Practical Solutions by Category

Air Quality

  • Building and Energy Codes

    The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is a standard that, when adopted into law, requires all building types undergoing construction and alteration to be built in such a way that they do not waste energy used for heating, cooling, and lighting. At the same time these construction practices provide more comfortable, less drafty buildings that reduce energy use and energy bills.

    Read more...

  • Carpooling

    Carpooling, also known as ride-sharing and car-sharing, is the act of sharing a vehicle so that more than one person travels in the vehicle at a particular time. Carpooling reduces air pollution, energy use, toll expenses and stresses of driving. Vehicular wear and tear can also be reduced since the car will not be traveling as much as it would if the driver did not carpool.

    Read more...

  • Climate Action Plan

    A Climate Action Plan identifies the strategies an organization plans to implement to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While the instructions in this BMP are tailored to local governments, any organization (including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and universities) can complete a Climate Action Plan.

    Read more...

  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)/Food Co-Ops

    Community supported agriculture (CSAs) programs are an economic system of producing and distributing food supplies more locally to the consumers. Most CSAs operate as a partnership between regional farmers and consumers. The customers pay up-front for a subscription service for the weekly delivery of fresh produce. Often times the food is delivered in a single box - recent innovations include customized ordering and more than only produce items. Food cooperatives, or co-ops, are formal partnerships organized for food distribution but owned by their employees and/or customers, rather than by corporations. Most commonly a co-op will own and manage a traditional grocery store but they can also be a "buying club" more similar to CSAs. The goal of either model is very similar - to better connect local consumers with local farmers and food producers. CSAs and Co-ops are related but different than urban agriculture programs, farmer's markets, and local food consumption.

    Read more...

  • Connectivity Indexes (Transportation Network Design)

    Connectivity Indexes address a community's transportation network connectivity, most commonly streets and sidewalks. A connectivity index is simply a unit of measurement - a metric. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess a specific piece (connectivity) of a larger complete streets design. There are multiple methods to measure street connectivity but the most commonly accepted model is the "Links & Nodes" calculation. This analysis ultimately addresses traffic congestion and travel patterns in a community.

    From a more pro-active stance, this urban design approach can be promoted by city or county legislation and development codes. One such approach is establishing maximum block lengths in zoning and subdivision codes and ordinances.

    Read more...

  • Density Bonuses

    Density bonuses are a tool offered to developers that allows for increased floor space, taller buildings, or more housing units than the traditional zoning code permits, in exchange for contributing to the community's vision by providing a defined public benefit. The public benefit can range from affordable housing units to senior care facilities to energy conservation features to maximizing the use of public transit to providing open spaces and recreation facilities. Those priorities and policy decisions are made by the local government and based on the community's goals.

    Read more...

  • Energy Efficiency Requirements For Public Buildings or Public Housing

    Buildings are responsible for nearly half of the energy used (48.7%) in the United States – more than both the transportation and industry sectors. Of this 48.7%, the majority (43.1%) comes from building operations, while building construction & materials is responsible for the remainder (5.6%). Additionally, buildings in the US consume 75% of all electricity and account for 46.7% of the greenhouse gases emitted. Enacting energy efficiency standards for public buildings and/or public housing is an excellent opportunity to save money on energy bills while protecting the environment and serving as an example to the broader community.

    Data source: US Energy Information Administration (2011) via Architecture 2013.

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  • Farmland Preservation

    Farmland preservation is a joint effort by local governments and non-governmental organizations to protect and preserve agricultural land. Often a part of regional planning and national historic preservation, farmland preservation includes implementing policies and programs to manage urban growth and encroaching development, prevent conversion of farmland to other uses, and to maintain the ecological integrity and environmental benefits of agricultural lands. 

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  • Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHPs)

    Geothermal heat pumps use the Earth's relatively constant temperatures for indoor heating and cooling. Only a few feet below the surface, temperatures stay relatively consistent and do not fluctuate. This means that during the summer the pumps cool your house and in the winter they heat it. Geothermal energy is an example of renewable energy and is also an energy efficient solution. A home energy audit can help you identify other energy efficient technologies, including passive solar (another solution that draws from the Earth's natural heating).

    Read more...

  • Great Streets

    The St. Louis Great Streets Initiative was created in early 2006 to expand the use of multi-modal streets, also known as Complete Streets. The goal of the program is to trigger economic and social growth with the aid of lively and attractive multi-modal streets.

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  • Green Teams

    A green team is a group of dedicated individuals who come together to promote, identify, and implement specific solutions to help their organization operate in a more sustainable fashion. Green teams can form within governments, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, schools, or any other organization. Green teams can be started by an interested employee, can be mandated from above, or can be a combination of the two. Green teams are usually comprised of interested individuals who sometimes bring expertise in a specific topic or field but who are interested in civic engagement and sustainability.

    Read more...

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory

    A greenhouse gas inventory is an accounting of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into or removed from the atmosphere over a certain period of time. Local governments use greenhouse gas inventories to create baselines in order to track emission trends. Creating a greenhouse gas inventory is usually the first step a local government takes to reduce emissions. 

    Read more...

  • High Efficiency Vehicles for Municipal Fleets

    Municipal fleets provide important services to citizens and account for a significant chunk of a city or county's operational budget. Powering these fleets is not only a costly endeavor monetarily, they also affect communities air quality. Implementing high efficiency vehicles into a municipal fleet can provide for long term cost savings and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into our air. 

    Read more...

  • Low Impact Development (LID)

    Low Impact Development is as simple as trying to develop in a manner that maintains stormwater as close to its original source as possible while also working with natural environmental systems to do so. In general LID uses green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. The fundamental philosophy is that public infrastructure should be designed to treat stormwater as an asset and resource instead of a waste product. Many of the other One STL sustainability tools address LID, such as bioswales, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, rainscaping, green roofs, and impervious concrete.

    Read more...

  • Methane Digesters

    Methane digesters take waste material (old-food, animal and human waste) and extracts methane. The methane can then be used to produce energy. Some methane digesters will turn the manure into animal bedding and other useable products. This tool can be very valuable to dairy farmers.

    Read more...

  • Mixed-Use Zoning

    Mixed-Use Zoning is a specific land-use regulatory tool implemented by units of local government that permits multiple use-types within the same building, district, or corridor. The approach has been used successfully for years in urban settlement design. However, contemporary efforts are in response to 20th Century Euclidean zoning that features a stark separation of uses. Mixed-Use Zoning is an important step for a Mixed-Use Development. Mixed-Use Zoning is one of the many tools that can be used to create dense, unique, and walkable neighborhoods that can spur economic development and provide a sense of "place."

    Read more...

  • Mold Reduction and Removal

    Molds are part of our natural environment. Outdoors, they help break down dead leaves and other organic material. Indoors, however, mold growth should be avoided and prevented. Mold spores that land on a wet or damp spot indoors can begin growing and causing health problems. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and can cause allergic reactions if inhaled or touched. Mold can cause asthma attacks, sneezing, and skin rash. Aside from the health issues, mold can also impact the structural integrity of buildings. 

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  • Native Landscaping

    Native landscaping is the intentional growing of indigenous plants in their native habitats. As time goes on, plants evolve and adapt to the geography, climate, and hydrology of a region. When non-native plants, also known as invasive plants or exotic species, are introduced to the region, they tend to take over the area and eliminate the native plants. Using native plants in your landscaping eliminates the need for fertilizers and decreases the need for pesticides. Native landscaping is better for the environment and is more cost efficient than exotic species.

    Read more...

  • No Idling Zone

    Idling is the term given to running an engine that powers a vehicle when the vehicle is not moving. No Idling Zones and anti-idling policies promote turning off vehicles that are not moving. Even though they are not moving, idling vehicles still create exhaust, which contributes to the formation of ozone smog and harmful particulate matter and can negatively affect lung growth and development in children. Also, idling vehicles waste fuel and increase unneccessary wear and tear on the vehicle's engine.

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  • Ozone Garden

    Ozone gardens are comprised of ozone sensitive plants such as the common milkweed or snap beans. During the growing season, these plants will show obvious signs of damage from elevated levels of ozone. High concentrations of ozone are toxic to animal and plant life especially on very hot days. Building an ozone garden provides a clear demonstration of negative impacts of ozone. There are also websites for you to post pictures and information about your garden, thus contributing to scientific research.

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  • Passive Solar Energy

    Passive solar minimizes energy use through the strategic design of a structure, including site placement, natural climate and building materials. Unlike other renewable energy sources, where the structure is still technically consuming electricity, passive solar energy harnesses the Sun's natural warmth to supply at least part of its heating and lighting needs. By using certain materials and designs to capture heat and light from south-facing windows, buildings can reduce their energy consumption.

    Read more...

  • Radon Reduction and Removal

    Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is colorless, tasteless and odorless. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon is a bi-product of the breakdown of uranium. Homes and buildings can be tested for radon and they can be designed to reduce exposure to this harmful element.

     

     

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  • Reduce the Amount of Waste Going to Landfills

    Yard waste and some food waste can be composted by professional organizations or right in your backyard. Rubber and plastic such as tires can be recycled into usable material such as for playgrounds. Construction debris and building can be recycled and used in road pavement.

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  • Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs)

    Reducing VMTs can be accomplished by implementing other tools in the OneSTL Toolkit. These tools include: bicycle and pedestrian programs, carpooling and rideshare programs, complete streets, great streets and transit-oriented development. Below are other methods for reducing VMTs. The US national average VMT has declined in recent years, but traffic emissions continue to affect the environment and public health. Reducing VMTs has the potential to improve regional air quality and shift travel to other transportation options that can promote physical activity and spur economic development.

    Read more...

  • Renewable Energy for Homes

    Many individuals are familiar with renewable energy as part of large-scale public policy discussions about electricity in the United States. But renewable energy can be a very local solution too - including for your very own home. Simply, your home relies on the power you buy from your electric utility, however, you can tap into many sustainable, naturally renewable solutions such as solar energy and wind power yourself. Not only do these solutions save you money off your power bill they also reduce pollution and negative impacts on human health.

    Read more...

  • Smog-Eating Concrete

    Smog-eating concrete is concrete mixed with a titanium oxide additive. Originally developed to ensure that the concrete remained a bright white color, it was discovered that the compound breaks down nitrogen oxide molecules in addition to other pollutants. Adding this compound to any concrete construction has the capability of improving the air quality of the surrounding area.

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  • Solar Panels

    Solar panels generate electricity using the nearly limitless supply of energy from the sun. Panels can be installed in large arrays or on rooftops/walls of homes and buildings. Solar panels have become more affordable as prices are reduced and more incentives are put in place to make the purchase of solar panels a cost effective venture.

    Read more...

  • STAR Communities Rating System

    STAR Communities is a national organization the goal of which is to help “cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts.” Similar to OneSTL STAR Communities provides a framework and a set of tools for governments to become more sustainable. The STAR Community Rating System is an objective rating system for communities to gauge their progress.

    Read more...

  • Street Trees

    Street trees are trees planted along the side of streets. Benefits include reduction in the heat island affect, improved property values, increase in shaded area and safer transit. In recent years cities have enacted laws requiring street trees and establishing other provisions.

    Read more...

  • Tobacco Free Housing

    Millions of Americans live in subsidized housing. Many of these residents are children, elderly, or disabled. Tobacco Free Housing policies forbid smoking within and near subsidized housing units and are becoming increasingly popular. Health and wellness and economic advantages are main determinants for the implementation of such policies.

    Read more...

  • Transfer of Development Rights

    Local governments can enact voluntary transferable development rights programs that allow the private marketplace to assess development feasibility while also preserving areas targeted for conservation. Zoning regulations authorize a certain level of development measured by the three dimensional aspect of the regulations (bulk, height and use). Transfer of development rights (TDR) is a technique for preserving a lower level of development density on one site by transferring unused development rights to another site.

    A local community may prefer to protect certain areas from future growth, such as farmland, environmentally sensitive areas, ground for open space and parkland, historic districts, or residential areas. The primary benefit to the receiving property is being permitted additional density in an already developed area. The benefit to the sending property owner is receiving cash value and/or tax credits for transferring their development rights to another property owner. The community benefits by achieving a public benefit, such as those listed above.

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  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

    Transit Oriented Development (TOD) refers to mixed-use development near rail transit stops. The communities are designed to be walkable and sustainable, thus allowing residents to live, work and play and be able to walk safely to the closest rail system. TOD communities are vital to OneSTL, because they allow residents to have a higher quality life while being sustainable. A brief summary and in depth report of plans for 8 stations in the region is available under Resources -> Reports -> Transit Oriented Development.

    Read more...

  • Tree Maintenance and Preservation

    Tree maintenance and preservation are a collection of activities aimed at prolonging the life of trees and bushes. While planting trees is the more popular activity, maintaining and protecting trees is just as important, if not more important in the grand scheme of things. Protecting mature trees during development will provide environmental benefits and increase the value of the developed land.

    Read more...

  • Urban Agriculture

    Urban agriculture is an innovative method of growing food crops and raising animals to cultivate locally produced fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat. The product of these farms is meant to be sold to others. If you want information on how to grow produce for your own consumption, please see our Community Gardens page 

    Read more...

  • Urban and Community Forestry Management

    Urban and Community Forestry is the planning and management of a community's forest resources to enhance the citizens' quality of life. The process integrates the economic, environmental, political, and social values of the community to develop a comprehensive management plan for the urban or community forest. Urban and community forests could be developed in almost any community.

    Read more...

Energy Efficiency

  • Building and Energy Codes

    The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is a standard that, when adopted into law, requires all building types undergoing construction and alteration to be built in such a way that they do not waste energy used for heating, cooling, and lighting. At the same time these construction practices provide more comfortable, less drafty buildings that reduce energy use and energy bills.

    Read more...

  • Carpooling

    Carpooling, also known as ride-sharing and car-sharing, is the act of sharing a vehicle so that more than one person travels in the vehicle at a particular time. Carpooling reduces air pollution, energy use, toll expenses and stresses of driving. Vehicular wear and tear can also be reduced since the car will not be traveling as much as it would if the driver did not carpool.

    Read more...

  • Climate Action Plan

    A Climate Action Plan identifies the strategies an organization plans to implement to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While the instructions in this BMP are tailored to local governments, any organization (including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and universities) can complete a Climate Action Plan.

    Read more...

