustainability Sounding Board, a group of community leaders appointed by Mayor Ava Frisinger, recently unveiled its long-term vision for a sustainable Issaquah, as well as recommendations for how the community can begin to measure its progress toward that goal.

In late 2008, Frisinger created the board, which includes 16 citizens and representatives from social service organizations, businesses and the environmental community. The board members met four times to develop its final report for the mayor, which will be presented to the City Council during its Committee-of-the-Whole meeting tonight.

The report describes a long-term vision, eight sustainability themes and 30 sustainability indicators to help measure the community’s progress, including this set of 13 “keystone” indicators:

  • Carbon footprint
  • Community health
  • Diversity of business
  • Education
  • Food bank use
  • Participation in the arts
  • Population density
  • Preserved natural and open space
  • Revenue base diversity
  • Transportation by type
  • Walkability
  • Waste generation
  • Volunteerism

“Thanks to the hard work of these dedicated community leaders, we now have a great framework to use as we embark on this initiative,” Frisinger said. “The next steps include setting tangible goals for each of these indicators, as well as collecting the data we’ll need to actually measure Issaquah’s progress.”

The City’s Resource Conservation Office, along with staff from planning and economic development, will spearhead the next steps. The city’s first “report card” is scheduled to be released a year from now.

The reports are intended to not only shape Issaquah’s planning and policy decisions, but also educate the community about how each individual can help.

“Through this process, we hope to educate, inform and galvanize support from our community – including nonprofit organizations, businesses and citizens – to achieve our sustainability goals,” Frisinger said. “As we all continue to build a more sustainable Issaquah, our quality of life, both today and in the future, can only improve.”

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