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01
SEP
0

APWA just wrapped its annual conference — recently rebranded as PWX (Public Works Expo) — with all the cool and technologically advanced components you would see at a tech conference. As someone who has frequented Dreamforce (Salesforce.com’s annual conference), which is the ultimate in conference innovation, I was certainly impressed with the steps that APWA has taken to advance this conference. What I found even more impressive, however, were the very visible signs of how this conference was clearly also the most sustainable one that APWA has hosted.

 

From using an interactive app instead of a printed program to an entire session track on sustainability, APWA has certainly stepped up their sustainability game. The APWA Center for Sustainability (C4S) also used PWX to launch its new online Sustainability Toolkit. This new platform makes it incredibly easy for Public Works professionals to sort through the hundreds of resources C4S has collected over the years and find specifically what they are looking for. In May for Public Works Week we wrote about how the Public Works sector is involved in sustainability and carbon emissions reductions through things like biking.

Of course, selecting a sustainably advanced city like Minneapolis to host the event does make it easy to see sustainability in action everywhere you turn. From the walk between the hotel and the convention center and walking from session to session in the convention center it was hard not to spot great examples of sustainability.

Every single receptacle in the Convention Center had options for Recycling and Composting, along with trash. That is rare in most cities and at most conferences I attend. Even on local construction sites, the City made sure to keep both trash and recycling bins available.

Some of Minneapolis’ key sustainability features I saw in action:

  • Bike Share Program, bike lanes
  • Water bottle filling stations
  • Recycled, renewable artwork
  • Green Infrastructure integrated throughout City
  • Sustainability signs on construction sites

Next year PWX moves to Florida, and we’ll be there to see host city Orlando’s sustainability initiatives on display.

 

Kim Lundgren

Chair, APWA Center for Sustainability (C4S)

Kim@KimLundgrenAssociates.com

@TheKimLundgren


20
SEP
0

C4S hosted its first Twitter Town Hall July 25, 2016 to engage APWA members about the challenges they face related to sustainability in public works.

 

The Twitter Town Hall was a great way to leverage the personal expertise and experience of the C4S Leadership Group in order to support public works professionals who need to know how to integrate sustainable principles and practices into their day-to-day work.

 

C4S Leaders Kim Lundgren, JC Alonzo, Steph Larocque, Jen Winter, Matt Rodrigues, Dwayne Kalynchuk and Michael Simpson participated. The conversation has been archived below.

 

Follow C4S on Twitter @apwac4s.

 


06
MAR
0

The Center for Sustainability (C4S) is excited to release the first version of the Resource Guide for Chapter Sustainability Liaisons and Committees. The resource guide was developed to provide guidance to chapters interested in creating a sustainability committee as well as those that have an existing sustainability committee and would like assistance with developing and growing the committee.

The resource guide contains information on the function of a committee, role of the chair and members as well as suggestions for strategic planning, programming activities, building an awards program and contact information for other chapter committees and information on mentorship opportunities.

The Resource Guide for Chapter Sustainability Liaisons and Committees can be found in the Library of the Center for Sustainability Community on APWA Connect. For more information or if you would like to provide feedback on the resource guide please contact C4S Chapter Engagement Subcommittee Member Matt Rodrigues at matt.j.rodrigues@ci.eugene.or.us or Anne Jackson APWA ajackson@apwa.net.

Matt Rodrigues, P.E., ENV SP

Traffic Engineer

Public Works Maintenance, City of Eugene


31
AUG
0

Whenever municipal staff are moving forward with a capital project or a masterplan, a critical component of the process is the input from the public. Past practice has been to book a meeting room in City Hall, advertise the event, set up display panels, recur city staff to man the stations and roll out the coffee and cookies table. Then patiently wait for the public to come out in droves. However, it usually ends up with a small dribble of people who have an axe to grind on the project. So where is the silent majority who support the project and how do you secure their input.

So, when you are asking people what it would take to get out of their car and onto a bike, City of Victoria Transportation staff took up the challenge themselves and decided to hit the road to their first open house…by bike.

Open houses are designed to be interactive and educational and staff try to pop-up in neighbourhoods across the city.  Their aim to “go to where the people are” and we generally bring a lot of stuff with them. Picture: handouts, buttons, a survey box, three easels, a canister for the biking map, a small folding table, a trivia spinning wheel and three display boards.  Insert: A bike trailer.

With the trailer in hand, a few bungy cords and a new cheery orange safety flag, it was time to start packing.  Most of the supplies did fit.  However, the colorful trivia wheel was deemed a bit too large for a first trip and the display boards were a few inches to wide but generally it all fit.

Social media was used to promote the open houses and provide feedback to the public on the results.

Several very successful pop-up meetings were held in various neighborhoods with input from cycling users, pedestrians and adjacent neighbors. Staff set an excellent example reducing their carbon footprint and showing that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved, which lead to a broader community involvement.

The City of Victoria is currently working to update the Bicycle Master Plan.  Victoria’s first ever Bicycle Master Plan was created in 1995 and has guided the development of Victoria’s cycling infrastructure since then.  The updated Bicycle Master Plan will consider changes that have occurred in Victoria over the last 19 years, including a growing interest in cycling, an expanded regional cycling network, plans for future growth and new regional and City plans and policies. More information on the process and project can be found at www.victoria.ca/cycling.

Dwayne Kalynchuk

Director of Public Works & Engineering City of Victoria

Retired