Chapter 3

Examples of Sustainability
Connections and Linkages

The committee held a series of fact-finding meetings to explore six cases that posed challenges in terms of connected resources—challenges in the areas of science, monitoring, organization, and governance—and to examine the approaches various agencies used to address them. Although they differed substantially, each example dealt with the economy, society, and environment: the “three-legged stool” of sustainability. In many cases, stakeholder agencies and organizations, working with relevant government agencies, achieved significant and sustainable results because the right people with the right approaches from disparate organizations came together to do so. An agenda for each workshop is provided in Appendix C.

URBAN SYSTEMS - Philadelphia

For much of the latter half of the 20th century, Philadelphia, a city of 1.5 million, was a city in decline. In 2007 mayoral candidate Michael Nutter adopted sustainability as the central organizing principle of his campaign, envisioning a revitalized Philadelphia as the number one “Green City” in America.

This vision resonated with the public, and once elected, Mayor Nutter issued a citywide sustainability plan: “Greenworks Philadelphia.” The plan considered sustainability through five lenses: energy, environment, equity, economy, and engagement. Five goals and 15 measurable targets were designed to be achieved by 2015. Public perception depended upon measuring progress and communicating it in a compelling way. The city continues to measure and publicize results, both positive and negative.

Philadelphia is one of four U.S. metropolitan areas where the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has established an office to plan and manage both public transit programs and highways in the metropolitan region. In addition, just last year the Natural Resources Defense Council recognized Philadel-



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Chapter 3 Examples of Sustainability Connections and Linkages The committee held a series of fact-finding meetings to explore six cases that posed challenges in terms of connected resources—challenges in the areas of science, monitoring, organization, and governance—and to examine the ap- proaches various agencies used to address them. Although they differed substan- tially, each example dealt with the economy, society, and environment: the “three-legged stool” of sustainability. In many cases, stakeholder agencies and organizations, working with relevant government agencies, achieved significant and sustainable results because the right people with the right approaches from disparate organizations came together to do so. An agenda for each workshop is provided in Appendix C. URBAN SYSTEMS - Philadelphia For much of the latter half of the 20th century, Philadelphia, a city of 1.5 million, was a city in decline. In 2007 mayoral candidate Michael Nutter adopt- ed sustainability as the central organizing principle of his campaign, envisioning a revitalized Philadelphia as the number one “Green City” in America. This vision resonated with the public, and once elected, Mayor Nutter is- sued a citywide sustainability plan: “Greenworks Philadelphia.” The plan con- sidered sustainability through five lenses: energy, environment, equity, econo- my, and engagement. Five goals and 15 measurable targets were designed to be achieved by 2015. Public perception depended upon measuring progress and communicating it in a compelling way. The city continues to measure and publi- cize results, both positive and negative. Philadelphia is one of four U.S. metropolitan areas where the U.S. De- partment of Transportation (DOT) has established an office to plan and manage both public transit programs and highways in the metropolitan region. In addi- tion, just last year the Natural Resources Defense Council recognized Philadel- 39

