Kalamazoo Community Sustainability Plan Draft Available for Review
Community invited to review the draft plan and share feedback
Kalamazoo, Mich., – A draft of the Kalamazoo Community Sustainability Plan (CSP) is now available for public review. The CSP is a 10-year guiding document focused on the role city government can play in partnership with the broader community to create a more sustainable, resilient Kalamazoo.
Community members are encouraged to review the draft plan and share their thoughts online at www.imaginekalamazoo.com/projects/sustainability. Community members can also attend upcoming meetings to learn more about the plan:
Open House Event
What: In-person opportunity to learn more about the plan, ask questions, and provide feedback on top strategies and priorities
Monday, April 11th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
City Hall Community Room (241 W South St)
Community members can RSVP to the event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/666530367790801
Virtual Town Hall
What: Virtual live event to learn more about the plan and discuss priorities with staff and the community
Wednesday, April 27th from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Residents can join the meeting via the Zoom link (https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84506967484) or by calling 269-552-6425 and entering Meeting ID 845 0696 7484.
Community input on the plan will be gathered over the next month. The focus will be on the “Top Six Strategies for Sustainability” identified in the plan and whether these align with community priorities.
The CSP is focused on the role the city government can play to advance sustainability. The plan is a starting point and call to action to bring people and partners together on sustainability topics. These “Top Six” are available on the Imagine Kalamazoo website.
The Community Sustainability Plan includes four key themes:
Accessible Complete Network includes best practices in sustainable land use and greener transportation systems, including things like increasing electric vehicle charging infrastructure, ensuring the non-motorized network is accessible year-round, and piloting green stormwater infrastructure.
Affordable Efficient City includes actions for cleaner, safer, and more affordable buildings and energy, including things like piloting a community solar project, promoting all electric incentives and rooftop solar for new construction, and electrifying the City’s fleet vehicles.
Healthy Prepared Community includes protecting community health and the natural environment, including things like flood mitigation projects, planting more trees, and managing city-owned natural areas for better ecosystem health.
Green Circular Economy includes ways to support local food systems and reduce and recover waste, including things like supporting local food production, expanding recycling and reuse opportunities, and ensuring small-scale composting is allowed in appropriate zoning districts.
Each theme includes goals, strategies, and actions. In total, the plan includes 10 community goals, 29 strategies, and 81 actions. The plan’s action table will serve as a work plan for City departments. It identifies the City’s role, timeline, cost range, lead department, and potential collaborators.
The plan’s strategies have been prioritized based on feasibility (calculated by cost, implementation timeline, and the City’s level of influence on the project) and the level of impact it would have on mitigating climate change. Six strategies were prioritized through this process and represent opportunities to jump start implementation in 2022. The prioritized strategies also align well with community input from the sustainability survey, steering committee, and other plans.
A key initial step in the implementation of the CSP is the creation of an interdepartmental working group of City staff. This working group will provide ongoing leadership and coordination for the implementation of both the CSP and other initiatives related to sustainability.
The working group will track progress toward the plan’s goals by measuring targets for environmental and community metrics including items like number of trees planted or electric vehicle charging stations installed. The plan also calls for inventorying carbon emissions at regular intervals to track progress.
The CSP was informed by a multi-year community engagement and planning process involving environmental professionals, content and context experts, residents, regional stakeholders, and City staff from multiple departments. The community engagement process included surveys, focus groups, and advisory and review committees to consult and collaborate on the plan.
Sustainability was highlighted by residents as a priority during Imagine Kalamazoo 2025, with Environmental Responsibility as one of ten goal areas. The draft CSP aligns with the City’s Master Plan, Strategic Vision, and many neighborhood plans.
After the review process is complete, the CSP must be approved by the City Commission before it becomes officially adopted. The Plan is expected to be presented to City Commission for final approval this spring.