I'm not writing from my office in Chicago, where various streets have been completely blocked to facilitate the crashes, explosions, and gunfire (really, a sign said that!) necessary to film "Transformers 3."
Instead, I'm in Boston. No Hollywood blockbusters are under construction, but attendance at the only annual gathering specifically for city, county, and state infrastructure managers is higher this year.
Maybe Beantown's more appealing (no offense intended to those of you in Columbus, Ohio; I thought it was great). Or maybe having the Solid Waste Association of North America's meeting at the same time and same place convinced city councils and governing boards to loosen travel budgets a bit.
Whatever the reason, anyone who gets home without having been introduced to the concept of "sustainable infrastructure" must not have been paying attention. The topic was unavoidable, surfacing in everything from product presentations to workshops on managing a public works operation.
Whatever your opinion about global warming, the American Public Works Association believes there is a "scientific consensus" linking greenhouse gas emissions from human activities to global climate change.
The association's Center for Sustainability wants you to sign on to the U.S Conference of Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement, adopt ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability's 5 Milestones for Climate Mitigation, verify emissions annually through an independent third party, and publicly report reduction efforts through The Climate Registry.
It also provides a free framework for developing a sustainable community in an interactive version.
But what constitutes a sustainable operation?
We deployed a survey on Friday to find out. If you haven't already responded, we'd appreciate you taking a minute or two to let us know what your operation's doing by clicking here.
- Stephanie Johnston
Editor in Chief