Sustainable Communities


Sustainable Communities


The Institute’s Sustainable Communities programs help local officials identify and apply policies and best practices that support sustainable communities — places that foster and maintain a high quality of life for their residents on an ongoing basis.


Sustainability Best Practices Framework: 2013 Update

Download the entire Best Practices Framework or use the navigation on the left or below to access best practices, case stories and resources by best practice area. The Institute for Local Government’s Sustainability Best Practices Framework offers options for local action in ten areas. They are drawn from practical experiences of cities and counties throughout California. The options vary in complexity and are adaptable to fit the unique needs and circumstances of individual communities.


Healthy Neighborhoods

The Institute for Local Government’s Healthy Neighborhoods Project provides support and resources to protect and improve community health by integrating health considerations into their planning, land use and other decisions. 

The resources are geared to strengthen the efforts of local officials, staff, planning and development professionals, and community residents in creating healthier communities.


Land Use and Environment

Cities and counties can have an enormous impact in shaping the physical environment of neighborhoods and the health and well-being of their residents. The Land Use and Environment component of the Sustainability program provides resources to support local officials in their efforts to plan and develop healthy communities that are socially, economically, environmentally and fiscally sustainable. Sustainable Communities Program Flier and Land Use Team Members information on the right.


Planning for Climate Change

This section features resources and examples to help your community integrate climate change considerations into planning and plan for climate change impacts.

Related information is available from the Institute’s Sustainability Best Practices Framework.


Sustainability Resource Centers

The Institute has developed resource centers which delve more deeply into several sustainability topics to offer information and tools for local governments.  Currently, there are seven resource centers on: Safe Routes to Schools, Sustainable Economic Development, SB 375, Commercial Recycling, Financing Sustainability, Greening Agency Fleets and Insuring Kid’s Health. 


Beacon Program

Image of Beacon ProgramThe Beacon Program, sponsored by the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, is a statewide program recognizing California cities and counties that are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and adopt policies and programs that promote sustainability.


Sustainable Communities Learning Network
Learn. Share. Connect. Lead.

The Sustainable Communities Learning Network helps local officials and staff to access and share resources and tools that encourage their communities to consider and apply economically, socially and environmentally sustainable practices.

The Learning Network:

  • Facilitates peer-to-peer learning, sharing of real-world examples between local officials and others engaged in sustainability efforts
  • Provides access to case stories, tools, and resources in ten Sustainability Best Practice areas
  • Offers opportunities to be recognized as a leader in sustainability

San Francisco Bay Area Climate Action Portal

Explore best practices by local governments

Find resources for implementing climate actions

Climate Actions in the Bay Area

View larger Climate Actions in the Bay Area map.
Download table of Climate Actions in the Bay Area.