The City of Fort Lauderdale both leads the charge to a more sustainable future and also works side-by-side with dozens of government entities, quasi-public planning groups, private organizations, research centers and educational providers. We share our successes and learn from others to minimize the need for costly upfront research, maximize economies of scale and take advantage of grant-funding opportunities when they are available.
We do this because the issues we face cross geographic boundaries. We share the ocean and the aquifers, the rails and the roadways, the landfills and the power plants. We are connected to and an integral part of our County, our region, our State and our nation. We need their support, and we have a lot to share.
The complete list of organizations and agencies we work with is ever changing and ever growing, which reflects the complexity of the sustainability challenge. The list includes relationships required to meet our commitments, satisfy the requirements of the law, maintain necessary certifications, utilize funding efficiently and get the best scientific, geopolitical and performance data available. Throughout our website you will see links to those organizations and agencies, on pages for specific issues, such as water conservation or alternative transportation. These are not meant to be all-inclusive lists of initiatives we encourage and support, nor at any given time do they reflect all of the organizations with which individual employees are involved. So, check back frequently for updates. See our Events and News sections for information about the latest advances and upcoming meetings. Contact each organization separately to inquire about attending a meeting, getting their latest publications, or volunteering.
We encourage you to use our pages as a portal, a doorway if you will, to the vast world of information available through our contacts. This list below is a good place to start. It includes organizations, planning processes and agreements in which we officially participate as a City in order to address the all encompassing goal of regional sustainability.
Since 2009, the Southeast Florida Regional Compact for Climate Change represents a joint commitment of Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties, and their municipalities and other partners, to mitigate the causes and adapt to the consequences of climate change. It is the largest collaborative effort undertaken in the United States to address sustainability. The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Action Plan outlines recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to protect the region’s unique quality of life and economy, guide future infrastructure investments and foster livable communities. The initial plan covers a five year period. Together with our City’s Sustainability Action Plan, “the compact” is the primary driver of the activity of our Sustainability Division. An annual Regional Climate Leadership Summit brings together representatives of the counties as well as other public and private partners and concerned citizens to learn from each other and make decisions about how to approach mitigation and adaptation. The Summit was hosted by the City of Fort Lauderdale in 2013.
Seven50 is an initiative of the Southeast Florida Regional Partnership and is a result of a 2009 grant by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),the Department of Transportation (DoT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to encourage regional collaboration. It is a blueprint for ensuring economic prosperity and the best-possible quality of life for Southeast Florida. Seven50 is a collaboration of more than 200 public, private, and civic stakeholders from Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties, who have united to leverage resources and coordinate strategic long-term planning to drive competitiveness and prosperity for the region. Among the goals are being environment-friendly places to live and protecting our fragile ecosystems.
The plan is a deliverable of the Broward County Climate Change Task Force begun by resolution in June, 2008 to develop recommendations for a coordinated countywide strategy in mitigating the causes, and addressing the local implications, of global climate change. It contains 126 recommended actions for Broward County, such as but not limited to collaborating on joint legislative policies to raise awareness, amending the County Comprehensive Plan to address climate adaptation measures, enhancing the urban ecosystem, protecting water resources, amending zoning and building regulations to promote transit-oriented development, reduced energy consumption, and construction to green design standards, creating a functional mass transportation system, and promoting recycling and zero waste.
The South Florida Regional Planning Council (SFRPC) is a planning and public policy agency which identifies the long-term challenges and opportunities facing Southeast Florida and assists the Region's leaders in developing and implementing creative strategies. Activities respond to statutory requirements as well as the needs of member units of local government. A dispute resolution process reconciles differences in planning, growth management, and other matters among local governments, regional agencies, and private interests. The City of Fort Lauderdale takes leadership from the SFRPC on a number of climate change-related initiatives, including our Adaptation Action Area pilot. SFRPC projects and programs include the Eastward Ho! Brownfields Partnership, Clean Cities Coalition, and EV Ready Broward.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is the lead agency in our State for environmental management and stewardship protecting our air, water and land. FDEP conserves and manages Florida's natural resources and enforces the State's environmental laws. They establish sustainability related goals that the City of Fort Lauderdale strives to reach, such as those related to recycling. FDEP oversees and manages state parks and the trails system, including Fort Lauderdale’s Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Their regulatory priorities include administering Florida's air pollution control programs, protecting and restoring water quality, managing hazardous waste and cleanups, overseeing beach restorations, and reviewing applications for power plants, transmission lines and natural gas pipelines. The City of Fort Lauderdale is part of FDEP’s Southeast District. FDEP Sustainable initiatives in which we participate include those such as Clean Marinas, and they are a key partner for climate-related issues such as the beach restoration which was done after Hurricane Sandy.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity promotes economic opportunities for all Floridians through successful workforce, community, and economic development strategies. In 2012, the Department kicked-off a five-year project to integrate adaptation to potential sea level rise into current planning mechanisms including the local comprehensive plan, local hazard mitigation plan and post-disaster redevelopment plan. This effort is steered by a Focus Group of statewide experts on planning for sea level rise adaptation and stakeholders in the coastal area. Assistant City Manager Susanne Torriente is a member of the focus group. The Department has received additional funding to work with the City of Ft. Lauderdale as we integrate Adaptation Action Areas into our local comprehensive plan.