  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)/Food Co-Ops

    Community supported agriculture (CSAs) programs are an economic system of producing and distributing food supplies more locally to the consumers. Most CSAs operate as a partnership between regional farmers and consumers. The customers pay up-front for a subscription service for the weekly delivery of fresh produce. Often times the food is delivered in a single box - recent innovations include customized ordering and more than only produce items. Food cooperatives, or co-ops, are formal partnerships organized for food distribution but owned by their employees and/or customers, rather than by corporations. Most commonly a co-op will own and manage a traditional grocery store but they can also be a "buying club" more similar to CSAs. The goal of either model is very similar - to better connect local consumers with local farmers and food producers. CSAs and Co-ops are related but different than urban agriculture programs, farmer's markets, and local food consumption.

    Read more...

  • Density Bonuses

    Density bonuses are a tool offered to developers that allows for increased floor space, taller buildings, or more housing units than the traditional zoning code permits, in exchange for contributing to the community's vision by providing a defined public benefit. The public benefit can range from affordable housing units to senior care facilities to energy conservation features to maximizing the use of public transit to providing open spaces and recreation facilities. Those priorities and policy decisions are made by the local government and based on the community's goals.

    Read more...

  • Energy Efficiency

    "Energy Efficiency is the Key" - Amory Lovins(RMI). In looking at the complex issues of air pollution, water pollution, climate change, and national security, Amory Lovins posited many years ago that the cheapest, most efficient, and least risky solution to those and other problems was Energy Efficiency. A major amount of energy is wasted by our society, and that can be addessed directly.

    Investing in improved energy efficiency is a good way for local governments to save money. 

    Read more...

  • Energy Efficiency Requirements For Public Buildings or Public Housing

    Buildings are responsible for nearly half of the energy used (48.7%) in the United States – more than both the transportation and industry sectors. Of this 48.7%, the majority (43.1%) comes from building operations, while building construction & materials is responsible for the remainder (5.6%). Additionally, buildings in the US consume 75% of all electricity and account for 46.7% of the greenhouse gases emitted. Enacting energy efficiency standards for public buildings and/or public housing is an excellent opportunity to save money on energy bills while protecting the environment and serving as an example to the broader community.

    Data source: US Energy Information Administration (2011) via Architecture 2013.

    Read more...

  • Form-Based Code

    Form Based Codes (FBCs) or zoning is a method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form. Form Based Zoning regulates the design of buildings and other aspects of urban development. Its application regulates development to address challenges and achieve specific community goals.

    Read more...

  • Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHPs)

    Geothermal heat pumps use the Earth's relatively constant temperatures for indoor heating and cooling. Only a few feet below the surface, temperatures stay relatively consistent and do not fluctuate. This means that during the summer the pumps cool your house and in the winter they heat it. Geothermal energy is an example of renewable energy and is also an energy efficient solution. A home energy audit can help you identify other energy efficient technologies, including passive solar (another solution that draws from the Earth's natural heating).

    Read more...

  • Green Roofs

    A green roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation growth. Green roofs absorb rainwater, provide insulation, provide a living space for insects and birds, and help to mitigate the heat island effect. In addition, green roofs reduce energy costs and can enhance the quality of life for residents nearby.

    Read more...

  • Green Teams

    A green team is a group of dedicated individuals who come together to promote, identify, and implement specific solutions to help their organization operate in a more sustainable fashion. Green teams can form within governments, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, schools, or any other organization. Green teams can be started by an interested employee, can be mandated from above, or can be a combination of the two. Green teams are usually comprised of interested individuals who sometimes bring expertise in a specific topic or field but who are interested in civic engagement and sustainability.

    Read more...

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory

    A greenhouse gas inventory is an accounting of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into or removed from the atmosphere over a certain period of time. Local governments use greenhouse gas inventories to create baselines in order to track emission trends. Creating a greenhouse gas inventory is usually the first step a local government takes to reduce emissions. 

    Read more...

  • High Efficiency Vehicles for Municipal Fleets

    Municipal fleets provide important services to citizens and account for a significant chunk of a city or county's operational budget. Powering these fleets is not only a costly endeavor monetarily, they also affect communities air quality. Implementing high efficiency vehicles into a municipal fleet can provide for long term cost savings and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into our air. 

    Read more...

  • Home Energy Audits

    Home energy audits are very important. You should not go about your business without having your doctor give you a physical. And you should not go on living in your home without having an energy audit. According to the Dept of Energy, the average home wastes more than 30% of all the energy coming in to the home.

    A home energy checkup helps owners determine where their house is losing energy and money - and how such problems can be corrected to make the home more energy efficient. A professional technician -- often called an energy auditor -- can give your home a checkup. Items shown here include checking for leaks, examining insulation, inspecting the furnace and ductwork, performing a blower door test and using an infrared camera

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  • Home Improvement Guide

    Home Improvement is the construction, repair, or remodeling of a piece of land or building designated as a residence. Home Improvement Guides allow local municipalities to simply describe which home improvements are encouraged, which are prohibited, and the necessary permits that are required to accomplish improvements. Home Improvement Guides should contain building codes and compliance regulations to help ensure that residents have property installation, construction materials, and meet minimum standards that promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the neighborhood. Overall, city residents should enjoy their renovations while the neighborhood’s ambiance and property values increase.     

    Read more...

  • Low Impact Development (LID)

    Low Impact Development is as simple as trying to develop in a manner that maintains stormwater as close to its original source as possible while also working with natural environmental systems to do so. In general LID uses green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. The fundamental philosophy is that public infrastructure should be designed to treat stormwater as an asset and resource instead of a waste product. Many of the other One STL sustainability tools address LID, such as bioswales, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, rainscaping, green roofs, and impervious concrete.

    Read more...

  • Methane Digesters

    Methane digesters take waste material (old-food, animal and human waste) and extracts methane. The methane can then be used to produce energy. Some methane digesters will turn the manure into animal bedding and other useable products. This tool can be very valuable to dairy farmers.

    Read more...

  • Mixed-Use Zoning

    Mixed-Use Zoning is a specific land-use regulatory tool implemented by units of local government that permits multiple use-types within the same building, district, or corridor. The approach has been used successfully for years in urban settlement design. However, contemporary efforts are in response to 20th Century Euclidean zoning that features a stark separation of uses. Mixed-Use Zoning is an important step for a Mixed-Use Development. Mixed-Use Zoning is one of the many tools that can be used to create dense, unique, and walkable neighborhoods that can spur economic development and provide a sense of "place."

    Read more...

  • Native Landscaping

    Native landscaping is the intentional growing of indigenous plants in their native habitats. As time goes on, plants evolve and adapt to the geography, climate, and hydrology of a region. When non-native plants, also known as invasive plants or exotic species, are introduced to the region, they tend to take over the area and eliminate the native plants. Using native plants in your landscaping eliminates the need for fertilizers and decreases the need for pesticides. Native landscaping is better for the environment and is more cost efficient than exotic species.

    Read more...

  • Parking Requirements: Reducing Minimums & Improving Management

    Required parking is a very common feature in most urban and suburban cities in the United States.  Most municipal zoning codes have minimum off-street parking requirements, based on the size of an office, restaurant, or retail space. There are many unintended consequences related to requiring too much parking, both economically and environmentally, and this case has been made by a large variety of sources. One example is the American Planning Association's planners press book, The High Cost of Free Parking. Creating alternatives to mandatory parking requirements allow municipalities to take into account local community and area-specific variables that creates a customized, more efficient, and more business and environmentally friendly approach to managing parking demand.

    Read more...

  • Passive Solar Energy

    Passive solar minimizes energy use through the strategic design of a structure, including site placement, natural climate and building materials. Unlike other renewable energy sources, where the structure is still technically consuming electricity, passive solar energy harnesses the Sun's natural warmth to supply at least part of its heating and lighting needs. By using certain materials and designs to capture heat and light from south-facing windows, buildings can reduce their energy consumption.

    Read more...

  • Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs)

    Reducing VMTs can be accomplished by implementing other tools in the OneSTL Toolkit. These tools include: bicycle and pedestrian programs, carpooling and rideshare programs, complete streets, great streets and transit-oriented development. Below are other methods for reducing VMTs. The US national average VMT has declined in recent years, but traffic emissions continue to affect the environment and public health. Reducing VMTs has the potential to improve regional air quality and shift travel to other transportation options that can promote physical activity and spur economic development.

    Read more...

  • Rehabilitation Subcodes

    Building codes are essential in order to guarantee the safety of new buildings. These codes are often applied to the rehabilitation of old buildings, as well, and they are not always a perfect fit. Rehabilitation subcodes, which are also called Smart Codes, were first developed in the late 1990s and aim to establish modern, up-to-date codes that address the repair, alteration, addition or change of occupancy in existing buildings.

    Read more...

  • Renewable Energy for Homes

    Many individuals are familiar with renewable energy as part of large-scale public policy discussions about electricity in the United States. But renewable energy can be a very local solution too - including for your very own home. Simply, your home relies on the power you buy from your electric utility, however, you can tap into many sustainable, naturally renewable solutions such as solar energy and wind power yourself. Not only do these solutions save you money off your power bill they also reduce pollution and negative impacts on human health.

    Read more...

  • Riparian Buffers

    Riparian buffers are simply protected corridors along rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of water that prohibit urbanized development. These buffers protect the environment by preventing erosion and pollution of a natural body of water. Riparian buffers also play a vital role in floodplain management and water runoff containment.

    Read more...

  • Solar Panels

    Solar panels generate electricity using the nearly limitless supply of energy from the sun. Panels can be installed in large arrays or on rooftops/walls of homes and buildings. Solar panels have become more affordable as prices are reduced and more incentives are put in place to make the purchase of solar panels a cost effective venture.

    Read more...

  • STAR Communities Rating System

    STAR Communities is a national organization the goal of which is to help “cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts.” Similar to OneSTL STAR Communities provides a framework and a set of tools for governments to become more sustainable. The STAR Community Rating System is an objective rating system for communities to gauge their progress.

    Read more...

  • Street Trees

    Street trees are trees planted along the side of streets. Benefits include reduction in the heat island affect, improved property values, increase in shaded area and safer transit. In recent years cities have enacted laws requiring street trees and establishing other provisions.

    Read more...

  • Tobacco Free Housing

    Millions of Americans live in subsidized housing. Many of these residents are children, elderly, or disabled. Tobacco Free Housing policies forbid smoking within and near subsidized housing units and are becoming increasingly popular. Health and wellness and economic advantages are main determinants for the implementation of such policies.

    Read more...

  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

    Transit Oriented Development (TOD) refers to mixed-use development near rail transit stops. The communities are designed to be walkable and sustainable, thus allowing residents to live, work and play and be able to walk safely to the closest rail system. TOD communities are vital to OneSTL, because they allow residents to have a higher quality life while being sustainable. A brief summary and in depth report of plans for 8 stations in the region is available under Resources -> Reports -> Transit Oriented Development.

    Read more...

  • Tree Maintenance and Preservation

    Tree maintenance and preservation are a collection of activities aimed at prolonging the life of trees and bushes. While planting trees is the more popular activity, maintaining and protecting trees is just as important, if not more important in the grand scheme of things. Protecting mature trees during development will provide environmental benefits and increase the value of the developed land.

    Read more...

  • Urban Agriculture

    Urban agriculture is an innovative method of growing food crops and raising animals to cultivate locally produced fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat. The product of these farms is meant to be sold to others. If you want information on how to grow produce for your own consumption, please see our Community Gardens page 

    Read more...

  • Urban and Community Forestry Management

    Urban and Community Forestry is the planning and management of a community's forest resources to enhance the citizens' quality of life. The process integrates the economic, environmental, political, and social values of the community to develop a comprehensive management plan for the urban or community forest. Urban and community forests could be developed in almost any community.

    Read more...

Housing

  • Accessory Dwelling Units

    An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an additional living space on a single-family lot with kitchen and bathroom facilities, either attached or detached from existing housing, to increase the affordability of housing with little or no impact on the neighborhood. An ADU is not a separate property; it has the same owner as the primary dwelling. ADUs can assist homeowners by offering a chance for extra income, can offset property taxes, and can offset the cost of home maintenance and repair.

    Read more...

  • Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

    Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing works actively towards the implementation of the Fair Housing Act, and  promotes fair housing choice that is accessible to all people. The Fair Housing Act requires HUD to take affirmative action to promote racial integration, and in turn, local governments that receive federal funds must have plans that address fair housing. The St. Louis Regional Fair Housing Equity Assessment  is available in this website.

    Read more...

  • Building and Energy Codes

    The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is a standard that, when adopted into law, requires all building types undergoing construction and alteration to be built in such a way that they do not waste energy used for heating, cooling, and lighting. At the same time these construction practices provide more comfortable, less drafty buildings that reduce energy use and energy bills.

    Read more...

  • Climate Action Plan

    A Climate Action Plan identifies the strategies an organization plans to implement to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While the instructions in this BMP are tailored to local governments, any organization (including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and universities) can complete a Climate Action Plan.

    Read more...

  • Cohousing

    A cohousing community is a type of planned community in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhood. The community is planned, owned, and managed by the residents. The residents usually own their own home, but share ownership of the land and common facilities and areas. A cohousing community usually features a central corridor or pathway with the front of the homes facing inward and the parking restricted to behind the houses and a central house which is used for community gatherings and functions.

    Read more...

  • Connectivity Indexes (Transportation Network Design)

    Connectivity Indexes address a community's transportation network connectivity, most commonly streets and sidewalks. A connectivity index is simply a unit of measurement - a metric. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess a specific piece (connectivity) of a larger complete streets design. There are multiple methods to measure street connectivity but the most commonly accepted model is the "Links & Nodes" calculation. This analysis ultimately addresses traffic congestion and travel patterns in a community.

    From a more pro-active stance, this urban design approach can be promoted by city or county legislation and development codes. One such approach is establishing maximum block lengths in zoning and subdivision codes and ordinances.

    Read more...

  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

    Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design is the physical surroundings that deter criminal activity and keep neighborhoods safer and more enjoyable to live. CPTED promotes security through visibility and social interaction through surveillance, access control, property maintenance, and territorial reinforcement. Law enforcement officers, architects, planners, landscape and interior designers, and residents should be included in the environmental design process to prevent crime and create positive communities.

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  • Density Bonuses

    Density bonuses are a tool offered to developers that allows for increased floor space, taller buildings, or more housing units than the traditional zoning code permits, in exchange for contributing to the community's vision by providing a defined public benefit. The public benefit can range from affordable housing units to senior care facilities to energy conservation features to maximizing the use of public transit to providing open spaces and recreation facilities. Those priorities and policy decisions are made by the local government and based on the community's goals.

