After two years of discussion, Kirkland council has approved the Sustainability Master Plan, giving the city a new way to evaluate how sustainable its policies are for future generations of residents.
On Dec. 8, the Kirkland City Council adopted the Sustainability Master Plan, which identifies how the city will implement and measure sustainability strategies and defines actions for achieving a livable and sustainable community. The key objective of the plan, which followed extensive community outreach over the past two years, is to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
“The city of Kirkland is committed to a sustainable future that includes cleaner air and water, healthier food to eat, expanded housing options that allow people of all economic means to live here and a more socially just and equitable city that is welcoming and inclusive of all people,” Councilmember Neal Black stated in a press release. “We have addressed these issues and many others throughout the city’s policies and plans, and it’s exciting to comprehensively coordinate sustainability strategies under one plan.”
The Sustainability Master Plan establishes goals and implementable actions that put the city on a clear path to achieve sustainability for future generations to come. Development of the plan fulfills a 2019-2020 council work plan goal and included extensive outreach to learn the community’s priorities for creating a more sustainable Kirkland.
The plan is divided into eight focus areas: energy supply and emissions, buildings and infrastructure, land use and transportation, natural environment and ecosystems, sustainable material management, sustainable governance, sustainable business and healthy community. In addition, the plan includes a section detailing actions community members can take to help make Kirkland more sustainable, a recognition of the need for widespread participation to achieve the plan’s robust environmental objectives.
To integrate sustainable decision-making into the city’s processes, the plan introduces a decision-making matrix. This new tool is a weighted decision-making tool that helps the City make more informed decision on projects, programs, policies and actions across all municipal operations, and is intended to institutionalize sustainability throughout the organization.
“Many of the Sustainability Master Plan’s goals have time horizons of five and ten years and there are others that will take longer to achieve,” David Barnes, senior planner for the City of Kirkland and project manager of the Sustainability Master Plan, stated in the release. “It’s essential that the actions in this plan are carefully implemented and its goals monitored and measured. The annual progress reports and updates to the plan will help ensure that City operations and the community are working together in partnership towards a truly sustainable future for all.”
For more information about the Sustainability Master Plan, visit kirklandwa.gov/sustainabilityplan.