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40 Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connections & Governance Linkages phian efforts to implement innovative transportation policies and practices by taking a complete streets approach, increasing the availability of walking and bicycling trails and improving public transit. Similarly, several innovative initiatives have converted vacant lots in the city to parks and other green spaces, which have been shown to improve the health and safety of those nearby (Branas, 2012). For example, a program was developed to remove trash and debris from vacant lots, grade the land, plant grass and trees to create parklike settings, and install low wooden post-and-rail fences. During the fourth committee meeting held in June 2012, Charles Branas, University of Pennsylvania, reported that these greening efforts had positive, significant impacts on several health outcomes: Gun assaults were reduced in all city sections; vandalism dropped in West Philadelphia; high stress decreased among residents in North Philadelphia; and exercise increased among residents of West Philadelphia. The Clean Water Act of 1972 prescribes that local governments capture and treat wastewater before discharging it in rivers. Most cities treat sewage and runoff separately; however, portions of many older cities, such as Philadelphia, collect both sewage and runoff in the same system. When the combined volume exceeds the capacity of the sanitary system, the excess is discarded into the nearby river—discharges that must be minimized under the Clean Water Act. This problem, Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO), has been exacerbated by ur- ban build-out; as more green space is paved, there is more runoff. The U.S. En- vironmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires cities to address CSO, in most cases by expanding their sanitary sewer or via separate piping and treatment systems. The CSO infrastructure is expensive, and there are ongoing costs. Philadelphia took the novel approach of reusing or managing rainwater in order to prevent runoff. The alternative to CSO, called “Green Stormwater In- frastructure” (GSI), allows stormwater to percolate through the soil wherever possible, using devices such as tree trenches, wetlands, planters, green roofs, pervious paving, or rain gardens (Figure 3-1). Rain barrels promote recovery and recycling of water. The linkages between the GSI and other systems—and the benefits that re- sult—are not obvious, but they are remarkable (PWD, 2011):  Saving energy while mitigating and offsetting climate change. Trees and plants are an important part of the GSI, shading and insulating buildings from wide temperature swings and decreasing the energy needed for heating and cooling. Because rain is managed where it falls in systems of soil and plants, energy is not needed for traditional systems to store, pump, and treat it. Growing trees also act as carbon “sinks,” absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and in- corporating it into their branches and trunks.  Restoring ecosystems. Allowing rain to soak into the ground and re- turn slowly to streams restores a water cycle similar to that of a natural water- shed. Soil is a natural water filter, and this percolation limits erosion of stream

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FIGURE 3-1 An Unconventional Path: Rationale for the Green Infrastructure Approach. SOURCE: Presentation by Christopher Crockett, Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), June 12, 2012. 41

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42 Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connections & Governance Linkages channels caused by high flows. This approach includes physical restoration of stream channels and streamside lands, including wetlands, to restore habitat for aquatic species. Soil also filters storm water runoff, reducing pollutant concen- trations and improving surface and groundwater quality.  Conserving water. Rainwater reuse technologies collect, convey, and store rain from relatively clean surfaces such as roofs. The water is generally stored in a tank or cistern and then reused for irrigation or flushing toilets in residential properties, and for boilers or cooling towers in industrial or commer- cial properties. If the cisterns store water for predictable, year-round use, their use can count toward compliance with stormwater regulations and also save water.  Reducing health effects of excessive heat. Heat waves are a fixture of summers in Philadelphia, including some severe enough to result in premature deaths. Trees and green roofs that are part of GSI reduce the severity of extreme heat events in three ways: by creating shade, by reducing the amount of heat- absorbing pavement and rooftops, and by emitting water vapor—all of which cool hot air.  Enhancing recreation. Throughout the park system, impervious cover such as concrete pavement is reduced, and residents enjoy recreation along Phil- adelphia’s stream corridors and waterfronts.  Improving air quality, with benefits for health. Like many major cit- ies in the United States, EPA currently classifies the Philadelphia metropolitan area as exceeding federal air quality standards. GSI’s expansion of green areas improves air quality because it can lead to lower air temperatures, which in turn reduce smog formation. Green areas can absorb air pollutants and lower carbon dioxide levels.  Increasing property values. Trees and parks contribute to making an urban neighborhood an inviting place to live, work, and play. Residents clearly recognize and value the quality-of-life benefit of urban vegetation. Property val- ues are higher close to parks and greenery.  Improving safety. Alongside the GSI program, the Pennsylvania Hor- ticultural Society (PHS) and other community and municipal partners promoted a program to clean, green, and maintain abandoned vacant lots—a process that produces visually pleasing results and, surprisingly, adds to public safety. Va- cant lots are known to be convenient places to store weapons. Greening them reduced such storage and correspondingly reduced gun assaults in the neighbor- hood. The overall effort was possible not only because the commitment to sus- tainability was adopted and supported at the highest level, but also because of the leadership and expertise of key actors from the Philadelphia Water Depart- ment (PWD). In 2006, PWD changed its regulations to require that all new con- struction projects in the city infiltrate, detain, or treat on-site the first inch of rainwater. This approach included charging nonresidential land owners for

