Many local governments around the country are redesigning and rethinking policies and programs to become more sustainable. Baltimore has been a model for other cities by promoting collaboration among city government, local businesses, non-government organizations, and other groups to address sustainability concerns.
UMBC’s School of Public Policy hosted a forum on urban sustainability in Baltimore at the Columbus Center on October 16, 2015 to examine Baltimore’s efforts to become a more sustainable city and to discuss the networks of government, for-profit and nonprofit organizations that have developed around the city’s sustainability goals.
Eric Zeemering, an associate professor in the department of public administration at Northern Illinois University, moderated the forum and discussed his research on the economy, environment, and community in Baltimore. Zeemering was an assistant professor of public policy at UMBC from 2011-2014 and published the book Collaborative Strategies for Sustainable Cities last year, which examines how Baltimore has defined sustainability and created policy networks beyond local government to achieve sustainability goals.
“I think it’s very important that we need to discuss strategies beyond green,” Zeemering said during his remarks. “Baltimore can continue to be a model for the rest of the nation in this area in the development of partnerships.”
Following Zeemering’s presentation, Alice Kennedy, the sustainability coordinator for the city of Baltimore, provided the background and history of the city’s sustainability office, which was created in 2008. She shared how Baltimore has made great strides in adopting effective sustainability polices through public and private partnerships, and how the office has grown in staffing and capacity in the seven years it has been in existence.
The forum’s third presenter, Tom Sadowski ’89, political science, president and CEO of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, talked about the close “win-win” relationship between sound economic policy and sustainability efforts in the city that have developed in recent years.
“Think about the complimentary assets that exist in this region. There is no reason why we cannot have one of the top performing economies in the country, if not, the world, and have the most green, sustainable, and responsible practices in place at the same time,” Sadowski explained.
The event was sponsored by the School of Public Policy, Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE), UMBC Sustainability Matters, and the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems. Read more about the Public Policy Forum Series at UMBC. Hear more about Zeemering’s sustainability research in Baltimore below. Also, view the complete video of the forum event.
Image: Eric Zeemering speaks during UMBC’s School of Public Policy Forum on Urban Sustainability.