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  • Employer Assisted Housing

    Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) programs allow employers to help their employees purchase homes or find affordable rental housing near work. Some employers may build new housing near the job site as part of an EAH program, although aid is typically given in the form of homeownership education/counseling, forgivable or low-interest loans, credit repair, and mortgage assistance. EAH supports job growth by recruiting and retaining skilled employees. EAH helps to attract public and private investment within their communities through housing and jobs.

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  • Energy Efficiency

    "Energy Efficiency is the Key" - Amory Lovins(RMI). In looking at the complex issues of air pollution, water pollution, climate change, and national security, Amory Lovins posited many years ago that the cheapest, most efficient, and least risky solution to those and other problems was Energy Efficiency. A major amount of energy is wasted by our society, and that can be addessed directly.

    Investing in improved energy efficiency is a good way for local governments to save money. 

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  • Energy Efficiency Requirements For Public Buildings or Public Housing

    Buildings are responsible for nearly half of the energy used (48.7%) in the United States – more than both the transportation and industry sectors. Of this 48.7%, the majority (43.1%) comes from building operations, while building construction & materials is responsible for the remainder (5.6%). Additionally, buildings in the US consume 75% of all electricity and account for 46.7% of the greenhouse gases emitted. Enacting energy efficiency standards for public buildings and/or public housing is an excellent opportunity to save money on energy bills while protecting the environment and serving as an example to the broader community.

    Data source: US Energy Information Administration (2011) via Architecture 2013.

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  • Fair Housing Testing

    Fair Housing Testing is an investigative tool to identify potential discrimination. Testing can be conducted in rental, sales, and mortgage markets. Local governments can work with qualified fair housing organizations to conduct testing in their jurisdiction. This tool helps enforce the Fair Housing Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.

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  • Foreclosure Mediation

    Foreclosure mediation is a process by which neutral third parties (the “mediator”) work with homeowners and lenders to determine whether foreclosure of owner-occupied residences can be prevented by new agreements such as loan modifications, repayment plans, short sales, or deeds-in-lieu-of-foreclosure. 

     

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  • Form-Based Code

    Form Based Codes (FBCs) or zoning is a method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form. Form Based Zoning regulates the design of buildings and other aspects of urban development. Its application regulates development to address challenges and achieve specific community goals.

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  • Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHPs)

    Geothermal heat pumps use the Earth's relatively constant temperatures for indoor heating and cooling. Only a few feet below the surface, temperatures stay relatively consistent and do not fluctuate. This means that during the summer the pumps cool your house and in the winter they heat it. Geothermal energy is an example of renewable energy and is also an energy efficient solution. A home energy audit can help you identify other energy efficient technologies, including passive solar (another solution that draws from the Earth's natural heating).

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  • Green Roofs

    A green roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation growth. Green roofs absorb rainwater, provide insulation, provide a living space for insects and birds, and help to mitigate the heat island effect. In addition, green roofs reduce energy costs and can enhance the quality of life for residents nearby.

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  • Green Teams

    A green team is a group of dedicated individuals who come together to promote, identify, and implement specific solutions to help their organization operate in a more sustainable fashion. Green teams can form within governments, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, schools, or any other organization. Green teams can be started by an interested employee, can be mandated from above, or can be a combination of the two. Green teams are usually comprised of interested individuals who sometimes bring expertise in a specific topic or field but who are interested in civic engagement and sustainability.

    Read more...

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory

    A greenhouse gas inventory is an accounting of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into or removed from the atmosphere over a certain period of time. Local governments use greenhouse gas inventories to create baselines in order to track emission trends. Creating a greenhouse gas inventory is usually the first step a local government takes to reduce emissions. 

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  • Home Energy Audits

    Home energy audits are very important. You should not go about your business without having your doctor give you a physical. And you should not go on living in your home without having an energy audit. According to the Dept of Energy, the average home wastes more than 30% of all the energy coming in to the home.

    A home energy checkup helps owners determine where their house is losing energy and money - and how such problems can be corrected to make the home more energy efficient. A professional technician -- often called an energy auditor -- can give your home a checkup. Items shown here include checking for leaks, examining insulation, inspecting the furnace and ductwork, performing a blower door test and using an infrared camera

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  • Home Improvement Guide

    Home Improvement is the construction, repair, or remodeling of a piece of land or building designated as a residence. Home Improvement Guides allow local municipalities to simply describe which home improvements are encouraged, which are prohibited, and the necessary permits that are required to accomplish improvements. Home Improvement Guides should contain building codes and compliance regulations to help ensure that residents have property installation, construction materials, and meet minimum standards that promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the neighborhood. Overall, city residents should enjoy their renovations while the neighborhood’s ambiance and property values increase.     

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  • Home Improvement Loan Program

    A Home Improvement Loan Program provides funds for homeowners to maintain and upgrade their property. Loan programs are usually targeted to low-income homeowners, and are effective at mitigating the downward, self-reinforcing cycle of deteriorating housing stock. Approved repairs or replacement should bring houses up to at least minimum code standards. Homeowners apply for home improvement loans through state and local housing agencies and nonprofit organizations.  

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  • Housing Counseling Centers

    First-time homeowners should understand the benefits and responsibilities of homeownership. Understanding budgeting and credit will lead to better-informed decisions about spending and borrowing. When trying to finance a home, homebuyers should be aware of high-risk loans and how the loan process works. Also knowing the right type of loan for your situation will lead you to make better borrowing choices.

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  • Inclusionary Zoning

    Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) is a tool that requires or encourages developers to make a percentage of housing units in new residential developments available to low-and moderate-income households. In return, developers receive incentives or development rights in the form of density bonuses, zoning variances and/or permits that decrease construction costs. IZ broadens the supply of affordable housing and encourages mixed-income communities.

    Read more...

  • Land Bank

    Land Banks are governmental or nongovernmental non-profit entities that acquires vacant, abandoned or dilapidated properties and then develops or redevelops the property. Land banks force a community to plan for both the short-term and long-term. Often times a properly managed land bank can be the catalyst for further development in a community.

    Read more...

  • Low Impact Development (LID)

    Low Impact Development is as simple as trying to develop in a manner that maintains stormwater as close to its original source as possible while also working with natural environmental systems to do so. In general LID uses green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. The fundamental philosophy is that public infrastructure should be designed to treat stormwater as an asset and resource instead of a waste product. Many of the other One STL sustainability tools address LID, such as bioswales, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, rainscaping, green roofs, and impervious concrete.

    Read more...

  • Low Income Housing Tax Credits

    Low-Income Housing Tax Credits provides a federal tax credit to investors developing affordable housing. Low-Income Housing Tax Credits require developers to set aside a minimum amount of units for low-income residents. Tax credits are applied each year for 10 years to the owner of the development. Many units developed serve very low to extremely low-income residents.

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  • Mixed-Use Zoning

    Mixed-Use Zoning is a specific land-use regulatory tool implemented by units of local government that permits multiple use-types within the same building, district, or corridor. The approach has been used successfully for years in urban settlement design. However, contemporary efforts are in response to 20th Century Euclidean zoning that features a stark separation of uses. Mixed-Use Zoning is an important step for a Mixed-Use Development. Mixed-Use Zoning is one of the many tools that can be used to create dense, unique, and walkable neighborhoods that can spur economic development and provide a sense of "place."

    Read more...

  • Mold Reduction and Removal

    Molds are part of our natural environment. Outdoors, they help break down dead leaves and other organic material. Indoors, however, mold growth should be avoided and prevented. Mold spores that land on a wet or damp spot indoors can begin growing and causing health problems. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and can cause allergic reactions if inhaled or touched. Mold can cause asthma attacks, sneezing, and skin rash. Aside from the health issues, mold can also impact the structural integrity of buildings. 

    Read more...

  • Multigenerational Communities

    Multigenerational planning is a holistic city planning approach that designs community infrastructure and assets which consider how those choices will impact residents across the spectrum of ages. The American Planning Association notes that sometimes certain planning concepts or efforts target specific populations or lifestyles. The reality is that through residential development, zoning, and historic land use patterns, many neighborhoods or suburban communities are designed to cater to a narrow age-segment. In contrast, Multigenerational Communities are places designed to incorporate populations of all ages groups, interacting and living together in one community.

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  • Passive Solar Energy

    Passive solar minimizes energy use through the strategic design of a structure, including site placement, natural climate and building materials. Unlike other renewable energy sources, where the structure is still technically consuming electricity, passive solar energy harnesses the Sun's natural warmth to supply at least part of its heating and lighting needs. By using certain materials and designs to capture heat and light from south-facing windows, buildings can reduce their energy consumption.

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  • Radon Reduction and Removal

    Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is colorless, tasteless and odorless. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon is a bi-product of the breakdown of uranium. Homes and buildings can be tested for radon and they can be designed to reduce exposure to this harmful element.

     

     

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  • Rehabilitation Subcodes

    Building codes are essential in order to guarantee the safety of new buildings. These codes are often applied to the rehabilitation of old buildings, as well, and they are not always a perfect fit. Rehabilitation subcodes, which are also called Smart Codes, were first developed in the late 1990s and aim to establish modern, up-to-date codes that address the repair, alteration, addition or change of occupancy in existing buildings.

    Read more...

  • Renewable Energy for Homes

    Many individuals are familiar with renewable energy as part of large-scale public policy discussions about electricity in the United States. But renewable energy can be a very local solution too - including for your very own home. Simply, your home relies on the power you buy from your electric utility, however, you can tap into many sustainable, naturally renewable solutions such as solar energy and wind power yourself. Not only do these solutions save you money off your power bill they also reduce pollution and negative impacts on human health.

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  • Rental Licensing Program

    Rental Property Licensing Programs allow cities to address property maintenance and safety issues in rental property on a regular basis, which helps protect against the deterioration of housing stock caused by absentee landlords. Rental Licensing Program protects the public heath, safety, and welfare of citizens who occupy rental units by adopting a Rental Dwelling inspection and maintenance program that corrects substandard conditions and maintains a standard for newly constructed and existing Rental Dwellings. Rental Licensing Program is enforced through city or municipal codes.

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  • Section 3 Hiring and Training

    Section 3 is a HUD program aimed at economic development, neighborhood investment, and individual self-sufficiency. Homeownership is the ultimate goal of the Section 3 program. The program provides job skills training, employment and contracts. The Section 3 program is aimed at public housing residents and low income individuals. Simply put, if local governments, private business or non-profits accept HUD-funded work they have a requirement to provide job training and employment to certain public housing residents and low income populations from near.

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  • Social Serve- Affordable Housing

    Social Serve is a non-profit organization that helps find housing for people with special needs, disaster relief, and lower income residents. Landlords can post information about their property on this site. Social Serve's services are free to users.

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  • Source of Income Protection Legislation

    Source of Income (SOI) Protection legislation helps protect people who use government assistant programs from discrimination. Public assistance may include Section 8 Vouchers/Fair Choice Housing Vouchers, Social Security, TANF, and other forms. SOI is not protected under the Fair Housing Act. States and local governments supplement their fair housing laws to include source of income protection. Source of income protection gives those receiving housing assistance the opportunity to live in better and more sustainable housing.

    Read more...

  • STAR Communities Rating System

    STAR Communities is a national organization the goal of which is to help “cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts.” Similar to OneSTL STAR Communities provides a framework and a set of tools for governments to become more sustainable. The STAR Community Rating System is an objective rating system for communities to gauge their progress.

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  • Tobacco Free Housing

    Millions of Americans live in subsidized housing. Many of these residents are children, elderly, or disabled. Tobacco Free Housing policies forbid smoking within and near subsidized housing units and are becoming increasingly popular. Health and wellness and economic advantages are main determinants for the implementation of such policies.

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  • Transfer of Development Rights

    Local governments can enact voluntary transferable development rights programs that allow the private marketplace to assess development feasibility while also preserving areas targeted for conservation. Zoning regulations authorize a certain level of development measured by the three dimensional aspect of the regulations (bulk, height and use). Transfer of development rights (TDR) is a technique for preserving a lower level of development density on one site by transferring unused development rights to another site.

    A local community may prefer to protect certain areas from future growth, such as farmland, environmentally sensitive areas, ground for open space and parkland, historic districts, or residential areas. The primary benefit to the receiving property is being permitted additional density in an already developed area. The benefit to the sending property owner is receiving cash value and/or tax credits for transferring their development rights to another property owner. The community benefits by achieving a public benefit, such as those listed above.

    Read more...

  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

    Transit Oriented Development (TOD) refers to mixed-use development near rail transit stops. The communities are designed to be walkable and sustainable, thus allowing residents to live, work and play and be able to walk safely to the closest rail system. TOD communities are vital to OneSTL, because they allow residents to have a higher quality life while being sustainable. A brief summary and in depth report of plans for 8 stations in the region is available under Resources -> Reports -> Transit Oriented Development.

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  • Universal Design

    Universal Design is a human-centered design process through which products, housing and buildings are developed to be usable by anyone, regardless of age or ability. By making housing/buildings accessible to all is advantageous for everyone regardless of ability, because anyone can find themselves disabled at any point in their lifetime.

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  • Volunteering & Community Service

    Volunteering and community service are important components for community progress. Many programs and everyday events cannot succeed without the help of volunteers. This tool item should help to find service opportunities and help coordinate groups more efficiently. When a person donates their time, they learn the importance of these programs and why they are critical to help another.

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  • Yard Waste Recycling & Management

    If you have a yard, you have yard waste. It is possible to have a well-manicured lawn that is run in a sustainable manner. There are various practices which can make your lawn-care more sustainable including mowing grass with a mulching blade, composting yard waste, using compost for fertilizer, and collecting and storing rain water. The goal is to minimize the amount of lawn maintenance materials that are purchased and/or thrown away.

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Land Use

  • Accessory Dwelling Units

    An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an additional living space on a single-family lot with kitchen and bathroom facilities, either attached or detached from existing housing, to increase the affordability of housing with little or no impact on the neighborhood. An ADU is not a separate property; it has the same owner as the primary dwelling. ADUs can assist homeowners by offering a chance for extra income, can offset property taxes, and can offset the cost of home maintenance and repair.

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  • Brownfield Redevelopment

    EPA website states "Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant." Costs for environmentally hazardous property cleanup may be expensive and even overbearing for property owners. This Brownfield Redevelopment tool item will present residents and communities the instructions to turn those costly unused properties into vibrant community and economic use. Brownfield redevelopment involves people within the community, land parcel owner, developers, and the city/municipality. The EPA and Department of Natural Resources provide the means for properties cleanups.

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  • Climate Action Plan

    A Climate Action Plan identifies the strategies an organization plans to implement to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While the instructions in this BMP are tailored to local governments, any organization (including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and universities) can complete a Climate Action Plan.

