Believed to be an innovative first for the United States as well as Florida, the City of Oakland Park and City of Wilton Manors have pioneered a joint climate action plan in recognition that climate impacts do not respect political borders.
The plan calls for mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1% each year through 2028 while increasing community resilience in ways that are cost-effective and minimizes impacts to business operations
Both cities have received the ICLEI Milestone Award for achieving Milestone 4 of the ICLEI Five Milestones Framework, used by hundreds of cities over three decades to advance climate action.
Wilton Manors, FL – July 2, 2019 – With Two Cities, One Sustainable Future, the Cities of Oakland Park and Wilton Manors, FL, have released what is thought to be the nation’s first joint climate action plan by neighboring municipalities and calls for a greenhouse gas reduction of 1% per year through 2028. Recognizing that their contiguous borders and waterways as well as adjacent water and sewer systems render city boundaries irrelevant and artificial for the purposes of climate action, the two cities pioneered this innovative approach to create a joint climate action plan to address and improve infrastructure and resilience into the next decade. The joint plan has served as a model for other communities around the country that have now adopted the approach.
The goal for the plan is a vision and framework for implementing strategies that will reduce the cities’ carbon footprints and improve resilience without substantially impacting business operations. There are two overarching goals of the Plan:
- Mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1% each year through the year 2028.
- Increase resilience of our communities while minimizing impacts to efficiency and cost-effective business operations.
The Plan is intended to be implementable whether or not the two Cities act in concert on the objectives or proceed unilaterally. Wherever possible, collaboration is a goal and the cities are members of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI) to support this collaboration. Wilton Manors has completed municipal and community-wide greenhouse gas emission inventories using ICLEI tools and Oakland Park is in the review phase of completing its inventory.
“The Wilton Manors-Oakland Park Joint Climate Action Plan will serve as our road map to achieve three primary goals: reduction of carbons emissions by at least 1% per year over a period of ten years, making our municipal infrastructure more resilient, and encouraging residents and businesses to prepare for higher sea levels and more severe weather events,” said Justin Flippen, Mayor of the City of Wilton Manors. “But make no mistake, the City Commission must invest in these goals, in order to prepare for the coming changes, and to ensure that our quality of life will be preserved for generations to come.”
“As a community leadership team, The Cities of Oakland Park and Wilton Manors have a responsibility to protect our natural resources for a more sustainable future,” said Sara Guevrekian, Mayor of City of Oakland Park. “Proper recycling, preservation of green space and the prioritization of smart growth are areas that we can all embrace. I encourage our Public Works & Engineering staff to continue to proactively engage us with participation and policy suggestions for a healthier tomorrow.”
“We as public servants have a mandate to create a resilient community, because sea level rise is here and we are feeling the impacts of climate change now,” said Pamela Landi, Assistant City Manager of Wilton Manors. “Resources are finite and our need to use them smarter is central to our interest in collaborating with our neighbors.”
“Positioned at sea level in one of the most at-risk parts of the world for sea level rise, both Oakland Park and Wilton Manors may be particular vulnerable to climate change, but we are not waiting to take action,” said Albert Carbon, Public Works Director for City of Oakland Park. “By combining our planning efforts, we hope to leverage our municipal finance and shared water infrastructure and transportation systems to act faster and smarter.”
“ICLEI is proud to recognize Oakland Park and Wilton Manors with the ICLEI Milestone Award for their pioneering efforts to develop on the nation’s first joint climate action plans,” said Angie Fyfe, ICLEI USA Executive Director. “Across the country, cities and counties are doing their part to reduce the carbon emissions driving climate change. And by doing so, they’re also saving energy and money, strengthening their local economies, and creating more livable communities.”
ICLEI is the leading network of local governments committed to climate action, clean energy, and sustainability, with more than 1,750 members worldwide. Oakland Park and Wilton Manors join hundreds of U.S. cities, towns and counties have utilized the ICLEI Five Milestones for Emissions Management framework over three decades:
- Milestone One: Conduct a greenhouse gas emissions inventory
- Milestone Two: Establish an emissions reduction target
- Milestone Three: Develop a climate action plan
- Milestone Four: Implement the policies and measures
- Milestone Five: Monitor and verify results
Oakland Park and Wilton Manors have achieved Milestone 4 of the framework and been awarded the ICLEI Milestone Award in recognition. This award indicates that both cities have already begun on implementation of the Two Cities, One Sustainable Future plan. These actions include installing smart water meters for residential and commercial buildings, switching sports field lighting to LED, requiring electric vehicle charging infrastructure in all new construction and some renovations, a reclaimed materials construction requirement, and implementation of single-stream and hazardous waste recycling, among others.
Near-term planned measures will work toward the GHG reduction target of 1% annually through 2028 by conducting outreach to high water users, raising the sea wall requirements, transitioning all street lights to LED, participating in the Go Solar partnership and adding biking and walking lanes. Oakland Park and Wilton Manors will continue as strong members of the ICLEI network in order to bring the best international and national processes and practices into their implementation work.
About the City of Oakland Park
With a renowned craft brewery, a wide array of restaurants, affordable real estate and many exciting redevelopment projects underway, it’s easy to see why the City of Oakland Park was lauded as “Making a Scene” by Fort Lauderdale Magazine.
Oakland Park’s location in the heart of South Florida is attracting a wave of new homeowners and businesses. With the City’s fiscal stability, the property tax rate has been lowered for five (5) consecutive years. Voters approved a $40 million facilities bond in 2018 to upgrade and enhance City facilities which will include the Oakland Park Square project and future City Hall at the intersection of North Dixie Highway and NE 38 Street.
The City’s renaissance can be experienced everywhere – especially in the Downtown Culinary Arts District where residents and visitors alike stroll along Main Street, enjoy the Jaco Grand Plaza Fountains, and shop at “Proud to be Oakland Park” businesses. Thousands of people are drawn to Downtown Oakland Park for a diverse blend of cultural events, including Oktoberfest, Holiday Village, Taste of Oakland Park, and Dancing in the Street.
The Municipality Equality Index Report by the Human Rights Campaign scored Oakland Park at 97 out of 100, confirming the City as an inclusive community.
About the City of Wilton Manors
Wilton Manors was laid out in 1925 by Edward John “Ned” Willingham, a land developer from Georgia, as an upscale residential community. It was recognized as a Village in 1947 and incorporated as a City in 1953. Today, the City of Wilton Manors offers all the benefits of a big city from shopping, to hip restaurants and bars, a burgeoning arts community and tons of community events, yet still maintains a cozy, community-feeling offering miles of natural waterways perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding and other outdoor activities. In 2018, Wilton Manors was named the “Second Gayest City” in the United States, celebrating a diverse population of approximately 12,000 residents. To learn more about the live, work and play opportunities in Wilton Manors call (954) 390-2100 or visit www.wiltonmanors.com.
About ICLEI USA
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 100+ countries, we influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. Our Members and team of experts work together through peer exchange, partnerships and capacity building to create systemic change for urban sustainability. ICLEI USA is the United States regional office of ICLEI, and is the lead author, supported by groups of city and carbon accounting experts from various fields, in the development of industry standards for local government GHG emissions accounting. Along with its ClearPath emissions management tool, the development of the U.S. Community Protocol, the Local Government Operations Protocol, and the Recycling and Composting Protocol positions ICLEI USA firmly as the experts in local government carbon accounting and climate action planning.