Mayor Francis Slay will convene St. Louis' inaugural citywide sustainability summit December 6-7 to engage the community in developing a plan to enhance the City's quality of life, encourage best environmental practices, boost economic development and jobs initiatives, build social equity, and generate long-term savings.
City departments and a special task force appointed by the mayor have worked for the past six months to conduct a thorough internal data and information gathering process of City sustainability initiatives.
"Sustainability is critically important to the long term prosperity of the City of St. Louis," said Mayor Slay. "We are proud of what the City and its community partners have achieved so far, but we must now examine our sustainability effort to improve the City's future, enhance quality of life, and determine what types of financial savings we can achieve while also improving our environment."
The inaugural summit is one of three planned over the next year. The first summit, dubbed "Imagine," will focus on sharing information about current programs and listening to community stakeholders' ideas for improving sustainability.
Among the highlights of the summit will be keynote addresses by leading visionaries in urban sustainability, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and New York City neighborhood sustainability advocate Majora Carter.
Here are the details:
Who: Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley
What: Launch of the Sustainability Summit
Where: Missouri Botanical Garden's Ridgeway Center
When: Tuesday, December 6th at 5:30 pm.
Why: Mayor Daley was a leader in making Chicago more green, sustainable and livable.
Who: Majora Carter
What: How sustainability can improve urban neighborhoods and communities
Where: Missouri History Museum
When: Wednesday, December 7th at 6:00 pm.
Why: Carter is a pioneer in promoting sustainability in urban communities.
Both sessions are free and open to the public.
The City will prepare a draft sustainability plan from input received during the Summit. The plan will be a comprehensive and strategic roadmap to achieve measurable objectives such as economic prosperity, healthy living, greater social equity and environmental enhancements. The draft plan will be made available for public comment in Spring 2012.
"Mayor Slay has embraced sustainability as a priority of his administration, and his leadership has guided our community-wide effort to listen and learn what we want and what we can do to achieve a vibrant city in touch with our economic, social and ecological opportunities," said Catherine Werner, the City's Sustainability Director.
The mayor said he expects approximately 100 sustainability practitioners and City representatives to attend the technical work session. Jim Hunt, Chief of Environmental & Energy Services for the City of Boston, will also participate in the summit.
"Our goal in this first summit is to hear from our businesses and our residents about their ideas for a sustainable St. Louis," Slay said. "We want St. Louis to be in the forefront of urban sustainable practices across the country. And, I can think of no better sources of inspiration for our community than to hear from Mayor Daley and Majora Carter about how they have advanced sustainability in their cities."