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  • Cohousing

    A cohousing community is a type of planned community in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhood. The community is planned, owned, and managed by the residents. The residents usually own their own home, but share ownership of the land and common facilities and areas. A cohousing community usually features a central corridor or pathway with the front of the homes facing inward and the parking restricted to behind the houses and a central house which is used for community gatherings and functions.

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  • Community Gardens

    Community gardening is a group of people growing produce for their own consumption. Sometimes community gardens produce food for a local school or shelter. Community gardens are not the same as urban farms, which are usually larger and produce for purchasing and consumption by others.

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  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)/Food Co-Ops

    Community supported agriculture (CSAs) programs are an economic system of producing and distributing food supplies more locally to the consumers. Most CSAs operate as a partnership between regional farmers and consumers. The customers pay up-front for a subscription service for the weekly delivery of fresh produce. Often times the food is delivered in a single box - recent innovations include customized ordering and more than only produce items. Food cooperatives, or co-ops, are formal partnerships organized for food distribution but owned by their employees and/or customers, rather than by corporations. Most commonly a co-op will own and manage a traditional grocery store but they can also be a "buying club" more similar to CSAs. The goal of either model is very similar - to better connect local consumers with local farmers and food producers. CSAs and Co-ops are related but different than urban agriculture programs, farmer's markets, and local food consumption.

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  • Connectivity Indexes (Transportation Network Design)

    Connectivity Indexes address a community's transportation network connectivity, most commonly streets and sidewalks. A connectivity index is simply a unit of measurement - a metric. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess a specific piece (connectivity) of a larger complete streets design. There are multiple methods to measure street connectivity but the most commonly accepted model is the "Links & Nodes" calculation. This analysis ultimately addresses traffic congestion and travel patterns in a community.

    From a more pro-active stance, this urban design approach can be promoted by city or county legislation and development codes. One such approach is establishing maximum block lengths in zoning and subdivision codes and ordinances.

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  • Conservation Easements

    A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. The easement is a voluntary land-protection tool that is privately or publicly initiated to conserve natural resources or open space on the property. Conservation easements help land owers protect agricultural or undeveloped land, especially when land values are rising rapidly.

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  • Conservation Subdivision Design

    A conservation subdivision is a residential subdivision designed to protect the natural features of a location while maintaining the economic viability of it as a development site.  In their Conservation Subdivision Design Handbook, Heartlands Conservancy compares conservation subdivisions to golf course subdivisions, where homes are oriented around the golf course and residents are guaranteed the existence of that golf course as an amenity.  In a conservation subdivision, the amenities guaranteed and preserved are the natural features of the location such as a stand of trees, a lake, or a creek. 

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  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

    Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design is the physical surroundings that deter criminal activity and keep neighborhoods safer and more enjoyable to live. CPTED promotes security through visibility and social interaction through surveillance, access control, property maintenance, and territorial reinforcement. Law enforcement officers, architects, planners, landscape and interior designers, and residents should be included in the environmental design process to prevent crime and create positive communities.

    Read more...

  • Density Bonuses

    Density bonuses are a tool offered to developers that allows for increased floor space, taller buildings, or more housing units than the traditional zoning code permits, in exchange for contributing to the community's vision by providing a defined public benefit. The public benefit can range from affordable housing units to senior care facilities to energy conservation features to maximizing the use of public transit to providing open spaces and recreation facilities. Those priorities and policy decisions are made by the local government and based on the community's goals.

    Read more...

  • Drought Awareness & Preparedness

    The St. Louis Bi-State Region has a plentiful water supply. Drought awareness and preparation should still be top priorities for people in the region. By managing your water use properly, you ensure more water for others in the region and consquently throughout the Midwest.

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  • Farmland Preservation

    Farmland preservation is a joint effort by local governments and non-governmental organizations to protect and preserve agricultural land. Often a part of regional planning and national historic preservation, farmland preservation includes implementing policies and programs to manage urban growth and encroaching development, prevent conversion of farmland to other uses, and to maintain the ecological integrity and environmental benefits of agricultural lands. 

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  • Form-Based Code

    Form Based Codes (FBCs) or zoning is a method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form. Form Based Zoning regulates the design of buildings and other aspects of urban development. Its application regulates development to address challenges and achieve specific community goals.

    Read more...

  • Great Streets

    The St. Louis Great Streets Initiative was created in early 2006 to expand the use of multi-modal streets, also known as Complete Streets. The goal of the program is to trigger economic and social growth with the aid of lively and attractive multi-modal streets.

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  • Green Teams

    A green team is a group of dedicated individuals who come together to promote, identify, and implement specific solutions to help their organization operate in a more sustainable fashion. Green teams can form within governments, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, schools, or any other organization. Green teams can be started by an interested employee, can be mandated from above, or can be a combination of the two. Green teams are usually comprised of interested individuals who sometimes bring expertise in a specific topic or field but who are interested in civic engagement and sustainability.

    Read more...

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory

    A greenhouse gas inventory is an accounting of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into or removed from the atmosphere over a certain period of time. Local governments use greenhouse gas inventories to create baselines in order to track emission trends. Creating a greenhouse gas inventory is usually the first step a local government takes to reduce emissions. 

    Read more...

  • Greywater Reuse

    Gray water is reusable wastewater from bathroom sinks, bath tub shower drains, and washing machine drains. These are included in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Typically, gray water is reused onsite and it tends to be used for landscape irrigation purposes. If the gray water is to be used for irrigation purposes, the soap and personal care products used in the household must be non-toxic and also low-sodium.

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  • Inclusionary Zoning

    Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) is a tool that requires or encourages developers to make a percentage of housing units in new residential developments available to low-and moderate-income households. In return, developers receive incentives or development rights in the form of density bonuses, zoning variances and/or permits that decrease construction costs. IZ broadens the supply of affordable housing and encourages mixed-income communities.

    Read more...

  • Land Bank

    Land Banks are governmental or nongovernmental non-profit entities that acquires vacant, abandoned or dilapidated properties and then develops or redevelops the property. Land banks force a community to plan for both the short-term and long-term. Often times a properly managed land bank can be the catalyst for further development in a community.

    Read more...

  • Livestock Waste Management (Clinton County)

    A livestock waste management plan specifies how, when and where animal waste will be handled. It is used for systems that store, stabilize, transport or apply animal waste to land. Best management practices are designed to prevent contaminated runoff water from leaving the owner’s property and entering surface or groundwater. Proper manure handling, storage, and disposal ensure that farmers reap the maximum fertilizer value from animal wastes, while reducing risks of groundwater and surface water contamination from improper application of nutrients

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  • Low Impact Development (LID)

    Low Impact Development is as simple as trying to develop in a manner that maintains stormwater as close to its original source as possible while also working with natural environmental systems to do so. In general LID uses green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. The fundamental philosophy is that public infrastructure should be designed to treat stormwater as an asset and resource instead of a waste product. Many of the other One STL sustainability tools address LID, such as bioswales, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, rainscaping, green roofs, and impervious concrete.

    Read more...

  • Mixed-Use Zoning

    Mixed-Use Zoning is a specific land-use regulatory tool implemented by units of local government that permits multiple use-types within the same building, district, or corridor. The approach has been used successfully for years in urban settlement design. However, contemporary efforts are in response to 20th Century Euclidean zoning that features a stark separation of uses. Mixed-Use Zoning is an important step for a Mixed-Use Development. Mixed-Use Zoning is one of the many tools that can be used to create dense, unique, and walkable neighborhoods that can spur economic development and provide a sense of "place."

    Read more...

  • Mold Reduction and Removal

    Molds are part of our natural environment. Outdoors, they help break down dead leaves and other organic material. Indoors, however, mold growth should be avoided and prevented. Mold spores that land on a wet or damp spot indoors can begin growing and causing health problems. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and can cause allergic reactions if inhaled or touched. Mold can cause asthma attacks, sneezing, and skin rash. Aside from the health issues, mold can also impact the structural integrity of buildings. 

    Read more...

  • Native Landscaping

    Native landscaping is the intentional growing of indigenous plants in their native habitats. As time goes on, plants evolve and adapt to the geography, climate, and hydrology of a region. When non-native plants, also known as invasive plants or exotic species, are introduced to the region, they tend to take over the area and eliminate the native plants. Using native plants in your landscaping eliminates the need for fertilizers and decreases the need for pesticides. Native landscaping is better for the environment and is more cost efficient than exotic species.

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  • Parking Requirements: Reducing Minimums & Improving Management

    Required parking is a very common feature in most urban and suburban cities in the United States.  Most municipal zoning codes have minimum off-street parking requirements, based on the size of an office, restaurant, or retail space. There are many unintended consequences related to requiring too much parking, both economically and environmentally, and this case has been made by a large variety of sources. One example is the American Planning Association's planners press book, The High Cost of Free Parking. Creating alternatives to mandatory parking requirements allow municipalities to take into account local community and area-specific variables that creates a customized, more efficient, and more business and environmentally friendly approach to managing parking demand.

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  • Pocket Parks

    Pocket parks, also known as vest-pocket parks, mini parks or parkettes, are small parks. The largest pocket park would be two-acres. These parks are open to the public but they are usually meant for people within the immediate vacinity of the park.

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  • Rain Gardens

    A rain garden is a landscape depression with native deep-rooted plants designed to to slow down, temporarily store, and treat stormwater. While some rain gardens use amended soil, in the homeowner rain garden it is preferable to use the existing soil as long as a percolation test confirms  that it will drain in a 48 hour period.

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  • Rainscaping

    Rainscaping consists of an array of sustainable landscaping practices that a landowner may voluntarily employ to improve rainwater related problems. In addition to rain gardens and bioswales, a diverse landscape that includes trees, shrubs, perennials, mulch, and amended soils intercepts and disperses rain as it falls, instead of allowing it to run off into area streams.

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  • Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs)

    Reducing VMTs can be accomplished by implementing other tools in the OneSTL Toolkit. These tools include: bicycle and pedestrian programs, carpooling and rideshare programs, complete streets, great streets and transit-oriented development. Below are other methods for reducing VMTs. The US national average VMT has declined in recent years, but traffic emissions continue to affect the environment and public health. Reducing VMTs has the potential to improve regional air quality and shift travel to other transportation options that can promote physical activity and spur economic development.

    Read more...

  • Rehabilitation Subcodes

    Building codes are essential in order to guarantee the safety of new buildings. These codes are often applied to the rehabilitation of old buildings, as well, and they are not always a perfect fit. Rehabilitation subcodes, which are also called Smart Codes, were first developed in the late 1990s and aim to establish modern, up-to-date codes that address the repair, alteration, addition or change of occupancy in existing buildings.

    Read more...

  • Riparian Buffers

    Riparian buffers are simply protected corridors along rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of water that prohibit urbanized development. These buffers protect the environment by preventing erosion and pollution of a natural body of water. Riparian buffers also play a vital role in floodplain management and water runoff containment.

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  • Single Stream Recycling

    Single stream recycling refers to a recycling system in which all materials, including paper fibers, plastics, and metals, are mixed within the collection truck. These materials are then handled separately throughout the collection process. Single stream recycling systems are designed in order to handle a mixture of recyclables.

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  • STAR Communities Rating System

    STAR Communities is a national organization the goal of which is to help “cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts.” Similar to OneSTL STAR Communities provides a framework and a set of tools for governments to become more sustainable. The STAR Community Rating System is an objective rating system for communities to gauge their progress.

    Read more...

  • Streamwater and Wetland Mitigation Banking

    Originating in 1996, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began considering the impact on local streams when granting nationwide permits. The focus of the efforts is to restore streams to their natural and original state. Mitigation is measured in "linear feet" of stream banks "created, enhanced or restored".

    Read more...

  • Transfer of Development Rights

    Local governments can enact voluntary transferable development rights programs that allow the private marketplace to assess development feasibility while also preserving areas targeted for conservation. Zoning regulations authorize a certain level of development measured by the three dimensional aspect of the regulations (bulk, height and use). Transfer of development rights (TDR) is a technique for preserving a lower level of development density on one site by transferring unused development rights to another site.

    A local community may prefer to protect certain areas from future growth, such as farmland, environmentally sensitive areas, ground for open space and parkland, historic districts, or residential areas. The primary benefit to the receiving property is being permitted additional density in an already developed area. The benefit to the sending property owner is receiving cash value and/or tax credits for transferring their development rights to another property owner. The community benefits by achieving a public benefit, such as those listed above.

    Read more...

  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

    Transit Oriented Development (TOD) refers to mixed-use development near rail transit stops. The communities are designed to be walkable and sustainable, thus allowing residents to live, work and play and be able to walk safely to the closest rail system. TOD communities are vital to OneSTL, because they allow residents to have a higher quality life while being sustainable. A brief summary and in depth report of plans for 8 stations in the region is available under Resources -> Reports -> Transit Oriented Development.

    Read more...

  • Tree Maintenance and Preservation

    Tree maintenance and preservation are a collection of activities aimed at prolonging the life of trees and bushes. While planting trees is the more popular activity, maintaining and protecting trees is just as important, if not more important in the grand scheme of things. Protecting mature trees during development will provide environmental benefits and increase the value of the developed land.

    Read more...

  • Urban Agriculture

    Urban agriculture is an innovative method of growing food crops and raising animals to cultivate locally produced fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat. The product of these farms is meant to be sold to others. If you want information on how to grow produce for your own consumption, please see our Community Gardens page 

    Read more...

  • Urban and Community Forestry Management

    Urban and Community Forestry is the planning and management of a community's forest resources to enhance the citizens' quality of life. The process integrates the economic, environmental, political, and social values of the community to develop a comprehensive management plan for the urban or community forest. Urban and community forests could be developed in almost any community.

    Read more...

  • Watershed Planning

    A watershed is the area of land surrounding a body of water that contributes run off to it. The goal of watershed planning is to ensure that development within a watershed does not drastically alter the runoff to the body of water. Effective watershed planning protects the water supply, minimizes erosion and minimizes the environmental impact of development. Watershed planning can considerably reduce a community's environmental impact and improve water quality.

    Read more...

  • Wetland Preservation

    A wetland is a natural community characterized by soils that developed in saturated conditions and support a diversity of water tolerant plants. The array of species is a function of the seasonal pulse disturbances, such as spring flooding, that occur in that wetland.

    There are several types of wetlands including not only marshes and swamps but also oxbow lakes, sloughs, and bottomland forests.

