SRAT is currently working on updating the Sustainability and Resilience Action Plan, which will be ongoing throughout 2021-2022. SRAT reviews a number of items from across the organization to help make our community more sustainable and resilient.
Do you know of a project or effort that the SRAT could support? Submit your ideas today and tell us what could the Team review, research, or otherwise provide support for?
SRAT also developed the New Facility Sustainability & Resilience Checklist so that all new buildings are as sustainable and resilient as they can be. Items that should be considered at all new City facilities include:
- Maximize renewable energy to the greatest extent possible
- Ensure access to electric vehicle charging stations and "EV-Ready" future stations
- Maintain Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ throughout all spaces
- Provide inclusive spaces throughout, including gender-inclusive restrooms
- Support relevant social and cultural connections to the surrounding community
- Utilize reclaimed water wherever feasible
- Ensure the project aligns with the City's values throughout the design and construction process, as well as through the life of the facility
MEET THE TEAM
Kyle Hicks, Asset Management Data Coordinator, EN
Summer Mahr, Fire Education, FD
Coleen Chaney, Victim Advocate, PD
Taylor Cook, Asset Management Data Coordinator, PW
Megan Sanders, Recreation Program Supervisor, RPA
Taylor Hague, Planner II, CD
Taylor Kahns, Parks Supervisor, RPA
John Burney, Utility Program Coordinator, ES
Team Liaison: Laura Thomas, Sustainability Program Administrator, AD
Steering Committee: Maggie Paluch, Jerry Woloszynski, Casey McPhee, Meridy Semones, Cheryl Reed
Sustainability: There are many different definitions and interpretations of the term 'sustainability.' While many of these terms are related, or even used interchangeably, the City of Largo's definition is:
"The ability to improve and maintain equitable and just living conditions for all communities while restoring natural resources for all future generations."
This means that people, along with things like housing and the economy are just as important as the environment when thinking about sustainability. In fact, sustainability has more to do with the way we think than any set of topics. In order to ensure the protection of our environment and our community, we should think about how things are connected in complex ways to maintain or create sustainability.
Resilience: Resilience is oftentimes used either in place of the term sustainability or to mean that something is resilient to a storm or other hazard. In fact, resilience is a much broader word that describes the identity of a system and its ability to maintain its character before, during and after disruptions or changes. The City of Largo's definition of resilience is:
"The ability of a system (ex: family, neighborhood, community, country, biosphere, etc) to cope with short-term disruptions and adapt to long-term changes without losing its essential character and respecting its history and development."
As you can see, resilience is more focused on ensuring that a system is adaptable and strong, regardless of the presence of a hazard.
Environmental Justice: This may be a new term for some people and it is an important part of building a sustainable and resilient community because we can never truly be either of those things unless we are also equitable and just. The City of Largo's definition of environmental justice is:
"The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, income or constitutional factors, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of sustainable and resilient laws, regulations, policies and practices."
That is to say, if one part of our community is more vulnerable than the rest, then the community as a whole cannot be considered resilient. We must be sure to consider the impacts of our policies and programs on our community, particularly the most vulnerable to ensure we are building a sustainable and resilient Largo.