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Background Discussion on Local Sustainability Issues

Posted by Stacy Gloss on October 5, 2021

ICAP Objective 8.4 Background Discussion between Stacy Gloss and Ximing Cai 9/28/2021

Related Tasks and Deliverables

  • 8.4 [iSEE] Take leadership in addressing the most pressing sustainability challenges in our local communities through collaboration with local governments and related community groups, by forming an advisory panel for coordinating efforts across jurisdictional boundaries. By FY24, select at least three major local sustainability issues to address and identify lead agency and key stakeholders.
    • Coordinate an initial meeting with the new advisory panel to share current campus efforts and learn about local governmental efforts
      • Deliverable: meeting notes from advisory panel discussion posted on iCAP Portal, by 3/15/22

Meeting Notes

Planning for the objective (procedural):

  1. Stacy should summarize identified major-issue topics and present to resilience committee 
  2. The committee may discuss the topics and select 3 priorities aligned with objective 8.4.
  3. In parallel, members of the committee should identify potential collaborators for the advisory panel on sustainability topics.  
  4. The committee will write a recommendation for the iWG as part of committee work.  (Also note, is it possible for the panel to meet before the iCAP sustainability committee submits a recommendation to the iWG?)

Major Sustainability Topics in our conversaton were identified that bridge Campus, Champaign, Urbana, Savoy & County

Climate Change Adaptation

  • Urban growth and development (city managers, county execs, economic development agency to be involved)
    • Smart growth / how do we grow questions: looking forward two – three decades – worsening climate change, coastal flooding likely means an influx of new residents into communities like C-U, especially if we are adding jobs along the lines of manufacturing, medtech, and agtech, not just part of the University and current large employers (like health care)
    • Addressing current environmental issues in communities: local neighborhood flooding, addressing existing pollution from past industries.
  • More extreme heat days, heat waves, and heat risks (would need to include county emergency mgmt. agency & health department, social safety net programs like weatherization)
    • Cooling centers
    • Resources for low-income or under-resourced residents
    • Adapting to protect health
  • Dealing with more and heavier rainfalls
    • Green infrastructure plans, water management, green roofs – shared resources & plans between campus and cities

 Renewable Energy & Resource Sustainability:

  • Renewable Energy Development (climate change mitigation)
    • Develop case studies & share best practices:
      • Solar
      • Wind
      • Bioenergy (self note: set up a visit with the energy farm to learn more)
  • Waste and Recycling:  reducing landfill waste, increasing recycling, saving energy and resources  (resource sustainability)
    • Industrial
      • E.g. hospitals, manufacturing plants
    • Commercial
      • Incorporate green office practices
    • Campus practices

Sustainable Agriculture (identify additional stakeholders, like Farm Bureau, Land Connection)

  • Biodiversity
  • Cover crops
  • Addressing nutrient loss
  • Water quality
  • Bioenergy / perennial grasses like to renewable energy sources
  • Food systems: from ag to production to distribution to consumption
  • Ties to South Farms for best management practices related to ag, water, and air quality – as a lab
  • Land use considerations (and regulations at federal, state, and local level