    Wetlands serve several ecological functions such as:

    • water storage which helps to reduce flood heights and reduce risks of property damage and loss of life
    • water filtration by reducing the level of contaminants such as agricultural nutrients from the water

    However, it is important to note than wetlands must be in a healthy state to perform these function effectively. Unrestricted use of wetlands as depositories of point and non-point pollution (such as urban stormwater) can compromise their functionality. Thus in order to realize the multiple benefits of wetlands, effective management practices are required to ensure the health of the wetland ecosystem.

    Read more...

  • Wildlife Corridor

    One solution to address the negative effects of natural habitat fragmentation for wildlife populations is the creation of wildlife corridors within urban areas. A critical problem associated with the loss of inter-connected habitats is the loss of population migrations, which leads to inbreeding and a loss of biodiversity. Another issue is human/animal collisions which results in a considerable lost of life. A Wildlife Cooridor alleviates these problems by connecting existing habitats, which aids in animal migration and the protection of wild animals and humans alike.

    Read more...

Local Food/Urban Agriculture

  • Community Gardens

    Community gardening is a group of people growing produce for their own consumption. Sometimes community gardens produce food for a local school or shelter. Community gardens are not the same as urban farms, which are usually larger and produce for purchasing and consumption by others.

    Read more...

  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)/Food Co-Ops

    Community supported agriculture (CSAs) programs are an economic system of producing and distributing food supplies more locally to the consumers. Most CSAs operate as a partnership between regional farmers and consumers. The customers pay up-front for a subscription service for the weekly delivery of fresh produce. Often times the food is delivered in a single box - recent innovations include customized ordering and more than only produce items. Food cooperatives, or co-ops, are formal partnerships organized for food distribution but owned by their employees and/or customers, rather than by corporations. Most commonly a co-op will own and manage a traditional grocery store but they can also be a "buying club" more similar to CSAs. The goal of either model is very similar - to better connect local consumers with local farmers and food producers. CSAs and Co-ops are related but different than urban agriculture programs, farmer's markets, and local food consumption.

    Read more...

  • Composting

    Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Compost can be used to enrich flower and vegetable gardens, to improve the soil around trees and shrubs, and as a soil amendment. Compost can be made from yard waste, fruit and vegetable waste, etc. It's easy to compost - as the saying goes "compost happens"!

    Read more...

  • Farmers Markets

    Farmers Markets serve many functions: they provide access to healthy foods, stimulate the local economy, support local agriculture, and create vibrant community gathering spots. Farmers markets are gaining popularity across the nation – the USDA reported a 9.6% increase in markets from 2011-2012.

    Read more...

  • Farmland Preservation

    Farmland preservation is a joint effort by local governments and non-governmental organizations to protect and preserve agricultural land. Often a part of regional planning and national historic preservation, farmland preservation includes implementing policies and programs to manage urban growth and encroaching development, prevent conversion of farmland to other uses, and to maintain the ecological integrity and environmental benefits of agricultural lands. 

    Read more...

  • Green Teams

    A green team is a group of dedicated individuals who come together to promote, identify, and implement specific solutions to help their organization operate in a more sustainable fashion. Green teams can form within governments, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, schools, or any other organization. Green teams can be started by an interested employee, can be mandated from above, or can be a combination of the two. Green teams are usually comprised of interested individuals who sometimes bring expertise in a specific topic or field but who are interested in civic engagement and sustainability.

    Read more...

  • Local Food for Public Institutions

    Sustainable and locally grown foods provide institutions such as hospital, schools, and corporations with healthy alternatives. Institutions are normally located within a close proximity to its local food system, reducing travel costs and greenhouse gases. Local Food Systems also coordinate with public institutions to supply products for cafeterias, farmers’ markets, local gardens, and community supported agriculture programs.

    Read more...

  • Low Impact Development (LID)

    Low Impact Development is as simple as trying to develop in a manner that maintains stormwater as close to its original source as possible while also working with natural environmental systems to do so. In general LID uses green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. The fundamental philosophy is that public infrastructure should be designed to treat stormwater as an asset and resource instead of a waste product. Many of the other One STL sustainability tools address LID, such as bioswales, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, rainscaping, green roofs, and impervious concrete.

    Read more...

  • Ozone Garden

    Ozone gardens are comprised of ozone sensitive plants such as the common milkweed or snap beans. During the growing season, these plants will show obvious signs of damage from elevated levels of ozone. High concentrations of ozone are toxic to animal and plant life especially on very hot days. Building an ozone garden provides a clear demonstration of negative impacts of ozone. There are also websites for you to post pictures and information about your garden, thus contributing to scientific research.

    Read more...

  • STAR Communities Rating System

    STAR Communities is a national organization the goal of which is to help “cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts.” Similar to OneSTL STAR Communities provides a framework and a set of tools for governments to become more sustainable. The STAR Community Rating System is an objective rating system for communities to gauge their progress.

    Read more...

  • Transfer of Development Rights

    Local governments can enact voluntary transferable development rights programs that allow the private marketplace to assess development feasibility while also preserving areas targeted for conservation. Zoning regulations authorize a certain level of development measured by the three dimensional aspect of the regulations (bulk, height and use). Transfer of development rights (TDR) is a technique for preserving a lower level of development density on one site by transferring unused development rights to another site.

    A local community may prefer to protect certain areas from future growth, such as farmland, environmentally sensitive areas, ground for open space and parkland, historic districts, or residential areas. The primary benefit to the receiving property is being permitted additional density in an already developed area. The benefit to the sending property owner is receiving cash value and/or tax credits for transferring their development rights to another property owner. The community benefits by achieving a public benefit, such as those listed above.

    Read more...

  • Urban Agriculture

    Urban agriculture is an innovative method of growing food crops and raising animals to cultivate locally produced fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat. The product of these farms is meant to be sold to others. If you want information on how to grow produce for your own consumption, please see our Community Gardens page 

    Read more...

  • Watershed Planning

    A watershed is the area of land surrounding a body of water that contributes run off to it. The goal of watershed planning is to ensure that development within a watershed does not drastically alter the runoff to the body of water. Effective watershed planning protects the water supply, minimizes erosion and minimizes the environmental impact of development. Watershed planning can considerably reduce a community's environmental impact and improve water quality.

    Read more...

Native Plants/Trees

  • Community Gardens

    Community gardening is a group of people growing produce for their own consumption. Sometimes community gardens produce food for a local school or shelter. Community gardens are not the same as urban farms, which are usually larger and produce for purchasing and consumption by others.

    Read more...

  • Density Bonuses

    Density bonuses are a tool offered to developers that allows for increased floor space, taller buildings, or more housing units than the traditional zoning code permits, in exchange for contributing to the community's vision by providing a defined public benefit. The public benefit can range from affordable housing units to senior care facilities to energy conservation features to maximizing the use of public transit to providing open spaces and recreation facilities. Those priorities and policy decisions are made by the local government and based on the community's goals.

    Read more...

  • Farmland Preservation

    Farmland preservation is a joint effort by local governments and non-governmental organizations to protect and preserve agricultural land. Often a part of regional planning and national historic preservation, farmland preservation includes implementing policies and programs to manage urban growth and encroaching development, prevent conversion of farmland to other uses, and to maintain the ecological integrity and environmental benefits of agricultural lands. 

    Read more...

  • Green Teams

    A green team is a group of dedicated individuals who come together to promote, identify, and implement specific solutions to help their organization operate in a more sustainable fashion. Green teams can form within governments, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, schools, or any other organization. Green teams can be started by an interested employee, can be mandated from above, or can be a combination of the two. Green teams are usually comprised of interested individuals who sometimes bring expertise in a specific topic or field but who are interested in civic engagement and sustainability.

    Read more...

  • Local Food for Public Institutions

    Sustainable and locally grown foods provide institutions such as hospital, schools, and corporations with healthy alternatives. Institutions are normally located within a close proximity to its local food system, reducing travel costs and greenhouse gases. Local Food Systems also coordinate with public institutions to supply products for cafeterias, farmers’ markets, local gardens, and community supported agriculture programs.

    Read more...

  • Low Impact Development (LID)

    Low Impact Development is as simple as trying to develop in a manner that maintains stormwater as close to its original source as possible while also working with natural environmental systems to do so. In general LID uses green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. The fundamental philosophy is that public infrastructure should be designed to treat stormwater as an asset and resource instead of a waste product. Many of the other One STL sustainability tools address LID, such as bioswales, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, rainscaping, green roofs, and impervious concrete.

    Read more...

  • Native Landscaping

    Native landscaping is the intentional growing of indigenous plants in their native habitats. As time goes on, plants evolve and adapt to the geography, climate, and hydrology of a region. When non-native plants, also known as invasive plants or exotic species, are introduced to the region, they tend to take over the area and eliminate the native plants. Using native plants in your landscaping eliminates the need for fertilizers and decreases the need for pesticides. Native landscaping is better for the environment and is more cost efficient than exotic species.

    Read more...

  • Ozone Garden

    Ozone gardens are comprised of ozone sensitive plants such as the common milkweed or snap beans. During the growing season, these plants will show obvious signs of damage from elevated levels of ozone. High concentrations of ozone are toxic to animal and plant life especially on very hot days. Building an ozone garden provides a clear demonstration of negative impacts of ozone. There are also websites for you to post pictures and information about your garden, thus contributing to scientific research.

    Read more...

  • Rain Gardens

    A rain garden is a landscape depression with native deep-rooted plants designed to to slow down, temporarily store, and treat stormwater. While some rain gardens use amended soil, in the homeowner rain garden it is preferable to use the existing soil as long as a percolation test confirms  that it will drain in a 48 hour period.

    Read more...

  • Rainscaping

    Rainscaping consists of an array of sustainable landscaping practices that a landowner may voluntarily employ to improve rainwater related problems. In addition to rain gardens and bioswales, a diverse landscape that includes trees, shrubs, perennials, mulch, and amended soils intercepts and disperses rain as it falls, instead of allowing it to run off into area streams.

    Read more...

  • Retention/Detention Ponds

    Retention or detention ponds are designed to help control stormwater runoff and improve water quality by collecting water and allowing the excess water to slowly drain. Retention ponds (aka wet ponds) retain a certain amount of water in the pond at all times. Detention ponds (aka dry ponds) drain all of their water usually within 72-hours. Both types of ponds can be effective tools in watershed planning and floodplain management.

    Read more...

  • Riparian Buffers

    Riparian buffers are simply protected corridors along rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of water that prohibit urbanized development. These buffers protect the environment by preventing erosion and pollution of a natural body of water. Riparian buffers also play a vital role in floodplain management and water runoff containment.

    Read more...

  • STAR Communities Rating System

    STAR Communities is a national organization the goal of which is to help “cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts.” Similar to OneSTL STAR Communities provides a framework and a set of tools for governments to become more sustainable. The STAR Community Rating System is an objective rating system for communities to gauge their progress.

    Read more...

  • Street Trees

    Street trees are trees planted along the side of streets. Benefits include reduction in the heat island affect, improved property values, increase in shaded area and safer transit. In recent years cities have enacted laws requiring street trees and establishing other provisions.

    Read more...

  • Transfer of Development Rights

    Local governments can enact voluntary transferable development rights programs that allow the private marketplace to assess development feasibility while also preserving areas targeted for conservation. Zoning regulations authorize a certain level of development measured by the three dimensional aspect of the regulations (bulk, height and use). Transfer of development rights (TDR) is a technique for preserving a lower level of development density on one site by transferring unused development rights to another site.

    A local community may prefer to protect certain areas from future growth, such as farmland, environmentally sensitive areas, ground for open space and parkland, historic districts, or residential areas. The primary benefit to the receiving property is being permitted additional density in an already developed area. The benefit to the sending property owner is receiving cash value and/or tax credits for transferring their development rights to another property owner. The community benefits by achieving a public benefit, such as those listed above.

    Read more...

  • Urban Agriculture

    Urban agriculture is an innovative method of growing food crops and raising animals to cultivate locally produced fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat. The product of these farms is meant to be sold to others. If you want information on how to grow produce for your own consumption, please see our Community Gardens page 

    Read more...

  • Wetland Preservation

    A wetland is a natural community characterized by soils that developed in saturated conditions and support a diversity of water tolerant plants. The array of species is a function of the seasonal pulse disturbances, such as spring flooding, that occur in that wetland.

    There are several types of wetlands including not only marshes and swamps but also oxbow lakes, sloughs, and bottomland forests.

    Wetlands serve several ecological functions such as:

    • water storage which helps to reduce flood heights and reduce risks of property damage and loss of life
    • water filtration by reducing the level of contaminants such as agricultural nutrients from the water

    However, it is important to note than wetlands must be in a healthy state to perform these function effectively. Unrestricted use of wetlands as depositories of point and non-point pollution (such as urban stormwater) can compromise their functionality. Thus in order to realize the multiple benefits of wetlands, effective management practices are required to ensure the health of the wetland ecosystem.

    Read more...

  • Wildlife Corridor

    One solution to address the negative effects of natural habitat fragmentation for wildlife populations is the creation of wildlife corridors within urban areas. A critical problem associated with the loss of inter-connected habitats is the loss of population migrations, which leads to inbreeding and a loss of biodiversity. Another issue is human/animal collisions which results in a considerable lost of life. A Wildlife Cooridor alleviates these problems by connecting existing habitats, which aids in animal migration and the protection of wild animals and humans alike.

    Read more...

  • Yard Waste Recycling & Management

    If you have a yard, you have yard waste. It is possible to have a well-manicured lawn that is run in a sustainable manner. There are various practices which can make your lawn-care more sustainable including mowing grass with a mulching blade, composting yard waste, using compost for fertilizer, and collecting and storing rain water. The goal is to minimize the amount of lawn maintenance materials that are purchased and/or thrown away.

    Read more...

Resource Management

  • Building and Energy Codes

    The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is a standard that, when adopted into law, requires all building types undergoing construction and alteration to be built in such a way that they do not waste energy used for heating, cooling, and lighting. At the same time these construction practices provide more comfortable, less drafty buildings that reduce energy use and energy bills.

    Read more...

  • Climate Action Plan

    A Climate Action Plan identifies the strategies an organization plans to implement to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While the instructions in this BMP are tailored to local governments, any organization (including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and universities) can complete a Climate Action Plan.

    Read more...

  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

    Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) train members of neighborhoods and organizations such as schools or workplaces, to become better prepared in the case of a emergency situation such as a flood, tornado, earthquake, fire or other hazardous events. CERT members often are the first responders to major disaster situations, especially when medical and emergency staff cannot immediately come to the rescue. In the event of a crisis, CERT triage and treat victims, set up medical treatment areas, are psychologically alert, and can save lives.