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Examples of Sustainability Connections and Linkages 43 stormwater control based upon parcel characteristics. The new fee formula called for 80 percent of a property’s charges to be based on the amount of its impervious surface area and 20 percent on its gross area. This principle was later extended to building regulations to encourage “green roofs.” Through local experience and networks, linkages were created with other city departments, and benefits other than simple stormwater management were achieved. The plan came together when it was agreed that water revenue dollars could be spent on solutions that achieved not only the intended water pollution control but also other benefits. As discussed above, in the case of sustainability efforts in Philadelphia, success was driven by the clear vision and commitment shown by leaders and supported by the innovation and dedication of technical experts and champions in the field to implement performance-driven standards (see Box 3-1 for sustain- ability performance outcomes related to the sustainability initiatives described above). Well-developed communication elements were also critical to the suc- cess. URBAN SYSTEMS - Phoenix Phoenix is a large, rapidly growing city located in a desert environment with an ethnically diverse and rapidly expanding population. Phoenix faces a unique combination of sustainability challenges, including water scarcity, poor urban air quality, significant loss of biodiversity, increasing demands on energy resources, and urban heat island effects on public health. The changing climate may exacerbate some of these challenges and increase the importance of ad- dressing them in a timely manner to sustain quality of life for Phoenix residents. In 2009 former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon put forward his Green Phoe- nix plan. Gordon’s vision included increasing the use of solar energy and im- proving transportation projects to make Phoenix the first carbon-neutral city in the country. The city has strong linkages to national groups (U.S. Mayors, EPA training programs, U.S. Forest Service, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), State of Arizona Department of Environmental Quality), local communities, and corporations. However, despite the importance of these efforts, the mayor’s of- fice currently has only one person assigned the role of sustainability advisor, and that person has no designated budget authority. Water and land use With an average annual rainfall of only 20 cm, water availability and qual- ity are pressing issues for Phoenix residents. Rainfall is highly variable from year to year, making water use planning difficult. The Arizona water supply is currently divided between surface water from the Colorado, Salt/Verde, and Gila River systems (54 percent); five major groundwater aquifers (43 percent); and

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44 Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connections & Governance Linkages BOX 3-1 Sustainability Performance Outcomes: Philadelphia Example Greening Public Lots (Source: Branas et al., 2011; Branas, 2012) Purpose: Removes trash and debris; grade the land; plant grass and trees to create a park-like setting; install low wooden post-and-rail fences. Goal: Spur economic development. Major Players: Funding received from PHS, City of Philadelphia, CDC, and NIH Metrics: Gun assaults, vandalism, stress, exercise, substance use. Septainable (Source: SEPTA, 2011) Goals: Develop a more competitive transit system and attractive mobility alterna- tive; improve environmental stewardship and build livable communities; increase economic prosperity across Greater Philadelphia Major Players: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), City of Philadelphia, DOT, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), EPA Metrics: Greenhouse gas and air pollutants; water usage; waste; farmers’ mar- kets; transit-oriented development; infrastructural improvements; transit mode increases. Greenworks Philadephia (Source: City of Philadelphia, 2009) Goal: To create Philadelphia the greenest city in America Major Players: City of Philadelphia; numerous agencies, universities, foundations Metrics: Energy consumption; greenhouse gas emissions; waste; parks; limit food deserts; reduce vehicle miles traveled by 10 percent. Green Stormwater Program (Source: PWD, 2011) Goals: Reduce runoff; update water and sewer system; come into compliance with federal and state laws. Benefits: Improve air quality; save energy; restore ecosystems; reduce social cost of poverty; enhance recreation and quality of life; reduce effects of exces- sive heat. Major Players: PWD, City of Philadelphia, EPA, State of Pennsylvania Metrics: Implement intensive large-scale application of GSI; increase wet weather wastewater treatment capacity in targeted locations. 3 percent effluent. Agriculture is the largest user of water in Arizona; however, this may decline in the future given predictions that the climate of the south- western United States will become drier over this century (Overpeck and Udall, 2010). To optimize water use, Phoenix will need long-term planning horizons that incorporate uncertainty and trade-offs (Quay, 2012; Arizona State Universi- ty Morrison Institute for Public Policy, 2011). The Maricopa Park plan is a Phoenix-based example of local and federal linkages, fostering conservation of species, preservation of habitat, and recrea- tional opportunities. Maricopa County Park systems ring the city of Phoenix with 163,000 acres of desert mountain preserves, constituting the largest set of

