Goals for Sustainable Growth
Adopted by Council on April 21, 1999; Amended May 4, 2005
To advance the public policy goal of creating and maintaining a sustainable environment in the City of Kent, the Environmental Commission presents the following goals as a guide to developing future public policies in several areas and to evaluating the success of those policies as time passes. If the city is to move toward sustainable development, then sensitivity to those concepts should become a part of the daily decision making process, a part of the way in which public officials at all levels approach their work.
Monitoring Success & Adapting
How to monitor success is an important part of this. We list goals, strategies for attaining them and indicators to evaluate progress. We suggest that an annual sustainability assessment be incorporated into the City’s planning processes, to establish benchmarks and the degree to which goals are achieved.
We recognize that Kent is a geographically small community that is heavily influenced by events outside its borders. It is part of the Cleveland/Akron metropolitan region and is affected by all that affects the larger community. Achieving these goals, then, will depend in part on how external events impact the city. Yet where choices can be made, where the city has at least partial control of its destiny, its decisions should be guided by reference to whether or not particular choices will advance or retard sustainability.
These goals themselves should not be set in stone. They should be reviewed periodically, both to measure the extent to which they have been attained, and to modify them to reflect changing societal circumstances.
A sustainable development plan requires the balance of four different areas:
Perhaps most important is a healthy economy, as without that necessary piece, progress toward other goals will likely be difficult.
Creating sustainable communities involves the active, informed participation of the local government and other institutions and of individual citizens. It requires forethought and intelligent planning for our collective future. The goals enunciated here, if seriously pursued, should result in a richer community, and one that is more stable, than if sustainable development is ignored.
Working to improve our economy, environment, planning resources, and society and culture in harmony with concepts of sustainability should result in a more effective deployment of public resources in the years ahead, and in the creation of a more stable, productive society. Attention to sustainable development now should result in fewer future dislocations and the heavy costs correcting those dislocations will demand; sustainable development in the present is an investment in the long-term health and welfare of our society.