Alexandria, Virginia Enviromental Policy Essay

2322 words - 9 pages

Like most cities, Alexandria, Virginia faces a series of environmental challenges ranging from climate change and rising energy costs to problems of air quality and traffic congestion (Eco-City Alexandria, 2007). City officials recognize the need for a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to effectively address environmental issues, but Alexandria’s real challenge is pulling together all of their respective plans, programs, and policies and then coordinating them across existing city departments (Eco-City Alexandria, 2007). Like many communities, Alexandria has launched new environmental policies, plans, and programs related to: water quality, parks and open spaces, land use, solid waste, energy and green buildings, transportation, air quality, and environmental health (Eco-City Alexandria, 2007). This paper will briefly discuss the City of Alexandria’s 2015 Strategic Plan, Environmental Action Plan, and City Ordinance and Regulations, as they pertain to Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities which directly or indirectly regulate or influence the city’s overall environment.
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The city is home to over 8,000 thriving businesses and organizations with a culturally diverse population of 137,000 residents, who work for the federal government, U.S. military, or private companies (Eco-City Alexandria, 2007). Alexandria, “together with the District of Columbia, Arlington County, and Fairfax County comprise the core jurisdictions of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area” (Eco-City Alexandria, 2007). The metropolitan area is one of the fastest growing regions in the country with a vibrant economy and highly educated work force; the population is on the rise to be at 2.1 million people by the year 2030. This dynamic growth challenges the region’s high quality of life and environment (Eco-City Alexandria, 2007).
In 1998 more than 200 city officials, residents, and community leaders engaged in a collaborative process to produce Alexandria’s first environmental strategic action plan, with ideas to enhance and/or develop new environmental policies and programs (Eco-City Alexandria, 2007). The City’s 2015 Strategic Plan is driven by state law and citizens input. The plan allocates all resources based on seven goals: (1) quality development and redevelopment in support of local businesses; (2) a city that respects, protects and enhances the health of its citizens, and the quality of its natural environment; (3) an integrated, multi-modal transportation system that efficiently and effectively gets people from point “A” to point ”B;” (4) public schools that are the best in Northern Virginia; (5) a city government that is financially sustainable, efficient, community-oriented, and values its employees; (6) a city that protects the safety and security of its residents, businesses, and visitors; and (7) maintenance of Alexandria itself as a caring community that is affordable and...

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