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Examples of Sustainability Connections and Linkages 45 wild land preserves in any metropolitan region in the United States, although the urban environment is rapidly enveloping those areas (McCue, 2012). The Con- servation Alliance was formed to preserve sustainable lands within Phoenix; partners include Arizona State University (ASU), city and county governments, private foundations, and NGOs. Federal agencies contribute to this effort through “America’s Great Outdoors,” which involves the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Commerce, and the Council on Environmen- tal Quality (CEQ). Importance of foundational science Long-term research and its application are critical to understanding, pro- moting, and enhancing sustainability in urban environments. Phoenix is the site of one of only two urban programs supported by the National Science Founda- tion’s (NSF’s) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, the Central Arizona-Phoenix (CAP) LTER, which aims to integrate biological, ecological, engineering, economic, and social sciences. CAP LTER research has several integrative focus areas including climate, ecosystems, and people; water dynam- ics in a desert city; biogeochemical patterns, processes, and human outcomes; and human decisions and biodiversity. The CAP LTER is led by ASU, which works with a wide range of community partners through its School on Sustaina- bility to achieve its research, education, and outreach goals. Urban heat islands and sustainability of healthy populations In a desert city such as Phoenix, the urban heat island effect can be very pronounced in two ways. First, in the summer months, some urban areas may be several degrees hotter than others. Within the city, microclimates exist in neigh- borhoods as a function of vegetation and its effect on cooling by evaporative transpiration; in fact, local temperatures within Phoenix can vary by as much as 14 degrees F (Harlan et al., 2006). Second, the urban heat island effect is reflect- ed in generally higher minimum daily temperatures because heat is retained by the built environment, which fails to cool at night as the surrounding desert does (Figure 3-2). One focus area is on the public health impacts of the urban heat island ef- fect. This foundational research brings together climatologists, ecologists, soci- ologists, geographers, and geoscientists. Research reveals that vulnerability to extreme heat depends on place and social context. The highest morbidity and mortality associated with extreme heat falls disproportionately upon marginal- ized groups, including the poor, minorities, and the elderly (Harlan et al., 2006). Substandard housing, lack of air conditioning, crowding, poverty, homelessness, and aging contribute to the occurrence of heat-related health problems, as do

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46 Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connections & Governance Linkages FIGURE 3-2 Urban Heat Island expression in Phoenix. SOURCE: Presentation by Diana Petitti, ASU, June 11, 2012. The diagram was created by Joseph Zehnder and Susanne Grossman-Clarke, Central Arizona – Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project, ASU. certain occupations such as construction and agriculture. A warming climate will undoubtedly exacerbate heat-related health problems, particularly in urban environments. Harlan (2012) cites several benefits of improving ecosystem ser- vices with increased vegetation in heat-vulnerable neighborhoods, such as psy- chological impacts, including reducing stress; promoting health and well-being; providing recreational spaces for outdoor physical activities; improving air qual- ity; and other health-related outcomes including reducing the number of heat- related illnesses. Federal linkages in support of sustainability During the fourth committee meeting held in June 2012, Petitti (2012) de- scribed several positive examples of linkages among agencies and organizations working to address sustainability issues in Phoenix:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is supporting an Arizona Department of Health Services grant related to preparedness for high heat events.  USDA is providing support to local groups for urban agriculture pro- grams, such as community gardens in poor neighborhoods, which provide green spaces that cool the environment and reduce social isolation.  The National Weather Service and the State of Arizona are collaborat- ing to provide heat watch warnings and public education.  State and local agency employees and nonprofits have formed the Coa- lition on Heat Relief, which focuses on protecting the homeless by passing out water and getting people out of the heat in the summer.

