In this episode of City Climate Corner, hosts Abby Finis and Larry Kraft speak with Cooper Martin, the Director of Sustainability and City Solutions at the National League of Cities (NLC), about his work to support local sustainability efforts.
Martin discusses lessons for communities going planning for resilience. Rather than making plans based on the minutiae of data collected on social, environmental, and economic conditions, he believes in focusing on the positive values shared by the community and making goals for the next two to four or five years, as opposed to focusing on climate goals for 2040 or 2050.
The episode covers the various way the National League of Cities guides community planning. The NLC provides guidance for cities who have been granted funds by the government and need recommendations for the highest and best use of those funds.
Another program the NLC offers is the Department of Energy program called SolSmart that is a rating system that also offers free technical assistance. This program entails an analysis of a city’s permitting, zoning, building codes, application processes, and compares it against known national best practices in solar. Martin emphasizes why it is important to do community work in partnership.
The NLC has technical expertise and the issue area or subject matter expertise but still works with partner organization and coalition partners, giving examples of successful partnerships that have informed the league’s research and improved its programs.
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