by Joseph Freeman for SUST 210
The Village Board of Roselle, IL, a western suburb of Chicago, started work on its 2014 – 2016 “Strategic Plan” in February of 2014. The Strategic Plan includes a detailed account of the priorities of financial sustainability and economic development heading towards the future. Along with directing the growth and development of the town, the economics of securing Roselle’s financial future plays a big part in ensuring its future ecological sustainability. As stated in Reviewing the Environment, Setting Strategic Priorities: The Village of Roselle, Illinois, Strategic Plan:
The first step taken in Roselle’s [strategic planning] process was an assessment of the environment within which the Village operates. This was done via a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis — a process that examines the town’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats in the external environment.
Roselle’s Strategic Plan maps out policies that help village leaders to examine the current state of the town, determine what the desired future state of the town could be, establish the sustainability issues that are priorities, and describe a set of actions to achieve outcomes that will in turn allow the town to become more sustainable. “The process followed by the Village answers four key questions: (1) Where are we now? (2) Where are we going? (3) How will we get there? (4) What will we do?” The principles that the Strategic plan lay out go along directly with material and focus of our sustainability studies class.
An article written by the Roselle Public Library, entitled “Going Green, Committed to Environmental Sustainability” (pdf), provides an example for the town moving forward toward some goals of sustainability. The Library’s sustainability initiatives include:
- Staff Training: Staff training by Green Team, November 2009; Staff training with SCARCE, September 2010.
- Green Computing: Turn off your monitor when not in use; use ECO font; use both sides of the paper.
- Green Building Practices: Transition to energy-efficient lighting, CFL & LED; Programmable thermostats; Reduced VOC paint, Energy-efficient HVAC system.
Initiatives and strategic planning for the future of the town of Roselle like this makes me hopeful. There is a lot of hard work, time, effort, and money that go into learning and implementing sustainability programs. But with the knowledge and understanding of the importance of sustainability, hopefully initiatives like Roselle’s Strategic Plan can guide us along the process of making human existence on earth more compatible with the planet’s ecosystems.
Reviewing the Environment, Setting Strategic Priorities: The Village of Roselle Illinois, Strategic Plan. January 2014. http://www.roselle.il.us/593/Strategic-Plan-2014-2016
Going Green, Committed to Environmental Sustainability. September 2010. http://www.roselle.lib.il.us/about/documents/earth-flag-handout.pdf
Each week during the Fall 2014 semester, students in Prof. Mike Bryson’s SUST 210 Sustainable Future and SUST 240 Waste classes at Roosevelt University will contribute blog posts on urban and suburban sustainability issues to the Schaumburg’s Sustainable Future website.