GREEN GENERAL PLAN TOOLKIT

Sample Measures

This section contains sample measures that could be integrated into a green general plan. Because each municipality is unique, with its own resources, priorities, and challenges, these measures are merely illustrative. Nevertheless, these measures demonstrate a process that incorporates the drivers and approaches outlined in the previous section, and can serve as a good starting point for a municipality considering greening its general plan.

In developing specific measures for a green general plan, the California Sustainability Alliance recommends a top-down, holistic approach that begins with consideration of overall goals – desired societal benefits such as improving public health and safety, environmental quality, the economy, or quality of life. Planners can then consider strategies for achieving these goals, such as efficient resource utilization or smart growth. Once overall goals and high-level strategies have been outlined, it then becomes possible to drill down to specific objectives and measures, such as ensuring long-term water security by increasing water efficiency and promoting use of recycled water. By utilizing this framework, a green general plan becomes a holistic reflection of community priorities, rather than a simple collection of resolutions.

While the sample measures found in this section are a good place to start, it is also helpful to explore the green general plans already developed by municipalities across California. To learn more about existing green general plans, select the links below:

  • Ontario
  • Irvine
  • San Jose
  • Marin County
  • San Francisco

Another excellent resource with many innovative strategies for incorporating energy reduction and increased sustainability into General Plans is the Energy Aware Planning Guide.

Whether your city is just beginning its sustainability planning process or is building upon an existing foundation, if you would like to work with the California Sustainability Alliance and the Department of Conservation, please contact us about the Emerald California program.

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