    Read more...

  • Composting

    Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Compost can be used to enrich flower and vegetable gardens, to improve the soil around trees and shrubs, and as a soil amendment. Compost can be made from yard waste, fruit and vegetable waste, etc. It's easy to compost - as the saying goes "compost happens"!

    Read more...

  • Density Bonuses

    Density bonuses are a tool offered to developers that allows for increased floor space, taller buildings, or more housing units than the traditional zoning code permits, in exchange for contributing to the community's vision by providing a defined public benefit. The public benefit can range from affordable housing units to senior care facilities to energy conservation features to maximizing the use of public transit to providing open spaces and recreation facilities. Those priorities and policy decisions are made by the local government and based on the community's goals.

    Read more...

  • Drought Awareness & Preparedness

    The St. Louis Bi-State Region has a plentiful water supply. Drought awareness and preparation should still be top priorities for people in the region. By managing your water use properly, you ensure more water for others in the region and consquently throughout the Midwest.

    Read more...

  • Electronics Recycling

    Unlike traditional recyclable items - plastic bottles, cardboard, and paper, for example - electronis require special consideration when recycled. Computers, cell phones, and televisions contain toxic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury and should not be disposed of in a landfill. Recycling electronics reduces pollution, because new materials are not created, and allows for the reuse of undamaged parts of discarded items.

    Read more...

  • Energy Efficiency Requirements For Public Buildings or Public Housing

    Buildings are responsible for nearly half of the energy used (48.7%) in the United States – more than both the transportation and industry sectors. Of this 48.7%, the majority (43.1%) comes from building operations, while building construction & materials is responsible for the remainder (5.6%). Additionally, buildings in the US consume 75% of all electricity and account for 46.7% of the greenhouse gases emitted. Enacting energy efficiency standards for public buildings and/or public housing is an excellent opportunity to save money on energy bills while protecting the environment and serving as an example to the broader community.

    Data source: US Energy Information Administration (2011) via Architecture 2013.

    Read more...

  • Farmland Preservation

    Farmland preservation is a joint effort by local governments and non-governmental organizations to protect and preserve agricultural land. Often a part of regional planning and national historic preservation, farmland preservation includes implementing policies and programs to manage urban growth and encroaching development, prevent conversion of farmland to other uses, and to maintain the ecological integrity and environmental benefits of agricultural lands. 

    Read more...

  • Floodplain Management Solutions

    Local governments can go about floodplain management through two mechanisms: structural and nonstructural solutions. Structural solutions include development of levees and dams. Nonstructural solutions include land use regulations and building codes. Overtime, nonstructural solutions have become favorable to structural ones. Both solutions help a community protect itself against flooding.

    This tool can help guide cities as they work to become a part of the National Foodplain Insurance Program or the Community Rating System.

    Read more...

  • Food Waste Recovery

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste accounts for about 21 percent of all waste going into municipal landfills. Reducing food waste saves money, which is good for consumers, and reduces methane emissions, which is good for the environment. Much of the food waste can be composted, which is also good for the environment. Finally, Donating surplus food to those in need helps our communities and keeps the unused items out of landfills. 

    Read more...

  • Green Teams

    A green team is a group of dedicated individuals who come together to promote, identify, and implement specific solutions to help their organization operate in a more sustainable fashion. Green teams can form within governments, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, schools, or any other organization. Green teams can be started by an interested employee, can be mandated from above, or can be a combination of the two. Green teams are usually comprised of interested individuals who sometimes bring expertise in a specific topic or field but who are interested in civic engagement and sustainability.

    Read more...

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory

    A greenhouse gas inventory is an accounting of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into or removed from the atmosphere over a certain period of time. Local governments use greenhouse gas inventories to create baselines in order to track emission trends. Creating a greenhouse gas inventory is usually the first step a local government takes to reduce emissions. 

    Read more...

  • Greywater Reuse

    Gray water is reusable wastewater from bathroom sinks, bath tub shower drains, and washing machine drains. These are included in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Typically, gray water is reused onsite and it tends to be used for landscape irrigation purposes. If the gray water is to be used for irrigation purposes, the soap and personal care products used in the household must be non-toxic and also low-sodium.

    Read more...

  • High Efficiency Vehicles for Municipal Fleets

    Municipal fleets provide important services to citizens and account for a significant chunk of a city or county's operational budget. Powering these fleets is not only a costly endeavor monetarily, they also affect communities air quality. Implementing high efficiency vehicles into a municipal fleet can provide for long term cost savings and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into our air. 

    Read more...

  • Home Improvement Loan Program

    A Home Improvement Loan Program provides funds for homeowners to maintain and upgrade their property. Loan programs are usually targeted to low-income homeowners, and are effective at mitigating the downward, self-reinforcing cycle of deteriorating housing stock. Approved repairs or replacement should bring houses up to at least minimum code standards. Homeowners apply for home improvement loans through state and local housing agencies and nonprofit organizations.  

    Read more...

  • Low Flow Water Technology

    Low-flow water technology consists of technologies that reduce water consumption and use in the facilities in which they are installed. Replacing current appliances and facilities with low-flow versions can drastically reduce water consumption and also the costs associated with water use.

    Read more...

  • Low Impact Development (LID)

    Low Impact Development is as simple as trying to develop in a manner that maintains stormwater as close to its original source as possible while also working with natural environmental systems to do so. In general LID uses green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. The fundamental philosophy is that public infrastructure should be designed to treat stormwater as an asset and resource instead of a waste product. Many of the other One STL sustainability tools address LID, such as bioswales, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, rainscaping, green roofs, and impervious concrete.

    Read more...

  • Mixed-Use Zoning

    Mixed-Use Zoning is a specific land-use regulatory tool implemented by units of local government that permits multiple use-types within the same building, district, or corridor. The approach has been used successfully for years in urban settlement design. However, contemporary efforts are in response to 20th Century Euclidean zoning that features a stark separation of uses. Mixed-Use Zoning is an important step for a Mixed-Use Development. Mixed-Use Zoning is one of the many tools that can be used to create dense, unique, and walkable neighborhoods that can spur economic development and provide a sense of "place."

    Read more...

  • Passive Solar Energy

    Passive solar minimizes energy use through the strategic design of a structure, including site placement, natural climate and building materials. Unlike other renewable energy sources, where the structure is still technically consuming electricity, passive solar energy harnesses the Sun's natural warmth to supply at least part of its heating and lighting needs. By using certain materials and designs to capture heat and light from south-facing windows, buildings can reduce their energy consumption.

    Read more...

  • Reduce the Amount of Waste Going to Landfills

    Yard waste and some food waste can be composted by professional organizations or right in your backyard. Rubber and plastic such as tires can be recycled into usable material such as for playgrounds. Construction debris and building can be recycled and used in road pavement.

    Read more...

  • Rehabilitation Subcodes

    Building codes are essential in order to guarantee the safety of new buildings. These codes are often applied to the rehabilitation of old buildings, as well, and they are not always a perfect fit. Rehabilitation subcodes, which are also called Smart Codes, were first developed in the late 1990s and aim to establish modern, up-to-date codes that address the repair, alteration, addition or change of occupancy in existing buildings.

    Read more...

  • Renewable Energy for Homes

    Many individuals are familiar with renewable energy as part of large-scale public policy discussions about electricity in the United States. But renewable energy can be a very local solution too - including for your very own home. Simply, your home relies on the power you buy from your electric utility, however, you can tap into many sustainable, naturally renewable solutions such as solar energy and wind power yourself. Not only do these solutions save you money off your power bill they also reduce pollution and negative impacts on human health.

    Read more...

  • Riparian Buffers

    Riparian buffers are simply protected corridors along rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of water that prohibit urbanized development. These buffers protect the environment by preventing erosion and pollution of a natural body of water. Riparian buffers also play a vital role in floodplain management and water runoff containment.

    Read more...

  • Single Stream Recycling

    Single stream recycling refers to a recycling system in which all materials, including paper fibers, plastics, and metals, are mixed within the collection truck. These materials are then handled separately throughout the collection process. Single stream recycling systems are designed in order to handle a mixture of recyclables.

    Read more...

  • STAR Communities Rating System

    STAR Communities is a national organization the goal of which is to help “cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts.” Similar to OneSTL STAR Communities provides a framework and a set of tools for governments to become more sustainable. The STAR Community Rating System is an objective rating system for communities to gauge their progress.

    Read more...

  • Streamwater and Wetland Mitigation Banking

    Originating in 1996, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began considering the impact on local streams when granting nationwide permits. The focus of the efforts is to restore streams to their natural and original state. Mitigation is measured in "linear feet" of stream banks "created, enhanced or restored".

    Read more...

  • Tobacco Free Housing

    Millions of Americans live in subsidized housing. Many of these residents are children, elderly, or disabled. Tobacco Free Housing policies forbid smoking within and near subsidized housing units and are becoming increasingly popular. Health and wellness and economic advantages are main determinants for the implementation of such policies.

    Read more...

  • Transfer of Development Rights

    Local governments can enact voluntary transferable development rights programs that allow the private marketplace to assess development feasibility while also preserving areas targeted for conservation. Zoning regulations authorize a certain level of development measured by the three dimensional aspect of the regulations (bulk, height and use). Transfer of development rights (TDR) is a technique for preserving a lower level of development density on one site by transferring unused development rights to another site.

    A local community may prefer to protect certain areas from future growth, such as farmland, environmentally sensitive areas, ground for open space and parkland, historic districts, or residential areas. The primary benefit to the receiving property is being permitted additional density in an already developed area. The benefit to the sending property owner is receiving cash value and/or tax credits for transferring their development rights to another property owner. The community benefits by achieving a public benefit, such as those listed above.

    Read more...

  • Volunteering & Community Service

    Volunteering and community service are important components for community progress. Many programs and everyday events cannot succeed without the help of volunteers. This tool item should help to find service opportunities and help coordinate groups more efficiently. When a person donates their time, they learn the importance of these programs and why they are critical to help another.

    Read more...

  • Watershed Planning

    A watershed is the area of land surrounding a body of water that contributes run off to it. The goal of watershed planning is to ensure that development within a watershed does not drastically alter the runoff to the body of water. Effective watershed planning protects the water supply, minimizes erosion and minimizes the environmental impact of development. Watershed planning can considerably reduce a community's environmental impact and improve water quality.

    Read more...

  • Wildlife Corridor

    One solution to address the negative effects of natural habitat fragmentation for wildlife populations is the creation of wildlife corridors within urban areas. A critical problem associated with the loss of inter-connected habitats is the loss of population migrations, which leads to inbreeding and a loss of biodiversity. Another issue is human/animal collisions which results in a considerable lost of life. A Wildlife Cooridor alleviates these problems by connecting existing habitats, which aids in animal migration and the protection of wild animals and humans alike.

    Read more...

  • Yard Waste Recycling & Management

    If you have a yard, you have yard waste. It is possible to have a well-manicured lawn that is run in a sustainable manner. There are various practices which can make your lawn-care more sustainable including mowing grass with a mulching blade, composting yard waste, using compost for fertilizer, and collecting and storing rain water. The goal is to minimize the amount of lawn maintenance materials that are purchased and/or thrown away.

    Read more...

Stormwater/Flooding

  • Bioswales

    Bioswales, also known as vegetated swales, are stormwater runoff conveyance systems used to partially treat water quality, diminish flooding potential, and move stormwater away from infrastructure. Bioswales are linear in design and despite some disagreement within the field, the length to width dimension ratios are typically recommended to be or exceed 2:1. Bioswales are best suited for residential, industrial, and commercial areas with low stormwater flow.

    Read more...

  • Brownfield Redevelopment

    EPA website states "Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant." Costs for environmentally hazardous property cleanup may be expensive and even overbearing for property owners. This Brownfield Redevelopment tool item will present residents and communities the instructions to turn those costly unused properties into vibrant community and economic use. Brownfield redevelopment involves people within the community, land parcel owner, developers, and the city/municipality. The EPA and Department of Natural Resources provide the means for properties cleanups.

    Read more...

  • Cisterns

    A cistern is a device that captures and stores rainwater for reuse. Cisterns are typically made of concrete, plastic, polythylene, or metal and are larger and more permanent that rain barrels. They range in size from 100 to 10,000 gallon capacities and can be placed underground, aboveground, or on rooftops. Cisterns are usually constructed in a traditional tank shape.

    Read more...

  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

    Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) train members of neighborhoods and organizations such as schools or workplaces, to become better prepared in the case of a emergency situation such as a flood, tornado, earthquake, fire or other hazardous events. CERT members often are the first responders to major disaster situations, especially when medical and emergency staff cannot immediately come to the rescue. In the event of a crisis, CERT triage and treat victims, set up medical treatment areas, are psychologically alert, and can save lives.

    Read more...

  • Conservation Easements

    A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. The easement is a voluntary land-protection tool that is privately or publicly initiated to conserve natural resources or open space on the property. Conservation easements help land owers protect agricultural or undeveloped land, especially when land values are rising rapidly.

    Read more...

  • Conservation Subdivision Design

    A conservation subdivision is a residential subdivision designed to protect the natural features of a location while maintaining the economic viability of it as a development site.  In their Conservation Subdivision Design Handbook, Heartlands Conservancy compares conservation subdivisions to golf course subdivisions, where homes are oriented around the golf course and residents are guaranteed the existence of that golf course as an amenity.  In a conservation subdivision, the amenities guaranteed and preserved are the natural features of the location such as a stand of trees, a lake, or a creek. 

    Read more...

  • Density Bonuses

    Density bonuses are a tool offered to developers that allows for increased floor space, taller buildings, or more housing units than the traditional zoning code permits, in exchange for contributing to the community's vision by providing a defined public benefit. The public benefit can range from affordable housing units to senior care facilities to energy conservation features to maximizing the use of public transit to providing open spaces and recreation facilities. Those priorities and policy decisions are made by the local government and based on the community's goals.

    Read more...

  • Drought Awareness & Preparedness

    The St. Louis Bi-State Region has a plentiful water supply. Drought awareness and preparation should still be top priorities for people in the region. By managing your water use properly, you ensure more water for others in the region and consquently throughout the Midwest.

    Read more...

  • Farmland Preservation

    Farmland preservation is a joint effort by local governments and non-governmental organizations to protect and preserve agricultural land. Often a part of regional planning and national historic preservation, farmland preservation includes implementing policies and programs to manage urban growth and encroaching development, prevent conversion of farmland to other uses, and to maintain the ecological integrity and environmental benefits of agricultural lands. 

