Cleaner, Greener Communities Regional Planning Teams

To understand the different planning efforts underway in each region, or to contact regional planning teams about how you can get involved, select your region of interest and visit its website.

Regional Sustainability Planning Team Profile

Regional Contact and Website

Capital District
(Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington)

New York’s Capital Region spans a diverse area of working farms, small towns, hamlets, villages, growing suburban communities, and many historic urban centers including Albany, Schenectady, and Troy. The Capital District Sustainability Plan will be the first step in working cooperatively together across jurisdictions to create a regional framework for a sustainable future.

The Plan is being led by the City of Albany, and its consultant team will be providing the following services: CHA will provide project management and plan development services; VHB Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture, P.C. will focus on the baseline assessment and plan development; Brendle Group will lead the development of sustainability metrics and assist with the framework for the sustainability plan; PlaceMatters will support the stakeholder engagement process and lead the community outreach effort; Crowdbrite will support brainstorming, collaboration and mobile communications; Behan Communications will support program marketing. 

Lead Municipality: City of Albany
Contact: Douglas Melnick
Website: Sustainable Capital RegionLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Central New York
(Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego)

The Central New York Region has more than 790,000 residents who live in six cities, 94 towns and 44 villages spread over nearly 3,600 square miles. Much of the region's area is rural where renewable energy technologies such as wind and biomass present opportunities to lower carbon emissions while generating jobs and local investment.

With support from NYSERDA, the Regional Sustainability Plan will provide information and guidance to allow the region's communities to implement specific projects that provide the greatest opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, and deploy renewable energy consistent with statewide energy and climate goals, and the strategic plan adopted by the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council in 2011.

Onondaga County will act as the Lead Municipality for the project in partnership with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB), which will manage the project and prepare the Regional Sustainability Plan. Central New York's communities have already demonstrated extraordinary leadership in promoting sustainable development and clean renewable sources of energy, with model projects installed or underway in each of the region's five counties.

Lead Municipality: Onondaga County
Contact: Don Jordan

Finger Lakes
(Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates)

The Genesee-Finger Lakes Region is located in west-central New York State. The Region is composed of nine counties and 190 cities, towns, and villages. The Region encompasses 4,680 square miles and has a population of nearly 1.2 million people. It is bordered by Lake Ontario to the north, the Southern Tier Region and foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to the south, Syracuse and the Central New York Region to the east, and the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area to the west.

The Planning Team consists of the Consortium and its Executive Committee, the Project Manager, and the Consultant Team Project Managers. The Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability Planning Consortium (“Consortium”) has been established and will serve as the Steering Committee for the Project. All nine counties and the City of Rochester are voting members of the Consortium. Other municipalities, the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, and the Genesee Transportation Council are also on the Consortium. In addition to these founding members, the Consortium includes state agencies and local governments who will contribute to the Plan development. Additional members will be encouraged to join the Consortium throughout the development of the Plan to expand awareness of it, increase support for its recommendations, and establish an ongoing mechanism for advancing sustainability throughout the Region.

Lead Municipality: Monroe County
Contact: David Zorn
Website: Sustainable Finger LakesLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Long Island
(Nassau, Suffolk)

Long Island with a population exceeding 2.8 million residents is governed by many overlapping units of local governmental. There are 2 counties, 2 cities, 13 towns, and 97 incorporated villages as well as many special taxing districts that provide water, sewer, sanitation, parks, fire protection and other services to residents. Education and related services are provided through 127 school, 110 library districts, and 3 BOCES districts. Each local government is trying to address their environmental, energy and sustainability needs during a period of high property taxes, weak revenue, and high local unemployment.

The Long Island Cleaner, Greener Consortium is a partnership of local municipalities and non-governmental organizations coordinating the development of a regional sustainability plan. The sustainability team includes: the Town of North Hempstead, Community Development Corporation of Long Island, Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, Vision Long Island, AECOM and Regional Plan Association. Plan development includes the participation of communities, organizations, businesses, and utilities throughout Long Island. The plan will provide an opportunity for Long Island to develop its vision, goals and objectives for a sustainable future and to identify the types of strategies, policies and projects needed to achieve carbon reductions, job creation, energy efficiency savings, and renewable energy deployment. The Consortium will build on the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council’s Strategic Plan, the Long Island Planning Council’s Sustainable Strategies for Long Island 2035 and the Long Island Carbon Footprint project.

The Planning Team includes Partner Municipalities, and representatives from governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Lead Municipality: The Town of North Hempstead
Contact: Frances Reid

Mohawk Valley
(Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie)


Lead Municipality: Otsego County
Contact: Karen Sullivan

(Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester)

The Mid-Hudson Region is unique in its diversity and the capabilities of its municipalities, which range from densely developed communities in Westchester County to rural agricultural land use in Ulster. Some communities in the region are equipped with full planning and implementation teams, while others lack these resources.

The Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan process will provide the necessary collaboration, policy base and integrated solutions for future funding decisions and action. The Plan also will serve as the region’s overarching framework and baseline assessment for municipalities, and will support a “toolbox box” approach to ensure that local governments of various sizes and capabilities can participate and take action.

The Mid Hudson Region Sustainability Plan team is co-chaired by David Church, Orange County Planning Commissioner, and Thomas Madden, Town of Greenburgh Commissioner of Planning. A Consortium including the Planning Commissioner Directors from Duchess, Putnam, and Rockland counties, along with a senior representative for Sullivan County and the chairs of two Westchester County inter-municipal groups—the Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium (NWEAC) and the Southern Westchester Energy Action Consortium (SWEAC)—will join Orange County and the Town of Greenburgh as the governance board for this project. This board will be supported by a Planning Team, which includes senior staff from Ecology & Environment Inc., VHB Engineering PC, Regional Plan Association, Croton Energy Group Inc., and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.

Lead Municipality: Orange County Planning Commissioner
Contact: David Church
Website: Engage Mid HudsonLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

New York City
(Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond)

The New York City (NYC) Regional Sustainability Planning initiative under the Cleaner, Greener Communities Program will extend the scope of PlaNYC. This long-term vision to create a greener, greater New York— started in 2007 and updated in 2011—outlines a comprehensive agenda to accommodate one million more residents, while enhancing the sustainability of the city in 10 key areas: housing, parks, brown fields, waterways, water supply, transportation, energy, air quality, solid waste, and climate change.

Mitigating 80 percent of NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will require an altogether new framework, one that capitalizes on new technologies and incorporates newer and longer-term economic models, leap-frogging over a moderate expansion of current efforts to massive change. The Regional Sustainability Planning study will evaluate and expand the City’s current emission mitigation strategies and accounting tools to maximize reduction as well as economic benefits.

The study will be managed by Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, which was created to develop and implement PlaNYC. The New York Academy of Sciences will also provide support by helping to engage outside experts and solicit public input. An outside consultant(s) will provide technical and analytic support.

Lead Organization: New York City Hall, Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability
Contact: Levan Nadibaidze

North Country
(Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence)

The North Country Region is the largest and most rural area of New York State, with tremendous natural resources and a rapidly growing clean energy economy.

The North Country Region’s Cleaner, Greener Communities Program will use a comprehensive engagement and outreach process designed to capture the diverse nature of the North Country Region and to foster involvement from the region’s municipal leadership, energy innovators, and other stakeholders.

Essex County, the lead agency, has contracted consultants Ecology and Environment, Inc. (E & E) and the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) to complete the requirements of developing a Regional Sustainability Plan. This plan is being developed in close coordination with the goals set forth in the North Country Regional Economic Development Plan, which recently won the statewide award for the best economic development plan with its vision “To Create the Cleanest Energy Economy in the State.”

Lead Municipality: Essex County
Contact: Kate Fish
Website: opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Southern Tier
(Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins)

The Southern Tier features eight counties, six cities and nearly 200 municipalities, and is known for its manufacturing centers, nationally recognized colleges and universities, and natural beauty and resources.

The Southern Tier Regional Sustainability Plan will foster the networks and joint planning necessary to create a unified vision for the region. In addition, it will support several area initiatives already underway, including renewable energy and greenhouse gas projects, statewide transportation demand management planning, land use and livable communities, waste management, water management, economic development, climate adaptation and governance.

The lead municipality for the planning efforts is Tompkins County. Project partners include the Southern Tier Central Regional Panning and Development Board, the Southern Tier East Regional Planning and Development Board, and ICF Incorporated.

Lead Municipality: Tompkins County
Contact: Leslie Schill
Website: Cleaner Greener Southern TierLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Western New York
(Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties)

The members of the Western New York Regional Sustainability Planning Consortium are advancing the area’s comprehensive regional planning efforts. The consortium is inviting stakeholders throughout the region to help identify goals and strategies targeted at key sustainability areas, including energy, transportation, agriculture and forestry, land use, water management, waste management and economic development. It is anticipated that the WNY Regional Sustainability Plan will fill key gaps in existing regional planning.

Allegany County serves as the Cleaner, Greener Communities program grant lead for the WNY Region. The WNY Region has chosen Ecology & Environment, Inc. as its lead planning consultant. The Regional Institute, a major research and public policy unit of the University at Buffalo, will also participate as a planning consultant.

Lead Municipality: Allegany County
Contact: Richard Zink
Website: Sustainable Western New YorkLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Last Updated: 07/01/2014