Eco-City Alexandria

Eco-City Alexandria is a strategic effort to achieve sustainability. We seek to create an environmentally, economically and socially healthy city where people can live, work and play for decades to come.

Page updated on Oct 15, 2018 at 7:04 PM

What's New

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  • On Saturday, October 13, 2018, Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted the City's Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP) Phase One Update after a year of collaborative work involving City staff, the Environmental Policy Commission, stakeholders, and the public. The adopted version will be posted the week of October 15, 2018. In the meantime, the proposed docket items are available for review. For more information, see Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP) Update below.  
  • For the eleventh consecutive year, the City of Alexandria has been recognized by the Virginia Municipal League (VML) with its platinum-level certification for being a green and sustainable government. This is the highest certification level possible in the VML’s Go Green Government Challenge, an initiative designed to encourage local governments to implement specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce carbon emissions. Please see the Awards and Honors section below about the City's Platinum Designation. More information about the Go Green Government Challenge is available at gogreenva.org
  • Alexandria is participating in the inaugural “Write as Rain” campaign, a regional effort with the Northern Virginia Clean Water Partners designed to get residents thinking about how their actions on the street can impact local streams and rivers. When it rains, spot our hidden messages around the City to inspire clean water thinking! Visit alexandriava.gov/Stormwater to learn more. 

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Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP) Update

The Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP) is the City's comprehensive blueprint for creating a thriving, sustainable community. In June 2009, the City adopted the EAP, which aimed at achieving the vision and principles outlined in the City's Eco-City Charter and ensuring the City continues to move toward environmental sustainability.

The City is collaborating with the Environmental Policy Commission (EPC) to develop an update to the EAP and establish a refreshed, informed, and responsive framework for environmental decision-making over the next several decades.  The Environmental Action Plan (EAP) 2030 update process will take place in two phases. This first phase will identify short-term (through FY2023) goals and action items for five key program areas: (1) Energy, (2) Climate Change, (3) Green Building, (4) Land Use and Open Space, and (5) Solid Waste. The second phase builds on the first by establishing similar goals and action items for the remaining five program areas - (6) Transportation, (7) Air Quality, (8) Water Resources, (9) Environment & Health, and (10) Implementation, Outreach, & Education (IOE) - as well as developing mid- and long- term goals for all ten. 

The first phase of the EAP Update process is complete! The EAP Phase One Update was formally adopted by Alexandria's City Council on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Staff is now preparing to launch the Phase Two Update process. A download of the adopted plan and information on the Phase Two Update process will be posted the week of Monday, October 15, 2018. 

We also welcome your input throughout all stages of the update process. Community involvement and feedback are critical for making the EAP an effective policy guide. We encourage all interested members of the community to attend our public outreach events (in person or through Facebook Live), participate in EPC meetings, visit us at City events, sign-up for Alexandria's eNews, or engage us through social media (Facebook, Twitter (@AlexandriaVATES). The next opportunity for public engagement is highlighted below, followed by a PDF of EAP Update events. 

Questions and comments should be directed to the City’s Sustainability Coordinator, Ellen Eggerton, at Eco-CityAlexandria@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.4065.


List of Upcoming EAP Update Public Engagements Opportunities


Upcoming Phase Two Events and Deadlines

October to December 2018:
          Synthesize staff, EPC, and community member ideas into Phase Two Update

Week of November 12, 2018: 
          Open Houses for public comments on Phase Two Update 
          Dates, times, and locations will be announced in September 2018

March 9, 2019:
          Eco-City Summit and presentation of full EAP Update

April 2019:
          Deadline for submission of full EAP Update documents for City Council docket

April 27, 2019: 
          Alexandria Earth Day 2019 Tent Talk presentation and information booth

May/June 2019: 
         City Council Meetings: Introduction and consideration of full EAP Update


Past Phase One Events and Deadlines

October 13, 2018:      
          City Council Public Hearing: Consideration of Phase One Update

October 9, 2018:         
          City Council Meeting: Introduction of Phase One Update
          EAP Phase One Update Docket Entry 

October 4, 2018:         
          Planning Commission Monthly Meeting 
          (
Continuation of October 2, 2018 meeting and discussion of Land Use & Open Space and 
          
