Sustainable development is a way to ensure our city grows wisely by preserving land and resources protecting the environment. This will help us to continue enjoying our quality of life, and allow future generations to do
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sees this type of land development as an important aspect of maintaining a healthy environment and supports healthy development of communities as it increases the
quality of life for citizens and maintains a vital economy. Therefore, they have developed a list of Smart Growth techniques, which support development and enhance environmental quality. These principals include:
Mixing land uses,
Taking advantage of compact building design,
Creating a range of housing opportunities and choices,
Creating walkable neighborhoods,
Fostering distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place,
Preserving open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas,
Strengthening and direct development towards existing communities,
Providing a variety of transportation choices,
Making development decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective,
Encouraging community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions.
The comprehensive land use plan for the City of Baton Rouge-Parish of East Baton Rouge, FUTUREBR incorporates these principles and actively pursues opportunities for public outreach and education in matters
related to sustainability. This includes the Planning Commission’s Wetlands Program, Growth Center Program, and the Urban Design Overlay District
Program. The Planning Commission also continuously updates the Unified Development Code (UDC) to ensure the City-Parish land development standards are aligned with smart and sustainable growth.
Why Sustainable Development?
Sustainable development in the global context has implications in our daily lives and our built environment. According to a study of the world’s oil reserves, between 1950 and 2050, eighty (80) percent of the world’s oil
will have been consumed. As oil production decreases, prices will increase. Suburbanization has depended on inexpensive transportation to serve its spread out development pattern. Our transportation systems may not be able
to support suburban lifestyles unless alternative energy sources, conservation of current resources, and efforts to provide alternative transportation options occurs. Future patterns may change to accommodate the
situation; however, our current development patterns may prove unsustainable. Additionally, sustainable development has relevance in regional and global contexts. Our local development patterns can have an affect on other
living systems and societies. Global warming, waste management, petroleum shortages and ozone depletion are some issues that are related to unsustainable living and will have adverse impacts on lives around the world.
Therefore, we must understand how our local use of resources have global implications.
Although difficult, it is not impossible to “retrofit” the built environment to achieve sustainability. Infill development and brownfields redevelopment are just two methods to encourage adaptive re-use of land in order to
preserve land on the edge of cities. By building on existing lands with access to existing infrastructure, these developments save land as well as municipal resources. Communities can also move towards sustainability by
applying sustainable development principles to direct future growth. A city might seek to move toward greater resource efficiency, environmental quality, social equity, and community vitality.
Baton Rouge Sustainable Government Operations Plan
Planning Commission Information Bulletin 67 on Sustainable Development
Planning Commission Information Bulletin 46 on Smart Growth
Planning Commission Information Bulletin 44 on Brownfields
Planning Commission Information Bulletin 64 on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Planning Commission Information Bulletin 36 on Data...the Foundation of a Geographic Information System
American Planning Association
EPA Smart Growth