The City of Charlottesville, in support of its Environmental Sustainability Policy, is working to advance air quality and public health, reduced energy consumption, and economic development goals for the area. These are some of the ways the City is protecting and improving environmental quality for residents and visitors alike:
Charlottesville Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reports
As part of the City's Climate Protection Program, the City has compiled greenhouse gas emissions inventories using software tools provided through the ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability organization. These inventory data sets draw from the activities within our community that contribute to our greenhouse gas emissions and emissions of criteria air pollutants. Establishing a baseline enables us to set targets and assess progress for reducing our emissions and our energy costs in the future.
The 2012 Charlottesville Emissions Report Update was presented to the Charlottesville City Council on April 1, 2013. The Update Report includes 2000 and 2006 data from the Charlottesville Emissions Baseline Report and adds data for inventory years 2009 and 2011.
Both of these reports follow from commitments made by the City of Charlottesville to reduce, measure, and track community-wide greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use including the:
- the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (2006)
- Comprehensive Plan (2007; 2013 draft in progress)
- Charlottesville City Council Vision 2025: A Green City (2009)
The LCAPP (Local Climate Action Planning Process) Report
Energy use in all aspects of our lives — how we travel, how we live, how we care for our urban and rural landscapes, and how we produce the energy we use — is directly related to greenhouse gas emissions.
In May 2009, senior executives from the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle extended an invitation to local community representatives to serve on a multidisciplinary Steering Committee leading a Local Climate Action Planning Process (LCAPP). Over an 18-month period, the LCAPP Steering Committee, supported by a network of more than 50 local subject matter experts, local business representatives, and other interested parties, examined best practices to assess their appropriateness and effectiveness for our community.
The LCAPP Report documents this process, provides examples of existing efforts by the City, County, and University of Virginia to reduce energy use and emissions, a Five-Part Framework through which to view energy in our communities and associated action strategies, and Recommended Principles and Next Steps.
Greening the City Fleet
An emphasis has been placed on the use of gas-electric hybrid vehicles and compressed natural gas, as well as the use of biodiesel in school buses, CAT buses and diesel trucks.
Using biodiesel leads to improved air quality from reduced emissions and supports a domestic, renewable energy source.
For more information on the city's use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, CLICK HERE.
Green Buildings and Green Building Practice
The Charlottesville Downtown Transit Station (DTS) has been awarded the prestigious LEED (The U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification. The DTS was designed and built with sustainability in mind, featuring a geothermal heating and cooling system, a cool roof, and it consumes 40% less water and 30% less electricity than a conventional building. Much of the material used in the building is comprised of recycled contents and was manufactured locally.
For further information on the Downtown Transit Station and other sustainable buildings, please CLICK HERE
Tree City USA
Charlottesville was declared a Tree City USA in 2007. The Tree City USA® program, sponsored by The Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, provides direction, technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs throughout the USA. Charlottesville has determined that our current tree canopy coverage is 47%. This vital urban forest will be managed through the development and implementation of an Urban Forest Management Program. For further information, please CLICK HERE.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan
The City has undertaken a major new effort to build trails within parks to create loops for walking and biking, and also to connect parks, schools, and other public spaces to each other.
- City Market offers fresh produce, herbs, plants, naturally raised meats, crafts, and baked goods from local vendors every Saturday from 7:00 a.m. until 12 noon from April-October. CLICK HERE for details.
- Farmers in the Park is every Wednesday from May 30th to Sept 26th. CLICK HERE for details.
- For details on the City Holiday Market, CLICK HERE
- New Market at Pen Park every Tuesday from May 4th to September 28th! Fresh produce, herbs, plants, naturally raised meats, crafts, and baked goods from local vendors. CLICK HERE for more details