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Here in the District, we define sustainability as advancing equity, environmental protection, and economic development at the same time. Our sustainability plan is called Sustainable DC 2.0, since it was updated in 2019 after the original Sustainable DC Plan was released in 2013. The plan includes goals, targets, and actions out to 2032 led by District government agencies and our partners to make the District of Columbia the healthiest, greenest, most livable city for all residents. With such a bold and broad vision, the plan covers a lot of ground; the topics included are governance, equity, built environment, climate, economy, education, energy, food, health, nature, transportation, waste, and water.
Sustainable DC 2.0 is a living, breathing document kept alive through convenings by the implementing agencies and partners to report out on progress, with agencies using it as a launchpad to create more detailed plans for specific areas of concern such as extreme heat, community members referencing it to advocate to policymakers, and policymakers drawing upon it to advance new initiatives. To date, 98% of the 167 actions in the plan are either underway or complete. But that doesn’t mean we’re ready to coast.
Given the magnitude of changes we’ve seen in the District and the world since Sustainable DC 2.0’s release in 2019, it’s time for a refresh. Sustainable DC 2.0 was developed through input from thousands of District residents, including one-on-one conversations, phone polls, focus groups, community meetings, and more. We want to carry that valuable input forward into Sustainable DC 3.0, while making targeted improvements to the plan to enhance equity and update quantitative targets.
We want to ensure the plan’s actions are advancing equity, and we have many more tools at our disposal to do so than we did in 2019. The District has a suite of racial equity impact assessment resources that we will use, in combination with community engagement with frontline populations, to make sure the plan prioritizes racial equity, climate justice, and economic justice. As a separate but related exercise, we will work with the agencies and partners responsible for implementing the plan to make sure we have measurable targets and the data necessary to track them.
“A sustainable city is one where people feel like they have a future,” said DOEE Interim Director Richard Jackson. “Our Sustainable DC 2.0 Plan includes a lot of ambitious actions to make sure all of our residents feel like they can see themselves here long term. But every plan needs to keep up with the times and get a refresh every now and then. There is a lot in the plan that we want to keep and we still need to achieve. We just want to make sure it’s up to date with our priorities and maximizes opportunities to close inequity gaps.”
To stay up to date on the development of Sustainable DC 3.0, please visit https://publicinput.com/u3366.