    Read more...

  • Floodplain Management Solutions

    Local governments can go about floodplain management through two mechanisms: structural and nonstructural solutions. Structural solutions include development of levees and dams. Nonstructural solutions include land use regulations and building codes. Overtime, nonstructural solutions have become favorable to structural ones. Both solutions help a community protect itself against flooding.

    This tool can help guide cities as they work to become a part of the National Foodplain Insurance Program or the Community Rating System.

    Read more...

  • Green Roofs

    A green roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation growth. Green roofs absorb rainwater, provide insulation, provide a living space for insects and birds, and help to mitigate the heat island effect. In addition, green roofs reduce energy costs and can enhance the quality of life for residents nearby.

    Read more...

  • Green Teams

    A green team is a group of dedicated individuals who come together to promote, identify, and implement specific solutions to help their organization operate in a more sustainable fashion. Green teams can form within governments, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, schools, or any other organization. Green teams can be started by an interested employee, can be mandated from above, or can be a combination of the two. Green teams are usually comprised of interested individuals who sometimes bring expertise in a specific topic or field but who are interested in civic engagement and sustainability.

    Read more...

  • Low Flow Water Technology

    Low-flow water technology consists of technologies that reduce water consumption and use in the facilities in which they are installed. Replacing current appliances and facilities with low-flow versions can drastically reduce water consumption and also the costs associated with water use.

    Read more...

  • Low Impact Development (LID)

    Low Impact Development is as simple as trying to develop in a manner that maintains stormwater as close to its original source as possible while also working with natural environmental systems to do so. In general LID uses green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. The fundamental philosophy is that public infrastructure should be designed to treat stormwater as an asset and resource instead of a waste product. Many of the other One STL sustainability tools address LID, such as bioswales, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, rainscaping, green roofs, and impervious concrete.

    Read more...

  • Mixed-Use Zoning

    Mixed-Use Zoning is a specific land-use regulatory tool implemented by units of local government that permits multiple use-types within the same building, district, or corridor. The approach has been used successfully for years in urban settlement design. However, contemporary efforts are in response to 20th Century Euclidean zoning that features a stark separation of uses. Mixed-Use Zoning is an important step for a Mixed-Use Development. Mixed-Use Zoning is one of the many tools that can be used to create dense, unique, and walkable neighborhoods that can spur economic development and provide a sense of "place."

    Read more...

  • National Flood Insurance Program and Community Rating System

    The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters and businessmen if their community participates in NFIP implementing NFIP regulations. The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes communities for implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the minimum requirments of NFIP. Both of these programs help encourage communities to implement regulations which keep them safe, make sense finanically and are friendly to the environment.

    Read more...

  • Native Landscaping

    Native landscaping is the intentional growing of indigenous plants in their native habitats. As time goes on, plants evolve and adapt to the geography, climate, and hydrology of a region. When non-native plants, also known as invasive plants or exotic species, are introduced to the region, they tend to take over the area and eliminate the native plants. Using native plants in your landscaping eliminates the need for fertilizers and decreases the need for pesticides. Native landscaping is better for the environment and is more cost efficient than exotic species.

    Read more...

  • Parking Requirements: Reducing Minimums & Improving Management

    Required parking is a very common feature in most urban and suburban cities in the United States.  Most municipal zoning codes have minimum off-street parking requirements, based on the size of an office, restaurant, or retail space. There are many unintended consequences related to requiring too much parking, both economically and environmentally, and this case has been made by a large variety of sources. One example is the American Planning Association's planners press book, The High Cost of Free Parking. Creating alternatives to mandatory parking requirements allow municipalities to take into account local community and area-specific variables that creates a customized, more efficient, and more business and environmentally friendly approach to managing parking demand.

    Read more...

  • Pervious Pavement

    Pervious pavement is a pavement surface that allows rain water and snow melt to seep through the pavement to recharge subgrade water supplies. This type of pavement helps prevent storm water runoff and reduces erosion. There are there types of pervious pavement:: pervious concrete, porous asphalt and permeable interlocking pavers.

    Read more...

  • Rain Barrels

    A rain barrel is a device that captures and stores rainwater for later use. Typically designed for homeowner use, rain barrels can be used by communities and corporations although the use of cisterns is typically more common for applications greater than a single household. Rain barrels are available in a variety of sizes and complexity and are the most common method of rainwater harvesting used by homeowners.

    Read more...

  • Rain Gardens

    A rain garden is a landscape depression with native deep-rooted plants designed to to slow down, temporarily store, and treat stormwater. While some rain gardens use amended soil, in the homeowner rain garden it is preferable to use the existing soil as long as a percolation test confirms  that it will drain in a 48 hour period.

    Read more...

  • Rainscaping

    Rainscaping consists of an array of sustainable landscaping practices that a landowner may voluntarily employ to improve rainwater related problems. In addition to rain gardens and bioswales, a diverse landscape that includes trees, shrubs, perennials, mulch, and amended soils intercepts and disperses rain as it falls, instead of allowing it to run off into area streams.

    Read more...

  • Retention/Detention Ponds

    Retention or detention ponds are designed to help control stormwater runoff and improve water quality by collecting water and allowing the excess water to slowly drain. Retention ponds (aka wet ponds) retain a certain amount of water in the pond at all times. Detention ponds (aka dry ponds) drain all of their water usually within 72-hours. Both types of ponds can be effective tools in watershed planning and floodplain management.

    Read more...

  • Riparian Buffers

    Riparian buffers are simply protected corridors along rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of water that prohibit urbanized development. These buffers protect the environment by preventing erosion and pollution of a natural body of water. Riparian buffers also play a vital role in floodplain management and water runoff containment.

    Read more...

  • STAR Communities Rating System

    STAR Communities is a national organization the goal of which is to help “cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts.” Similar to OneSTL STAR Communities provides a framework and a set of tools for governments to become more sustainable. The STAR Community Rating System is an objective rating system for communities to gauge their progress.

    Read more...

  • Stormwater Trash Separators

    Stormwater trash separators, also known as gross pollutant traps or hydrodynamic separators, are devices which are used in order to separate pollutants and trash from stormwater as the flow passes through the device.

    Read more...

  • Streamwater and Wetland Mitigation Banking

    Originating in 1996, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began considering the impact on local streams when granting nationwide permits. The focus of the efforts is to restore streams to their natural and original state. Mitigation is measured in "linear feet" of stream banks "created, enhanced or restored".

    Read more...

  • Transfer of Development Rights

    Local governments can enact voluntary transferable development rights programs that allow the private marketplace to assess development feasibility while also preserving areas targeted for conservation. Zoning regulations authorize a certain level of development measured by the three dimensional aspect of the regulations (bulk, height and use). Transfer of development rights (TDR) is a technique for preserving a lower level of development density on one site by transferring unused development rights to another site.

    A local community may prefer to protect certain areas from future growth, such as farmland, environmentally sensitive areas, ground for open space and parkland, historic districts, or residential areas. The primary benefit to the receiving property is being permitted additional density in an already developed area. The benefit to the sending property owner is receiving cash value and/or tax credits for transferring their development rights to another property owner. The community benefits by achieving a public benefit, such as those listed above.

    Read more...

  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

    Transit Oriented Development (TOD) refers to mixed-use development near rail transit stops. The communities are designed to be walkable and sustainable, thus allowing residents to live, work and play and be able to walk safely to the closest rail system. TOD communities are vital to OneSTL, because they allow residents to have a higher quality life while being sustainable. A brief summary and in depth report of plans for 8 stations in the region is available under Resources -> Reports -> Transit Oriented Development.

    Read more...

  • Tree Maintenance and Preservation

    Tree maintenance and preservation are a collection of activities aimed at prolonging the life of trees and bushes. While planting trees is the more popular activity, maintaining and protecting trees is just as important, if not more important in the grand scheme of things. Protecting mature trees during development will provide environmental benefits and increase the value of the developed land.

    Read more...

  • Two-Stage Ditch Design

    When drainage issues affect farmland or larger size developments, a two-stage ditch can be an effective strategy to handle rainwater runoff while reducing the risk of erosion in areas where a stream has already been developed. A two-stage ditch design is comprised of a main stream for the standard amount of water in the stream. A second larger ditch is built around the main ditch to handle any surge in water. The two-stage ditch design increases water capacity while reducing erosion on the surrounding land. Other benefits include less flooding, and slower-moving water and opportunities for natural riparian habitat restoration.

    Read more...

  • Urban and Community Forestry Management

    Urban and Community Forestry is the planning and management of a community's forest resources to enhance the citizens' quality of life. The process integrates the economic, environmental, political, and social values of the community to develop a comprehensive management plan for the urban or community forest. Urban and community forests could be developed in almost any community.

    Read more...

  • Watershed Planning

    A watershed is the area of land surrounding a body of water that contributes run off to it. The goal of watershed planning is to ensure that development within a watershed does not drastically alter the runoff to the body of water. Effective watershed planning protects the water supply, minimizes erosion and minimizes the environmental impact of development. Watershed planning can considerably reduce a community's environmental impact and improve water quality.

    Read more...

  • Wetland Preservation

    A wetland is a natural community characterized by soils that developed in saturated conditions and support a diversity of water tolerant plants. The array of species is a function of the seasonal pulse disturbances, such as spring flooding, that occur in that wetland.

    There are several types of wetlands including not only marshes and swamps but also oxbow lakes, sloughs, and bottomland forests.

    Wetlands serve several ecological functions such as:

    • water storage which helps to reduce flood heights and reduce risks of property damage and loss of life
    • water filtration by reducing the level of contaminants such as agricultural nutrients from the water

    However, it is important to note than wetlands must be in a healthy state to perform these function effectively. Unrestricted use of wetlands as depositories of point and non-point pollution (such as urban stormwater) can compromise their functionality. Thus in order to realize the multiple benefits of wetlands, effective management practices are required to ensure the health of the wetland ecosystem.

    Read more...

Transportation

  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities and Programs

    Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities and Programs is a term that refers to the combination of all structures and services that encourage and promote the active lifestyle of walking and bicycling. Benefits to the community include lower carbon emissions and reduced traffic congestion resulting from reduced use of automobilies, increased physical activity and improved health of the population that results from increased numbers of people walking and biking.

    Read more...

  • Carpooling

    Carpooling, also known as ride-sharing and car-sharing, is the act of sharing a vehicle so that more than one person travels in the vehicle at a particular time. Carpooling reduces air pollution, energy use, toll expenses and stresses of driving. Vehicular wear and tear can also be reduced since the car will not be traveling as much as it would if the driver did not carpool.

    Read more...

  • Climate Action Plan

    A Climate Action Plan identifies the strategies an organization plans to implement to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While the instructions in this BMP are tailored to local governments, any organization (including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and universities) can complete a Climate Action Plan.

    Read more...

  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)/Food Co-Ops

    Community supported agriculture (CSAs) programs are an economic system of producing and distributing food supplies more locally to the consumers. Most CSAs operate as a partnership between regional farmers and consumers. The customers pay up-front for a subscription service for the weekly delivery of fresh produce. Often times the food is delivered in a single box - recent innovations include customized ordering and more than only produce items. Food cooperatives, or co-ops, are formal partnerships organized for food distribution but owned by their employees and/or customers, rather than by corporations. Most commonly a co-op will own and manage a traditional grocery store but they can also be a "buying club" more similar to CSAs. The goal of either model is very similar - to better connect local consumers with local farmers and food producers. CSAs and Co-ops are related but different than urban agriculture programs, farmer's markets, and local food consumption.

    Read more...

  • Complete Streets

    Complete Streets is a program that advocates for street design that incorporates safe use through all modes of transportation including walking, biking, transit, and vehicular. The goal of Complete Streets is to make communities safer and more enjoyable to live in, and to raise the value of the surrounding property.

    Read more...

  • Connectivity Indexes (Transportation Network Design)

    Connectivity Indexes address a community's transportation network connectivity, most commonly streets and sidewalks. A connectivity index is simply a unit of measurement - a metric. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess a specific piece (connectivity) of a larger complete streets design. There are multiple methods to measure street connectivity but the most commonly accepted model is the "Links & Nodes" calculation. This analysis ultimately addresses traffic congestion and travel patterns in a community.

    From a more pro-active stance, this urban design approach can be promoted by city or county legislation and development codes. One such approach is establishing maximum block lengths in zoning and subdivision codes and ordinances.

    Read more...

  • Density Bonuses

    Density bonuses are a tool offered to developers that allows for increased floor space, taller buildings, or more housing units than the traditional zoning code permits, in exchange for contributing to the community's vision by providing a defined public benefit. The public benefit can range from affordable housing units to senior care facilities to energy conservation features to maximizing the use of public transit to providing open spaces and recreation facilities. Those priorities and policy decisions are made by the local government and based on the community's goals.

    Read more...

  • Drought Awareness & Preparedness

    The St. Louis Bi-State Region has a plentiful water supply. Drought awareness and preparation should still be top priorities for people in the region. By managing your water use properly, you ensure more water for others in the region and consquently throughout the Midwest.

    Read more...

  • Form-Based Code

    Form Based Codes (FBCs) or zoning is a method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form. Form Based Zoning regulates the design of buildings and other aspects of urban development. Its application regulates development to address challenges and achieve specific community goals.

    Read more...

  • Great Streets

    The St. Louis Great Streets Initiative was created in early 2006 to expand the use of multi-modal streets, also known as Complete Streets. The goal of the program is to trigger economic and social growth with the aid of lively and attractive multi-modal streets.

    Read more...

  • Green Teams

    A green team is a group of dedicated individuals who come together to promote, identify, and implement specific solutions to help their organization operate in a more sustainable fashion. Green teams can form within governments, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, schools, or any other organization. Green teams can be started by an interested employee, can be mandated from above, or can be a combination of the two. Green teams are usually comprised of interested individuals who sometimes bring expertise in a specific topic or field but who are interested in civic engagement and sustainability.

    Read more...

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory

    A greenhouse gas inventory is an accounting of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into or removed from the atmosphere over a certain period of time. Local governments use greenhouse gas inventories to create baselines in order to track emission trends. Creating a greenhouse gas inventory is usually the first step a local government takes to reduce emissions. 

    Read more...

  • High Efficiency Vehicles for Municipal Fleets

    Municipal fleets provide important services to citizens and account for a significant chunk of a city or county's operational budget. Powering these fleets is not only a costly endeavor monetarily, they also affect communities air quality. Implementing high efficiency vehicles into a municipal fleet can provide for long term cost savings and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into our air. 

    Read more...

