Collaborative Planning for Clean Energy Initiatives in Small to Mid-Sized Cities

A growing number of small to mid-sized cities are implementing initiatives to promote energy conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy use in their communities. It is necessary to better understand how these cities have approached this issue and the processes by which they adopt clean energy initiatives. The authors surveyed representatives of small to mid-sized cities to identify the types of clean energy initiatives they have adopted, the processes by which they were developed, and the obstacles encountered along the way. The authors also conducted 10 in-depth interviews with representatives of targeted high- and low-adopter cities. While many of the cities are aggressively pursuing clean energy opportunities in their municipal operations, far fewer are taking action to promote clean energy community wide. The high-adopter cities that have developed community-wide clean energy initiatives often did so using a variety of community engagement and stakeholder outreach methods. Local officials who wish to promote clean energy use should start with energy efficiency and renewable energy investments for municipal facilities. Subsequent community-wide clean energy programs should focus initially on incentives for local residents and businesses, and should be framed in a way that emphasizes both environmental and nonenvironmental benefits. These initiatives should be developed through collaborative planning strategies, which can help educate residents about the benefits of clean energy initiatives, create dialogue with stakeholders who would be affected by these new initiatives, and introduce valuable outside expertise to the planning process.


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  • Accession Number: 01531590
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 19 2014 3:01PM