What does it mean to be A Green City?
The City Council Vision Statement - 2025 includes 9 parts, one of which describes the vision for Charlottesville to be A Green City.
City Council Vision 2025: A Green City
"Charlottesville citizens live in a community with a vibrant urban forest, tree-lined streets, and lush green neighborhoods. We have an extensive natural trail system, along with healthy rivers and streams. We have clean air and water, we emphasize recycling and reuse, and we minimize stormwater runoff. Our homes and buildings are sustainably designed and energy efficient."
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is essentially defined as being a process or a state that can be maintained at a certain level indefinitely. In other words, it means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
A sustainable community means to work together within our community to create an attractive, clean area in which to live, and to protect the natural resources upon which all life is dependent - for example using energy and water more efficiently, managing our waste through recycling and composting, producing less waste, and reducing pollution.
In the side navigation menu on the left, you can find links about ways to to help make Charlottesville a more sustainable city and community.
We're Working to Improve Our Green Infrastructure
Through a technical assistance grant from the VA Dept of Forestry and the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC), the City is working to identify and prioritize high value green assets and develop strategic opportunities to protect, enhance and restore them.
CityGreen, An Online Interactive Map
The CityGreen Map shows projects and resources around Charlottesville that contribute to making us A Green City. The map includes six themes, icons linked to specific project/site details, and several base maps to toggle between.
The CityGreen Themes are:
- Green Stormwater Infrastructure
- Sustainable Buildings & Energy
- Natural Resources
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Sustainable "Getting Around"
- Sustainable Waste Management
Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Green stormwater infrastructure utilizes plants, trees, and other measures to mimic natural processes that control and treat stormwater before it enters creeks, streams, and rivers. Green stormwater infrastructure includes practices such as vegetated roofs, bioretention, tree planting, permeable pavement, and rainwater harvesting that aim to intercept, evaporate, transpire, filter, infiltrate, capture, and reuse stormwater.
Sustainable Buildings & Energy: Green building increases the efficiency with which buildings use resources – energy, water, and materials – while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment. Adding renewable energy systems can reduce operating costs and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with buildings. The City of Charlottesville encourages sustainable building practices and has completed several projects that demonstrate this commitment. Learn more about the City's Green Buildings and Green Building Incentives available to the community.
Natural Resources: Stewardship of natural resources in an urban environment can lead to clean air and water, diverse forests and plant communities, healthy habitats, access to outdoor recreation and natural beauty, and management of the historic landscape in which Charlottesville has developed.
Sustainable Agriculture: Locally, this includes farmer's markets and community gardens where you can buy local produce, explore options to grow your own fruits and vegetables, and find community gardens that increase access to healthy, local food.
Sustainable “Getting Around”: Charlottesville encourages sustainable options for getting around town including public transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, ride sharing and alternate fueling locations.
Sustainable Waste Management: Reduce, reuse, recycle (or compost)! The most effective way to reduce waste is not to create it in the first place. Reducing, reusing, and recycling/composting items helps save natural resources, protects the environment, and saves money.
UVa's Green Guide
The University of Virginia has created a Green Guide interactive map for sustainability projects on grounds.