In the local “sum of parts” approach, local agencies or municipalities adopt resolutions or plans that are manageable within their boundaries and hope that when all local efforts are added together, they contribute to a broader regional impact.
Alternatively, the multi-jurisdictional, collaborative approach is characterized by agencies and municipalities working together to develop, adopt and implement shared goals.
While multi-jurisdictional, collaborative approaches are emerging as the preferred method for sustainability planning, the research found there are many ways in which collaboration can occur. Regional collaborative planning around complex issues is still new for many communities, and the research found that collaborative work around the country is focused primarily on shared priorities and building early success and momentum for the future.
In addition to describing and delineating between the two approaches, the report also presents 12 best-practice principles gleaned from an examination of existing sustainability plans from regions across the country.
Generally, these 12 principles highlight the need to:
• Determine achievable and measurable goals and strategies
• Create performance-based implementation and evaluation processes
• Conduct broad and inclusive community engagement where equity and environmental justice are centered in environmental sustainability work
• Reflect the community’s vision for quality of life and communicate how sustainability efforts will positively impact the community’s future
While the research and findings are intended to help inform future regional sustainability work, it is not intended to prescribe a specific approach or actions for the region. Next steps should be decided together as a region.
In addition to helping provide a foundation for future sustainability work, the research project also advances several goals and strategies in the Southern Nevada Strong Regional Plan. Most directly, the report provides insight, best practices, and examples for how other regions have worked together to collaborate around environmental sustainability planning, information that can help build capacity and enhance regional collaboration here in Southern Nevada.
Indirectly, as the region moves forward with environmental sustainability planning, the research can support sustainability goals that are found in the plan, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions through reduced vehicle miles traveled and more efficient land use, among many others.
The final report, as well as accompanying research and resources, can be found here.