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Examples of Sustainability Connections and Linkages 47 Thus, a limited number of federal agencies are effectively engaging with state and local governments and other organizations to address the problem of public health impacts of urban heat islands. This effort to improve human health and well-being integrates many as- pects of sustainability, including greater availability of energy, water, green space, and transportation; improvements in air quality; support for social equity; and adaptation to a changing climate. Two overall conclusions may be drawn from this example. First, additional federal partners, including some unobvious ones, need to be engaged in supporting urban sustainability. Housing, transpor- tation, and energy are critically important to populations vulnerable to extreme heat events. Partnerships and a shared vision for urban sustainability among federal, state, and local governments and organizations, with clearly articulated roles and responsibilities, can reduce the need for crisis management and last minute interventions. Second, the contributions made by CAP LTER show that long-term, inte- grative, cross-disciplinary research provides a strong scientific foundation for decision making. Over 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in or near a city, and yet there is little long-term research on urban sustainability. Additional fed- eral science funding agencies must step forward to support this important en- deavor. NONURBAN SYSTEMS - Mojave Desert The Mojave Desert in California is a vast and seemingly harsh, yet fragile region; however, despite common perception, the desert is far from empty. The land is used for recreation, housing, and military training. It is a premium loca- tion for renewable energy development, as it has some of the highest-quality solar and wind resources in the nation. It is also home to mining, agriculture, energy production, and a wide variety of human and natural communities, as well as unique ecosystems and a number of endangered species. The competi- tion between human-centric land uses and the desire to preserve species habitat and manage on an ecosystemwide basis has increased the need for coordinated land management in the Mojave Desert. The desert is largely public land overseen by a patchwork of organiza- tions. In the California Mojave, approximately 80 percent (25 million acres) of the land is publicly owned, including two national parks, one national preserve, 72 wilderness areas, six military bases, and 10 state parks. In addition, the area involves eight county jurisdictions and 37 federally recognized Native American Indian tribes. Conflicting demands for the use of California desert lands make it imperative that governmental agencies cooperate to support agency missions, protect desert resources, and manage public use. Land management in the Cali- fornia Mojave currently involves two coordinated management efforts: the De- sert Manager’s Group (DMG) and the ongoing development of the Desert Re- newable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP).

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48 Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Conn f R nections & Gove vernance Linkag ges Desert Managers Gr t roup This group ori T iginated as a collaboration between the Bureau of La and Management (BLM) and the Natio onal Park Serv vice (NPS) in response to t n the impend ding passage of the Californ Desert Pro o nia otection Act. T That Act and t the vicissit tudes of histor have resulte in major tr ry ed ransfers of lan from BLM to nd NPS, large wildernes designations and respons ss s, sibilities to adm minister adjaceent and sommetimes overlaapping pieces of land (Figure 3-3). o e FIGUR 3-3 DMG Ar of Interest. SOURCE: Prese RE rea entation by Rus ssell Scofield, U U.S. Departm of the Interior, April 11, 20 ment 012.

