Defining Sustainability

Every development decision we make—what land to build on, what street to pave, what energy to use, etc.—affects the economic and environmental health of our region.

Cleaner, Greener Communities projects accelerate widespread adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency as standard practice throughout the state. These are exemplary projects that not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also make NYS a better place to live, work, and do business.

Sustainable communities adopt smart growth practices to:

  • Use renewable energy to become more energy independent
  • Control sprawl to reduce housing and transportation costs
  • Invest in public transit systems to serve more people and minimize pollution
  • Build stores, schools, and workplaces near neighborhoods to reduce vehicle miles traveled
  • Attract businesses to neighborhoods to create jobs, and keep dollars local
  • Make walking and bicycling easy to foster healthy lifestyles
  • Reuse developed land to improve economic potential
  • Adopt clean technologies to grow our 21st century economy
  • Conserve resources to strengthen the natural environment
  • Reduce greenhouse gases to improve and protect our environment 

Sustainability planning teams within each of the state’s 10 regions have developed plans for smart growth and sustainability.

Learn more about the plans that have been developed.

Last Updated: 05/01/2014