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Eco-City Alexandria
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Page updated Jan 29, 2016 3:09 PM

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Early in 2007, under the Mayor and City Council's direction, the City of Alexandria partnered with Virginia Tech's Department of Urban Affairs and Planning located in Alexandria to develop a new and holistic strategic environmental planning process called Eco-City Alexandria. The ultimate goal was to create an Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan to guide Alexandria toward environmental sustainability.

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City of Alexandria Receives Highest Certification for Virginia Municipal League’s Go Green Government Challenge

 For Immediate Release: October 9, 2015

On Tuesday, October 6, the City of Alexandria was recognized by the Virginia Municipal League (VML) with highest platinum-level certification for being a green and sustainable government.  The Go Green Government Challenge, a VML initiative, encourages local governments to implement specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce carbon emissions generated by both the local government and the broader community.

VML’s platinum-level certification, the highest level for local governments.  This is the eighth consecutive year VML has recognized the City at this highest level as part of the Go Green Government Challenge Program.

The City was given maximum innovation points for: 1) developing the new Metroway premium bus service on the Crystal City-Potomac Yard Transitway, 2) launching SolarizeAlexandria to help residents go solar, 3) retrofitting 90 percent  of the City’s traffic lights with LED, and 4) participating in the Energy Masters Volunteer Training Program.

For more information regarding the City's Office of Environmental Quality, visit or the City’s Eco-City Alexandria initiative, visit

City Participates in National Sustainable Design Expo April 11-12 at Oronoco Bay Park

The City’s Department of Transportation & Environmental Services will participate in the 11thAnnual U.S. EPA P3 Competition & National Sustainable Design Expo sponsored by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 11-12 at Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison Street).  Several thousand people are expected to attend this annual environmental event, where students compete for the EPA’s P3 Award and exhibitors showcase ideas for achieving environmental sustainability.  City staff will exhibit the City’s ongoing Eco-City initiative and implementation of the Environmental Action Plan 2030, including green infrastructure for stormwater and sewer management.  For more information about the event visit: .

ACTion Alexandria Presents the Green Ideas Challenge 2015

What are your ideas for making Alexandria a greener and more sustainable community?

Submit your idea on ACTion, and you could win up to $2,000 to put your idea into reality!


City's Top Ten Environmental Achievements for 2014

Every year, the City publishes the top ten environmental highlights that were submitted by City Departments and City-based organizations. The Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, Infrastructure& Environmental Division compiles this list which includes initiatives on transportation, solid waste, stormwater and wastewater management, City parkland and natural areas, green building and energy conservation. to view the full list, please visit the following:

What is Eco-City Alexandria?

The Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission, a Council-appointed volunteering group of 13 citizens with expertise and interest in the environmental field, is the project's principal advisor along with representatives from Alexandria City Council and City Staff. The Director of the City's Office of Environmental Quality serves as the City's project manager.

In 2007, the Eco-City Alexandria team conducted an inventory of existing City programs to create " Eco-City Alexandria: A Green-Ventory of City Environmental Policies, Plans and Programs". In addition, Virginia Tech examined best practices from across the country and abroad to create a Compendium of Model Programs and Practices.

In 2008, the project team focused on the development of an Eco-City Charter. An extensive public outreach campaign was devised to ensure that the Charter reflects the wishes and priorities of the citizens. A successful Eco-City Café was held to obtain public inputs required for the development of a draft Charter. This draft Charter was then released for public comment at the following annual Alexandria Earth Day. A very successful Eco-City Summit was then held to get additional public feedback on the draft Charter. The keynote speaker for this summit was Mayor Bob Harvey of the City of Waitakere, New Zealand, a pioneer of Eco-City and sustainability. The Eco-City Charter, one of the first of its kind in the country, was unanimously adopted by City Council in June 2008. This Charter encompasses the core values and ten guiding principles which is the basis for the Environmental Action Plan.

The Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP 2030) was adopted by City Council in June 2009 and follows the guiding principles outlined in the Eco-City Charter. It serves as a road map for City leaders and residents to implement the Eco-City Charter. The EAP 2030 outlines 48 goals, 50 targets and 353 actions for the next 20 years to lead the City towards environmental sustainability.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is progress that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The central goal of sustainability is to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural worlds.

A sustainable community is an environmentally, economically, and socially healthy place where people can live, work and play for decades to come:

  • Ecological sustainability ensures that all parts of the natural and built environments work together as a single ecological system.
  • Economic sustainability ensures a healthy economy that supports and sustains people and the environment in which they live over the long-term.
  • Social sustainability ensures that a community meets residents' basic health and social needs and has the resiliency to prevent and/or address problems in the future.

Additional Information 

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