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Examples of Sustainability Connections and Linkages 49 As the largest manager of public land in the Mojave Desert, BLM was en- gaged in ecosystem-based planning efforts, and the land transfers to NPS created conflict between the organizations over land-use planning and management. There were major conflicts over grazing, desert tortoise recovery, off-road vehi- cle use, mining, hunting, military overflights, burro and wild horse management, water for wildlife, and development (NPS, 2003). In late 1994, the Desert Managers Group was officially established to in- clude NPS, BLM, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), California State Parks, and the four military base commands. The group allows agencies to avoid dupli- cation of effort by sharing information and facilities; it also coordinates federal efforts to acquire lands, eliminating situations where multiple agencies bid on the same parcel, which would artificially inflate property values. DMG is enhanced by longstanding personal and professional relationships among the participants. Regular face-to-face meetings allow line officers to work as a group, set goals, address cross-boundary issues and get to know each other better. Informal networking is an important component. Although the function of DMG requires support from senior leadership, its success depends upon creating value for the participants. One dimension of this value is derived from the enhanced decision space they gain by participating in DMG. The group causes the individual members to think outside their own or- ganizational boundaries and to enlarge the interpretation of their own agency mission to focus on landscape issues and regional sustainability. Bimonthly meetings hosted by the group focus on land management issues of common con- cern. Although DMG is a very successful collaboration, it has neither budget nor regulatory authority over land use or other sustainability-based decisions, and thus its impact is limited to coordination of voluntary efforts by its members. Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan In 2008 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-14-08, which requires that one-third of California’s energy come from renewable sources by 2020. In response, the California Energy Commission (CEC), California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), FWS, and BLM signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expedite the permitting process for renewable energy projects, including those on federally owned land in the Mo- jave Desert region. The executive order also requires the development of a Natural Communi- ties Conservation Plan (NCCP): a cooperative effort to protect habitats and spe- cies authorized under the NCCP Act of 2003. The primary objective of the NCCP program is to conserve natural communities at the ecosystem level while accommodating compatible land use. In the California context, this NCCP is known as the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The DRECP will also produce a habitat conservation plan to comply with the Federal

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Examples of Sustainability Connections and Linkages 59 of the important environmental changes caused by humans…result from land use.” WSAS recommended that an indicator set that adequately characterizes the “condition of Puget Sound needs to include indicators that represent the extent of each habitat type and other measures of marine landscape pattern and struc- ture” (WSAS, 2012). OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADDRESSING SUSTAINABILITY LINKAGES: LESSONS LEARNED While the examples reviewed by the committee varied in their details, they provide some common themes and insights on ways to enhance sustainability linkages in federal decision making. These lessons address issues of governance, decision-making processes, and science. 1. Iterative improvements: Enhancing governance linkages to address sustainability does not need to occur through disruptive change, and in fact is generally more successful through iterative change with incremental steps. Posi- tive benefits from incremental changes, if documented properly and articulated, can lead to broader and ultimately comprehensive change without the paralysis that can sometimes be associated with proposals for disruptive change. Although the challenges of integrating decision making across domains and among agen- cies at various levels of government are significant, the examples we examined demonstrate innovations to integrate decisions that vary from modest and itera- tive steps to more substantial governance redesign. The former initiatives should not be discounted merely because they are smaller, for they can often lead to significant accomplishments. For example, DMG in the Mojave, a pioneering effort to better coordinate information and enhance dialogue among multiple federal, state, and local agencies, did not involve any agency restructuring or any enhanced or new decisionmaking authorities. The primary purpose was to improve dialogue among agencies with responsibilities within a single geo- graphic area, within existing structures and authorities. DMG is an important partnership that built trust and enabled the successful formation and function of the California REAT and the development of the DRECP. Similarly, the success of the effort in Platte River Basin arose largely from the enforcement of an exist- ing regulation implementing the ESA. FWS was willing to be part of a neutral authority that brought together the stakeholders; this neutral authority obtained agreement on common goals and on monitoring to test some potential actions, thus employing adaptive management approaches. 2. Multiple levels of government: Several of the fact-finding examples illustrate that change agents engaged in innovations to strengthen sustainability linkages in decisionmaking arise at all levels of government. Many examples the committee reviewed were initiated at the local or field level (bottom-up), as multiple federal, state, and local agencies strived to grapple with linked issues. Examples drawn from literature include the Sonoita Valley Planning Partnership in the Cienegas Watershed south of Tucson and the Penobscot River Restoration

