Local officials and staff possess sustainability expertise that is a valuable resource, and is helpful for others interested in undertaking similar programs. The Learning Network is a platform for you to share your expertise and help others learn from your experience. Email an Institute for Local Government staff member so we can help you share your story.


New Resources and Events

The Learning Network is a place to talk about what is happening in the sustainability field and share new resources and upcoming events.  View newly released resources, upcoming events and information to help incorporate environmentally, socially, healthy and economically sustainable practices into your work.

Resource Steve Sanders

Built to Last: Charting a Path to a Sustainable Economy

California, like the rest of the nation, has been weathering a severe economic downturn that has resulted in near-record levels of unemployment, widespread home foreclosures and lost income. Local costs for safety-net programs and other essential services have grown while state and federal revenues have fallen, leading to chronic budget shortfalls and fiscal distress. This whitepaper looks at two very different California cities’ examples of pioneering efforts to chart a more sustainable economic future.

Case Story
Image of Operation Mulch-a-Lot: Long Beach Chips Away at Blight and Green Waste

Operation Mulch-a-Lot: Long Beach Chips Away at Blight and Green Waste

Vacant and abandoned lots in a community can attract crime, create health hazards or lead to depressed property values. City-owned lots are one area where local government can directly reduce neighborhood blight at a minimal cost. The City of Long Beach has a fairly simple, creative and easily replicated use for vacant city lots that also offers added benefits for sustainability, job training, community collaboration and access to healthy foods.


Sharing Local Agencies’ Stories

One of the “indispensable competencies” for local government leaders is the ability to communicate through stories, according to Frank Benest, former city manager of Palo Alto and consultant to local governments. Benest uses storytelling as a tool to help local officials with strategic decision-making, because stories provide a compelling way to convey who you are and where you are going.