The Resilient Communities for America campaign is being coordinated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the World Wildlife Fund. It is an agreement of elected officials from around the U.S. and was joined by our Mayor at the inaugural signing. The campaign encourages the adoption and implementation of preparedness policies that protect vulnerable populations and natural resources from extreme weather and other climate impacts. The campaign lays out three commitments:
- To urge state and federal leaders to support local resilience initiatives and to take meaningful steps to build resilience and security throughout the nation.
- To build community resilience through their own self-defined local actions and goals, emphasizing actions that address climate change, energy security, infrastructure renewal, and economic recovery.
- To share their solutions and success stories with other local governments to help accelerate their progress on resilience.
The U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement was created in 2005, coinciding with the signing of the Kyoto Protocol. To date, over 1,000 mayors nationwide have signed the agreement, with Florida Mayors leading the charge. The pledge calls for cities to:
- Meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities, through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land-use policies to urban forest restoration projects to public information campaigns;
- Urge their state governments, and the federal government, to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol -- 7% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012; and,
- Urge the U.S. Congress to pass the bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation, which would establish a national emission trading system.
ICLEI USA provides tools, training, technical support and other resources and services to local governments to achieve their sustainability, climate protection, and clean energy goals. They set national standards and drive innovation. The City of Fort Lauderdale is among over 1,000 worldwide municipal members and is a part of what is recognized as the largest global network of local governments focused on resiliency. Our membership means that Fort Lauderdale is a recognized leader on climate action and sustainability, and that we have led the effort in recent years to envision, accelerate and achieve strong climate protection goals and create cleaner, healthier, more economically viable communities, and also that our elected officials have demonstrated leadership in this regard.
ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide. The organization’s mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional management to build better communities. The City of Fort Lauderdale’s membership supports our involvement with ICMA in a number of ways, including the following examples related to building sustainable communities.
- ICMA CityLinks sponsors a city-to-city exchange with Fort Lauderdale and Durban, South Africa to examine a multi-municipality approach to climate change adaptation. The exchange focuses on concerns specific to both cities, such as sea-level rise, biodiversity and eco-system services, and facilitates communication on the technical aspects of these challenges, as well as ways to engage citizens. Fort Lauderdale was the first US city to sign the Durban Adaptation Charter.
- City Manager Lee Feldman is the ICMA Sustainable Communities Advisory Committee Chair, and Assistant City Manager Susanne Torriente is a member. This Committee supports the advancement of more sustainable, livable and resilient communities by: (1) Promoting sustainability as a best practice of local government and a core competency of city and county management; (2) Serving as advisors, partners, peer to peer mentors, and advocates for creating more sustainable communities; and, (3) Assisting ICMA in expanding its portfolio of grant funded sustainability initiatives.
The Institute for Sustainable Communities’s (ISC) mission is to help communities around the world address environmental, economic, and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all. ISC is a nonprofit organization specializing in helping communities, government agencies, NGOs, and businesses accomplish their environmental, economic and social goals—with a particular focus on resource efficiency, governance, and climate mitigation/adaptation. ISC combines technical expertise and leadership training with strategic investments in local organizations. City of Fort Lauderdale staff has facilitated ISC Leadership Academies, including, for example, the ASEAN Climate Leadership Academy in Jakarta and Adaptation & Resilience 2.0 in Portland. These academies are part of ISC’s peer-learning, training and technical assistance program and designed to help communities advance, accelerate and scale-up local solutions to the global challenges of climate protection and sustainable development.