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60 Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connections & Governance Linkages Project in the northeast. In both of these cases, federal agencies are critical part- ners, but the motivation for action started at a grassroots level. At the same time, the committee also reviewed examples in which national and even international agencies or forums initiated collaborative, interconnecting actions. In some in- stances, federal laws may have prompted the need for regulatory compliance, which in turn motivated creative local action to integrate decisions across inter- connected agencies and issues. For example, EPA regulations regarding CSO control triggered a need for Philadelphia to bring its infrastructure into compli- ance. The high costs of traditional compliance tools prompted the city to explore nonstructural alternatives, including extensive expansion of permeable surfac- ing. The extent of transformation needed to meet the stormwater regulations motivated the city to work across multiple agencies and examine co-benefits in other domains. In the Great Lakes, a longstanding international treaty provided a forum that helped spark action at international, state, and local levels to address water quality needs in the region. Even within the Great Lakes context, howev- er, some actions have been largely locally motivated. In addition, it is important to note that local and statewide policy efforts can also play a major role in sus- tainability efforts. 3. Network governance: Several of the examples examined by the com- mittee illustrate the emergence of network governance models to enhance coor- dinated decision making and address sustainability linkages. The concept of network governance surfaced first in the private sector as corporations working together on joint projects developed horizontal, or shared, governance structures. Applications of network governance models are also appearing in the public sector (Goldsmith and Eggers, 2004). Such governance is characterized by a polycentric (multi-participant, multi-agency) approach, often operating with self-constituted decision rules determined through negotiation and cooperative agreements among participants. These governance structures provide a fabric for cross-domain, interagency, and public-private coordination without restructuring existing agencies or reallocating statutory authorities. Examples reviewed by the committee include the Platte River Recovery Governance Committee structure and decision process, the California Renewable Energy Action Team, and the Puget Sound Partnership. Numerous other examples vary along a continuum from loosely knit confederations to congressionally authorized, formal, inter- agency coordinating structures. 4. Stakeholders at the table: The importance of having a full and ade- quate representation of all affected stakeholders in partnerships and other forms of collaborative governance structures is well understood. In addition, the neces- sity of reaching consensus on goals, roles, responsibilities, and accountability is well documented (NRC, 2011b). Also, the committee recognizes the importance of having an agreed-upon process for decisionmaking that allows for a balanced evaluation of different development scenarios under the sustainability lens. Ex- amination of the more successful collaborative governance efforts—the Bonne- ville Power Authority, the Platte River Recovery Program, and the Mojave DMG—highlighted the importance of full participation by parties that repre-

