PATHWAYS TO URBAN SUSTAINABILITY

THE ATLANTA METROPOLITAN REGION

Summary of a Workshop

Derek Vollmer, Rapporteur

Committee on Regional Approaches to Urban Sustainability

Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Policy and Global Affairs

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S USTAINABILITY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PATHWAYS TO URBAN SUSTAINABILITY THE ATLANTA METROPOLITAN REGION Summary of a Workshop Derek Vollmer, Rapporteur Committee on Regional Approaches to Urban Sustainability Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Policy and Global Affairs

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This summary report and the workshop on which it was based were supported by The Home Depot Foundation; U.S. Department of Agriculture/U.S. Forest Service (Contract No. 10-DG-11330150-135); Interface Environmental Foundation, Inc.; Turner Foundation, Inc.; and the George & Cynthia Mitchell Endowment for Sustainability Science. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. ln accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs). International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-21198-7 International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-21198-0 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL APPROACHES TO URBAN SUSTAINABILITY Denise Stephenson Hawk (Chair), The Stephenson Group, LLC Judy Adler, The Turner Foundation, Inc. Anne Keller, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 Edward Macie, U.S Forest Service Southern Region Krista Mills, U.S. Department of Housing and Development Louisville Field Office Kevin Moody, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration Andrea Pinabell, The Home Depot Foundation Dale Quattrochi, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Catherine L. Ross, Georgia Institute of Technology Tom Weyandt, formerly with Atlanta Regional Commission STAFF Derek Vollmer, Project Director and Program Officer, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program (through December 2010) Jennifer Saunders, Project Director and Program Officer, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program (beginning January 2011) Marina Moses, Director, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Pat Koshel, Senior Program Officer, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Kathleen McAllister, Associate Program Officer, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program (through October 2010) Dominic Brose, Associate Program Officer, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Emi Kameyama, Senior Program Assistant, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Dylan Richmond, Research Assistant, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program v

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PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The National Academies Science and Technology for Sustainability Program (see Appendix C) has regularly helped organize workshops to convene diverse stakeholders and to discuss the role that science and technology can play in fostering a “transition to sustainability.” It is this idea of a transition that has helped the program focus on the salient trends, actors, and approaches that are part of this “collective, adaptive, and uncertain endeavor.”1 Urbanization is one such trend that has been the subject of many sustainability discussions over the years. In 2009, the National Academies hosted a forum to engage federal, academic, and private researchers focusing on urbanization.2 The rationale was that urbanizing regions are playing, and will continue to play, an important role in addressing climate change and many other sustainability challenges. Emerging research on urban systems—research that focuses on human–environment interactions and the interplay among energy, water, transportation, and other systems—could help decision makers address the complex challenges their cities face. One clear message that emerged from this initial forum was that, given the diverse regional economies, ecosystems, and communities throughout the United States, solutions to make urban systems more sustainable would have to be context-specific and place-based. Recognizing that many metropolitan areas in the United States have been experimenting with various approaches to sustainability, and that, despite the differences among regions, there were likely to be some core similarities and transferable knowledge, Roundtable members suggested that a series of workshops be organized to examine regional approaches to sustainability. A committee was appointed by the National Research Council to organize an initial workshop on September 30 and October 1, 2010, in Atlanta, Georgia, titled “Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Lessons from the Atlanta Metropolitan Region.” Atlanta was selected based on its 1 NRC (National Research Council). 1999. Our Common Journey: A Transition toward Sustainability. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 2 NRC (National Research Council). 2010. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems—Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. vii

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viii PREFACE rapid growth rate; its well-documented challenges with water, land use, and transportation; and its level of engagement with federal government agencies on matters related to sustainability. The committee identified panel topics, invited speakers, and developed an agenda along cross- cutting themes that encouraged interdisciplinary discussions. Participants were encouraged to examine metropolitan Atlanta as a system or, as some later rephrased it, to start “connecting the dots.” In addition to the planning committee’s efforts, the workshop also benefited from the work of several individuals. Kathleen McAllister, Emi Kameyama, and Marisa Escudero (National Academies) and Coleen Chima (Georgia Tech) deserve special recognition for the research and administrative support they provided. Howard Frumkin (University of Washington), Regina Gray (Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD]), Sam Lytle (HUD), Dee Merriam (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and Wayne Zipperer (U.S. Forest Service) all provided timely feedback leading up to the workshop. We would like to acknowledge Thomas Burnett, Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the National Academies, for his contributions to earlier drafts of the report. This summary has been prepared by the rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The planning committee’s role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. The statements made in this volume do not necessarily represent positions of the workshop participants, the Roundtable, or the National Academies. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: John Anderson, Rice University; Cyrus Bhedwar, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives; Glen Daigger, CH2M Hill, Inc.; Andrew Dannenberg, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Regina Gray, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development;

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PREFACE ix Malka Pattison, U.S. Department of the Interior; and Dan Reuter, Atlanta Regional Commission. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the rapporteur and the institution. Derek Vollmer, Rapporteur

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CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................... 1 Organization of The Workshop ........................................................... 2 Organization of The Workshop Summary........................................... 4 2 REFRAMING THE PROBLEM ......................................................... 7 Linking Environment, Economy, and Equity ...................................... 7 Sustainability and Human Health ........................................................ 8 Metropolitan Atlanta As A System...................................................... 9 3 KNOWLEDGE GAPS, NEW MARKETS, AND POLITICAL WILL............................................................................ 13 The Region’s Natural Capital ............................................................ 13 Marketing Sustainability.................................................................... 14 Championing Sustainability............................................................... 18 Engaging the Public........................................................................... 19 4 INDICATORS OF SUSTAINABILITY ........................................... 23 Reducing The Region’s Carbon Footprint......................................... 23 Sustainability as a Point of Differentiation........................................ 24 Public Health Indicators .................................................................... 26 5 INSTITUTIONALIZING SUSTAINABILITY ................................ 27 Building From the Federal Government’s Example.......................... 27 Taking Steps In The Atlanta Region ................................................. 30 6 PATHWAYS FORWARD ................................................................ 35 Envisioning a Sustainable Atlanta Region ........................................ 35 Educating The Public......................................................................... 37 Challenges For Research ................................................................... 37 Toward Adaptive Management in the Region................................... 38 REFERENCES ....................................................................................... 41 A WORKSHOP AGENDA ................................................................... 45 B REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS LIST ............................................ 51

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xii CONTENTS C ROUNDTABLE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY .......................................................................... 55 Figures and Boxes FIGURE 3-1 San Antonio Water Systems’ supply and demand under drought conditions.......................................................................... 16 FIGURE 4-1 Projections for energy efficiency gains in Georgia. .......... 24 FIGURE 5-1 Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District....... 34 BOX 3-1 Water Conservation Challenges and Successes: Lessons from San Antonio.................................................................................... 15 BOX 3-2 The Atlanta BeltLine Project .................................................. 20 BOX 5-1 A Tale of Two Brownfields: Atlantic Station and Edgewood Avenue ........................................................................................... 32