Natural resources and environmental sustainability
As a community we will need to commit to preserving, protecting, conserving, reusing and efficiently using San Antonio’s natural resources to ensure they will be available for current and future residents. An ample and reliable supply of clean, safe water, sufficient energy supplies and the full diversity of natural resources will contribute to the physical and psychological health and well-being of the community and strengthen the vitality of our local and regional economic base. Our City has established itself as a leader in urban sustainability. We have developed innovative policies, programs and partnerships that guide municipal and community actions to support resource conservation and sustainable behavior. But as we grow, we must recommit ourselves to ensuring San Antonio remains a sustainable community. San Antonio has over 180 buildings and residences certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's green building certification program. “Build San Antonio Green” is San Antonio's local residential green building program certifying over 3,500 homes to date. The City itself continues to “green” its municipal operations under the leadership of the Office of Sustainability, ensuring efficient operations that minimize environmental impact and resource use. However, there is no large-scale, city-wide retrofit, energy efficiency, green building or green infrastructure program.
The City will need to incorporate sustainable principles into our everyday actions and decisions, monitoring progress and adapting to changing conditions and new information. City land use policies will need to increasingly promote compact, walkable, mixed-use development, infill development and redevelopment, protect open space and agricultural lands, and encourage a jobs and housing balance. The City’s transportation policies will call for improved connectivity between neighborhoods, jobs and services, street design that accommodates all modes of transportation and reduces idling time, reduced parking requirements and sustainable transportation modes. This sustainable policy direction will occur while fostering a positive climate for economic development.
Beyond the City’s civic efforts are those that will need to be spearheaded by the San Antonio community. Residents, businesses, community groups, schools and other organizations all need to be engaged and actively participating in the effort to create a socially, environmentally and economically healthy community. The City must be an effective leader and partner in sustainability efforts. Participation in larger scale sustainability efforts is critical because local environmental and economic issues are a part of a broader regional, national and global context.