The "Greening" of Local Government

January 16, 2008
by JOHN GULLACE
Client Alert Newsletter Forecast 2008

Local governments have increasingly become involved in environmental protection and sustainable development practices, a trend we expect to see continue and pick up steam in 2008. Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia has made sustainable development and the appointment of a "Sustainability Czar" an early priority of his new administration (see related article here). Local counties and even municipalities are undertaking efforts to quantify and reduce the carbon footprints of their communities, as seen in Montgomery County and in Pennsylvania's "Climate Change Action Plan" and Philadelphia's "Action Plan for Climate Change." Townships throughout the Delaware Valley are pursuing green initiatives and developers working in these municipalities are quickly learning that the favor or disfavor with which their projects may be met are increasingly determined by whether they have incorporated green roofs, green building practices and sustainable development concepts into their projects. Environmental issues that were once the exclusive domain of state and federal government are now finding traction at the local level, where grass roots activism and broad community support for environmental projects are translating into green initiatives and requirements.