  • Low Impact Development (LID)

    Low Impact Development is as simple as trying to develop in a manner that maintains stormwater as close to its original source as possible while also working with natural environmental systems to do so. In general LID uses green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. The fundamental philosophy is that public infrastructure should be designed to treat stormwater as an asset and resource instead of a waste product. Many of the other One STL sustainability tools address LID, such as bioswales, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, rainscaping, green roofs, and impervious concrete.

    Read more...

  • Mixed-Use Zoning

    Mixed-Use Zoning is a specific land-use regulatory tool implemented by units of local government that permits multiple use-types within the same building, district, or corridor. The approach has been used successfully for years in urban settlement design. However, contemporary efforts are in response to 20th Century Euclidean zoning that features a stark separation of uses. Mixed-Use Zoning is an important step for a Mixed-Use Development. Mixed-Use Zoning is one of the many tools that can be used to create dense, unique, and walkable neighborhoods that can spur economic development and provide a sense of "place."

    Read more...

  • Parking Requirements: Reducing Minimums & Improving Management

    Required parking is a very common feature in most urban and suburban cities in the United States.  Most municipal zoning codes have minimum off-street parking requirements, based on the size of an office, restaurant, or retail space. There are many unintended consequences related to requiring too much parking, both economically and environmentally, and this case has been made by a large variety of sources. One example is the American Planning Association's planners press book, The High Cost of Free Parking. Creating alternatives to mandatory parking requirements allow municipalities to take into account local community and area-specific variables that creates a customized, more efficient, and more business and environmentally friendly approach to managing parking demand.

    Read more...

  • Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs)

    Reducing VMTs can be accomplished by implementing other tools in the OneSTL Toolkit. These tools include: bicycle and pedestrian programs, carpooling and rideshare programs, complete streets, great streets and transit-oriented development. Below are other methods for reducing VMTs. The US national average VMT has declined in recent years, but traffic emissions continue to affect the environment and public health. Reducing VMTs has the potential to improve regional air quality and shift travel to other transportation options that can promote physical activity and spur economic development.

    Read more...

  • Smog-Eating Concrete

    Smog-eating concrete is concrete mixed with a titanium oxide additive. Originally developed to ensure that the concrete remained a bright white color, it was discovered that the compound breaks down nitrogen oxide molecules in addition to other pollutants. Adding this compound to any concrete construction has the capability of improving the air quality of the surrounding area.

    Read more...

  • STAR Communities Rating System

    STAR Communities is a national organization the goal of which is to help “cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts.” Similar to OneSTL STAR Communities provides a framework and a set of tools for governments to become more sustainable. The STAR Community Rating System is an objective rating system for communities to gauge their progress.

    Read more...

  • Transfer of Development Rights

    Local governments can enact voluntary transferable development rights programs that allow the private marketplace to assess development feasibility while also preserving areas targeted for conservation. Zoning regulations authorize a certain level of development measured by the three dimensional aspect of the regulations (bulk, height and use). Transfer of development rights (TDR) is a technique for preserving a lower level of development density on one site by transferring unused development rights to another site.

    A local community may prefer to protect certain areas from future growth, such as farmland, environmentally sensitive areas, ground for open space and parkland, historic districts, or residential areas. The primary benefit to the receiving property is being permitted additional density in an already developed area. The benefit to the sending property owner is receiving cash value and/or tax credits for transferring their development rights to another property owner. The community benefits by achieving a public benefit, such as those listed above.

    Read more...

  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

    Transit Oriented Development (TOD) refers to mixed-use development near rail transit stops. The communities are designed to be walkable and sustainable, thus allowing residents to live, work and play and be able to walk safely to the closest rail system. TOD communities are vital to OneSTL, because they allow residents to have a higher quality life while being sustainable. A brief summary and in depth report of plans for 8 stations in the region is available under Resources -> Reports -> Transit Oriented Development.

    Read more...

Water Quality

  • Bioswales

    Bioswales, also known as vegetated swales, are stormwater runoff conveyance systems used to partially treat water quality, diminish flooding potential, and move stormwater away from infrastructure. Bioswales are linear in design and despite some disagreement within the field, the length to width dimension ratios are typically recommended to be or exceed 2:1. Bioswales are best suited for residential, industrial, and commercial areas with low stormwater flow.

    Read more...

  • Brownfield Redevelopment

    EPA website states "Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant." Costs for environmentally hazardous property cleanup may be expensive and even overbearing for property owners. This Brownfield Redevelopment tool item will present residents and communities the instructions to turn those costly unused properties into vibrant community and economic use. Brownfield redevelopment involves people within the community, land parcel owner, developers, and the city/municipality. The EPA and Department of Natural Resources provide the means for properties cleanups.

    Read more...

  • Building and Energy Codes

    The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is a standard that, when adopted into law, requires all building types undergoing construction and alteration to be built in such a way that they do not waste energy used for heating, cooling, and lighting. At the same time these construction practices provide more comfortable, less drafty buildings that reduce energy use and energy bills.

    Read more...

  • Cisterns

    A cistern is a device that captures and stores rainwater for reuse. Cisterns are typically made of concrete, plastic, polythylene, or metal and are larger and more permanent that rain barrels. They range in size from 100 to 10,000 gallon capacities and can be placed underground, aboveground, or on rooftops. Cisterns are usually constructed in a traditional tank shape.

    Read more...

  • Conservation Easements

    A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. The easement is a voluntary land-protection tool that is privately or publicly initiated to conserve natural resources or open space on the property. Conservation easements help land owers protect agricultural or undeveloped land, especially when land values are rising rapidly.

    Read more...

  • Conservation Subdivision Design

    A conservation subdivision is a residential subdivision designed to protect the natural features of a location while maintaining the economic viability of it as a development site.  In their Conservation Subdivision Design Handbook, Heartlands Conservancy compares conservation subdivisions to golf course subdivisions, where homes are oriented around the golf course and residents are guaranteed the existence of that golf course as an amenity.  In a conservation subdivision, the amenities guaranteed and preserved are the natural features of the location such as a stand of trees, a lake, or a creek. 

    Read more...

  • Density Bonuses

    Density bonuses are a tool offered to developers that allows for increased floor space, taller buildings, or more housing units than the traditional zoning code permits, in exchange for contributing to the community's vision by providing a defined public benefit. The public benefit can range from affordable housing units to senior care facilities to energy conservation features to maximizing the use of public transit to providing open spaces and recreation facilities. Those priorities and policy decisions are made by the local government and based on the community's goals.

    Read more...

  • Drought Awareness & Preparedness

    The St. Louis Bi-State Region has a plentiful water supply. Drought awareness and preparation should still be top priorities for people in the region. By managing your water use properly, you ensure more water for others in the region and consquently throughout the Midwest.

    Read more...

  • Farmland Preservation

    Farmland preservation is a joint effort by local governments and non-governmental organizations to protect and preserve agricultural land. Often a part of regional planning and national historic preservation, farmland preservation includes implementing policies and programs to manage urban growth and encroaching development, prevent conversion of farmland to other uses, and to maintain the ecological integrity and environmental benefits of agricultural lands. 

    Read more...

  • Green Teams

    A green team is a group of dedicated individuals who come together to promote, identify, and implement specific solutions to help their organization operate in a more sustainable fashion. Green teams can form within governments, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, schools, or any other organization. Green teams can be started by an interested employee, can be mandated from above, or can be a combination of the two. Green teams are usually comprised of interested individuals who sometimes bring expertise in a specific topic or field but who are interested in civic engagement and sustainability.

    Read more...

  • Greywater Reuse

    Gray water is reusable wastewater from bathroom sinks, bath tub shower drains, and washing machine drains. These are included in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Typically, gray water is reused onsite and it tends to be used for landscape irrigation purposes. If the gray water is to be used for irrigation purposes, the soap and personal care products used in the household must be non-toxic and also low-sodium.

    Read more...

  • Low Flow Water Technology

    Low-flow water technology consists of technologies that reduce water consumption and use in the facilities in which they are installed. Replacing current appliances and facilities with low-flow versions can drastically reduce water consumption and also the costs associated with water use.

    Read more...

  • Low Impact Development (LID)

    Low Impact Development is as simple as trying to develop in a manner that maintains stormwater as close to its original source as possible while also working with natural environmental systems to do so. In general LID uses green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. The fundamental philosophy is that public infrastructure should be designed to treat stormwater as an asset and resource instead of a waste product. Many of the other One STL sustainability tools address LID, such as bioswales, rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, rainscaping, green roofs, and impervious concrete.

    Read more...

  • National Flood Insurance Program and Community Rating System

    The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters and businessmen if their community participates in NFIP implementing NFIP regulations. The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes communities for implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the minimum requirments of NFIP. Both of these programs help encourage communities to implement regulations which keep them safe, make sense finanically and are friendly to the environment.

    Read more...

  • Native Landscaping

    Native landscaping is the intentional growing of indigenous plants in their native habitats. As time goes on, plants evolve and adapt to the geography, climate, and hydrology of a region. When non-native plants, also known as invasive plants or exotic species, are introduced to the region, they tend to take over the area and eliminate the native plants. Using native plants in your landscaping eliminates the need for fertilizers and decreases the need for pesticides. Native landscaping is better for the environment and is more cost efficient than exotic species.

    Read more...

  • Pervious Pavement

    Pervious pavement is a pavement surface that allows rain water and snow melt to seep through the pavement to recharge subgrade water supplies. This type of pavement helps prevent storm water runoff and reduces erosion. There are there types of pervious pavement:: pervious concrete, porous asphalt and permeable interlocking pavers.

    Read more...

  • Rain Barrels

    A rain barrel is a device that captures and stores rainwater for later use. Typically designed for homeowner use, rain barrels can be used by communities and corporations although the use of cisterns is typically more common for applications greater than a single household. Rain barrels are available in a variety of sizes and complexity and are the most common method of rainwater harvesting used by homeowners.

    Read more...

  • Rain Gardens

    A rain garden is a landscape depression with native deep-rooted plants designed to to slow down, temporarily store, and treat stormwater. While some rain gardens use amended soil, in the homeowner rain garden it is preferable to use the existing soil as long as a percolation test confirms  that it will drain in a 48 hour period.

    Read more...

  • Rainscaping

    Rainscaping consists of an array of sustainable landscaping practices that a landowner may voluntarily employ to improve rainwater related problems. In addition to rain gardens and bioswales, a diverse landscape that includes trees, shrubs, perennials, mulch, and amended soils intercepts and disperses rain as it falls, instead of allowing it to run off into area streams.

    Read more...

  • Renewable Energy for Homes

    Many individuals are familiar with renewable energy as part of large-scale public policy discussions about electricity in the United States. But renewable energy can be a very local solution too - including for your very own home. Simply, your home relies on the power you buy from your electric utility, however, you can tap into many sustainable, naturally renewable solutions such as solar energy and wind power yourself. Not only do these solutions save you money off your power bill they also reduce pollution and negative impacts on human health.

    Read more...

  • Retention/Detention Ponds

    Retention or detention ponds are designed to help control stormwater runoff and improve water quality by collecting water and allowing the excess water to slowly drain. Retention ponds (aka wet ponds) retain a certain amount of water in the pond at all times. Detention ponds (aka dry ponds) drain all of their water usually within 72-hours. Both types of ponds can be effective tools in watershed planning and floodplain management.

    Read more...

  • Riparian Buffers

    Riparian buffers are simply protected corridors along rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of water that prohibit urbanized development. These buffers protect the environment by preventing erosion and pollution of a natural body of water. Riparian buffers also play a vital role in floodplain management and water runoff containment.

    Read more...

  • STAR Communities Rating System

    STAR Communities is a national organization the goal of which is to help “cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts.” Similar to OneSTL STAR Communities provides a framework and a set of tools for governments to become more sustainable. The STAR Community Rating System is an objective rating system for communities to gauge their progress.

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  • Stormwater Trash Separators

    Stormwater trash separators, also known as gross pollutant traps or hydrodynamic separators, are devices which are used in order to separate pollutants and trash from stormwater as the flow passes through the device.

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  • Streamwater and Wetland Mitigation Banking

    Originating in 1996, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began considering the impact on local streams when granting nationwide permits. The focus of the efforts is to restore streams to their natural and original state. Mitigation is measured in "linear feet" of stream banks "created, enhanced or restored".

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  • Tree Maintenance and Preservation

    Tree maintenance and preservation are a collection of activities aimed at prolonging the life of trees and bushes. While planting trees is the more popular activity, maintaining and protecting trees is just as important, if not more important in the grand scheme of things. Protecting mature trees during development will provide environmental benefits and increase the value of the developed land.

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  • Two-Stage Ditch Design

    When drainage issues affect farmland or larger size developments, a two-stage ditch can be an effective strategy to handle rainwater runoff while reducing the risk of erosion in areas where a stream has already been developed. A two-stage ditch design is comprised of a main stream for the standard amount of water in the stream. A second larger ditch is built around the main ditch to handle any surge in water. The two-stage ditch design increases water capacity while reducing erosion on the surrounding land. Other benefits include less flooding, and slower-moving water and opportunities for natural riparian habitat restoration.

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  • Urban and Community Forestry Management

    Urban and Community Forestry is the planning and management of a community's forest resources to enhance the citizens' quality of life. The process integrates the economic, environmental, political, and social values of the community to develop a comprehensive management plan for the urban or community forest. Urban and community forests could be developed in almost any community.

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  • Watershed Planning

    A watershed is the area of land surrounding a body of water that contributes run off to it. The goal of watershed planning is to ensure that development within a watershed does not drastically alter the runoff to the body of water. Effective watershed planning protects the water supply, minimizes erosion and minimizes the environmental impact of development. Watershed planning can considerably reduce a community's environmental impact and improve water quality.

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  • Wetland Preservation

    A wetland is a natural community characterized by soils that developed in saturated conditions and support a diversity of water tolerant plants. The array of species is a function of the seasonal pulse disturbances, such as spring flooding, that occur in that wetland.

    There are several types of wetlands including not only marshes and swamps but also oxbow lakes, sloughs, and bottomland forests.

    Wetlands serve several ecological functions such as:

    • water storage which helps to reduce flood heights and reduce risks of property damage and loss of life
    • water filtration by reducing the level of contaminants such as agricultural nutrients from the water

    However, it is important to note than wetlands must be in a healthy state to perform these function effectively. Unrestricted use of wetlands as depositories of point and non-point pollution (such as urban stormwater) can compromise their functionality. Thus in order to realize the multiple benefits of wetlands, effective management practices are required to ensure the health of the wetland ecosystem.

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