Green Building recommendations)

October 2, 2018:         
          
Planning Commission Monthly Meeting 
          
(Discussion of Land Use & Open Space and Green Building recommendations deferred to
          October 4, 2018 meeting)

September 20 to October 1, 2018:
          Phase One Update posted on the Eco-City webpage / Open comment period

September 8, 2018:  
          Environmental Policy Commission Annual Retreat (Open to the Public)

September 7, 2018:  
          Deadline for submission of Phase One Update documents for City Council docket 

August 23, 2018:
          Environmental Action Plan 2030 Phase One Update Open House
          Recording of the August 23 Open House

August 20, 2018:       
          Environmental Policy Commission review of Phase One Update

July 18, 2018:            
          Presentation of Phase One Update draft to NAIOP

April 28, 2019:           
          Alexandria Earth Day 2018 Tent Talk presentation and information booth

March 10, 2018:
          Eco-City Cafè
          Recording of the March 10 Eco-City Café 

December 4, 2018:     
          EAP Update Kickoff Meeting
          Environmental Action Plan 2030 Update Kickoff Meeting Presentation
          Recording of the Environmental Action Plan 2030 Update Kickoff Meeting


Other Important Dates

FY2019:
          Green Building Policy Update
          See alexandriava.gov/GreenBuilding for more information


Environmental Action Plan Update Reference Documents


      What is a Sustainable Community?

      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.

      Eco-City Alexandria Logo - Medium

      What is Eco-City Alexandria?

      Eco-City Alexandria is a holistic strategic effort to achieve sustainability. The initiative began with the release of the GreenVentory in 2007. The Eco-City Charter was adopted in 2008 and the Environmental Action Plan has guided the implementation of the City's environmental programming since 2009.


      Background on Eco-City Alexandria

      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) 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 outlines 48 goals, 50 targets and 353 actions for the next 20 years to lead the City towards environmental sustainability.

      The  Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission is the City's principal environmental policy advisory group along with representatives from City Council and City staff. The Director of the City's Office of Environmental Quality serves as the City's project manager. 


      Awards and Honors

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

      For the eleventh consecutive year, the City of Alexandria has been recognized by the Virginia Municipal League (VML) with its platinum-level certification for being a green and sustainable government. The platinum distinction, announced yesterday evening, is the VML’s highest certification level. The annual 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. The City received several points for innovations in 2018, including:

      • Development of a long term control plan for Alexandria’s combined sewer system;
      • Innovative stormwater treatment practices that achieved nutrient reductions exceeding requirements;
      • Purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs) equivalent to 60% of the City government electricity consumption;
      • Participation in the Northern Virginia Regional Commission’s Solarize NoVA program to promote installation of solar photovoltaic systems in Alexandria homes; and
      • Purchase and distribution of 24 thermal cameras to Alexandria libraries for resident use to detect heat losses in their homes and use the information to target corrective actions to reduce energy usage and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions.

      More information about the Go Green Government Challenge is available at gogreenva.org


      The City of Alexandria and its Eco-City initiative ranked sixth on a list of 131 cities working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

      The Southeast Climate Commitment Index, created by the nonprofit group Community Sustainability USA, recognizes the City’s accomplishments and efforts to address climate change. The list ranks cities and counties with populations above 50,000 in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida. The City’s inclusion is aligned with its strong commitment to greenhouse gas reduction, as outlined in its Environmental Action Plan 2030, the City’s blueprint for creating a thriving, sustainable community. Read the news release to learn more.


      Eco-City and EAP Reports

      Alexandria's Climate Change Initiatives  

      Eco-City Alexandria Background Information  

      Eco-City Charter  

      Eco-City Charter (Spanish Version)  

      Eco-City Clean Waterways

      Eco-City Annual Progress Report & Key Environmental Indicators

      Energy and Climate Change Action Plan 

      Environmental Action Plan 2030  

      Environmental Action Plan 2030 Achievements (2009-2017)

      Greenhouse Gas Fact Sheet

      GreenVentory (2007)

      GreenVentory Update (Coming Soon)

      Sign-up today for Environmental Quality E-News to receive updates on volunteer opportunities and environmental events.

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