City Seeks Public Input on Environmental Sustainability
Contact: CJ Oliver, Environmental Health Director, City of Aspen, 920-5008 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Aspen, Colorado – May 13, 2013 – In an effort to gather public input on one of City Council’s top ten goals, the City of Aspen is engaging citizens on what environmental sustainability in Aspen means to them on Open City Hall and asking them to complete an online questionnaire. While the City and many community organizations have long held environmental sustainability as a value, there isn’t consensus on what environmental sustainability is, or how you measure it. To help address that gap, Council established a top ten goal to, “review and approve a dashboard of metrics that define sustainable Aspen. Move forward on a broad array of environmental initiatives that moves the community toward the ideal of a sustainable Aspen.” In order to complete this goal, it is necessary for the City to identify a shared definition of “environmental sustainability” and what achievements are necessary to measure success. Gathering public input is integral in creating the dashboard, which Council can use to better gauge success in environmental sustainability.
To set the stage, the City completed two days of focus groups in early May with staff and outside subject experts to articulate what sustainable Aspen means and what Aspen would look like if it reached sustainability in five areas: energy, water, air, waste and parks, trails and open space. The focus groups brainstormed potential measures and identified top priorities using criteria that included importance to the Aspen community, quality and availability of data, relevance to outcome described and ability to influence the measure in a positive direction.
The public questionnaire and Open City Hall topic aim to be a “check-in” to verify how aligned the experts’ initial ideas about environmental sustainability are with the interests of the broader community. City staff will use the focus group results and the citizen feedback to draft recommendations to City Council.
A link to the feedback form will be on the homepage of www.aspenpitkin.com and a question about sustainability will be on Open City Hall, which also has a link on the City’s homepage. The survey will be available May 13-20, 2013. City staff will have a draft of the dashboard ready for the City’s senior leaders by the end of June, and plans to present the draft to City Council in July.
Please see attached document for more information on the dashboard project.