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Examples of Sustainability Connections and Linkages 61 sented the key drivers affecting sustainable outcomes. In each of these cases, the organizations responsible for activities with the greatest influence on regional sustainability (Bonneville Power on the Columbia River, the states of Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska on the Platte River, and federal land agencies in the Mojave) were central to the collaborative effort. Their support of consensus goals and implementation was critical. Conversely, within Puget Sound, the par- ties responsible for land use, a very important driver affecting the economy, human well-being, and environmental quality, are not included in the Puget Sound Partnership.3 In this case, a more complete analysis of the problems in the region during the framing process and the identification of all relevant players, as described in the committee’s proposed decision framework (see Chapter 4), would have enhanced the effectiveness of the partnership. Land-use authorities in some other locales do participate in collaborative governance efforts, howev- er. One example in the literature is the Boston Harbor Island National Recrea- tion Area, a network governance structure that plans and manages a mosaic of state, local, and nonprofit lands; the group includes federal, state, and local agencies with land management responsibilities (Boston Harbor Islands Partner- ship Charter, 2006). 5. Mutual learning, interdisciplinary partnering, and trust: A strong science base with open dialogue and partnering among scientists, decision mak- ers, and stakeholders is a hallmark of successful sustainability efforts. Joint re- search efforts on the Great Lakes that involve academic and government labora- tories in both the United States and Canada led to federal standards in both countries to improve water quality and to sustain commercial and recreational fisheries. The power of long-term research in maintaining biodiversity was clearly evident in partnerships between the ASU-led CAP LTER project (sup- ported by NSF and others) and local officials and NGOs in Phoenix. Similarly, open sharing of data, research findings, and ecosystem maps among stakehold- ers was critical to finding a path forward for the DMG of the Mojave. Research on connections between violent crime and vacant lots led to partnerships be- tween NGOs and the City of Philadelphia to promote “greening” efforts. Part- nerships between fisheries experts from government laboratories and academia, as well as between decision makers and other stakeholders, played a key role in protecting salmon at the Bonneville dam. These examples demonstrate that in- terdisciplinary, place-based research is often a vital part of addressing sustaina- bility linkages. For example, increased temperatures disproportionally affect vulnerable populations in urban area heat islands. Predictive models of climate change indicate that temperatures will increase in Phoenix by mid-century to potentially dangerous levels (heat waves with durations of up to 52 days with temperatures above 122 degrees F). More broadly, changes in climate will im- 3 To a significant extent, achievement of the goals of the Puget Sound Partnership rela- tive to salmon habitat and population, water quality, regional transportation systems, climate change adaptation, and many others could not be achieved without agreement on land use.

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62 Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connections & Governance Linkages pact a range of disease vectors and will require planning and preparation to pro- tect vulnerable populations. 6. Adaptive management: Many sustainability challenges that involve interconnections among domains—for example, transportation, energy, water, health, and species protection—are complex and dynamic, resulting in uncer- tainties about current interactions among variables, cause-effect relationships, and projected future conditions. As a consequence of this complexity and uncer- tainty, participants in a number of the examples we examined are using an adap- tive management approach, as described in the decision framework (see Chapter 4). Adaptive management enables participants to set goals, undertake actions, monitor the effects of those actions on outcomes, and, most importantly, make adjustments as needed. In the Platte River Recovery Implementation Plan, adap- tive management processes help managers address uncertainties regarding what water management regimes will best meet the needs of endangered species while, at the same time, sustaining sufficient water for agriculture, energy, and other uses. In addition, this approach was attributed with helping the plan’s par- ticipants transcend scientific disagreements regarding the amount and timing of water flows necessary for species protection. To date, application of adaptive management has had limited implementation success in changing management actions based on experimentation and monitoring (Murray and Marmorek, 2004; Kimberly et al., 2006). However, recent assessments of adaptive management indicate that effectiveness in using the approach can be enhanced by: 1) starting with a simple plan and adding complexity over time; and 2) engaging research- ers at all stages of the process (Kimberly et al., 2006). 7. Creative approaches to problem-solving can add value and provide multiple benefits or co-benefits to participants: Innovative thinking that crosses domains can result in sustainability solutions that increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness and that create win-win scenarios. For example, Philadelphia dealt with the treatment of storm water by providing a cost-effective solution that resulted in multiple benefits. Working with decision makers at EPA, the city was able to reduce the need for additional costly infrastructure improvements by utilizing a variety of approaches to reduce the volume of water run-off and to take advantage of natural ameliorative processes in soils and subsurface envi- ronments. At the same time, this green infrastructure approach was shown by the city to achieve co-benefits for outdoor recreation, public health, education, and the local economy. 8. Communications: Sustainability solutions need to be communicated in a way that clearly identifies both the costs and benefits of action and inaction. For example, Philadelphia got an enormous boost for its approach when sustain- ability became a plank in the mayoral campaign. An effective communications strategy is important not only at the outset to engage major and important con- stituencies, but also throughout the process in keeping key stakeholders and the public generally aware of the progress being made and the work that still needs to be done. Effective communications and stakeholder participation also pro- motes transparency and accountability.

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