Results of the June Sustainable Tucson General Meeting to develop

Principles for our Sustainability Agenda

Email followup responses from some participants

  • We need a vision for a sustainable future, but we don’t know where to start.
  • We are more powerful together than apart.
  • We should work together to end siloes, because everything is connected.


  • We should create a community-wide effort, using all possible communication channels, to teach people and businesses how to “do sustainable”.
  • We need to match the ways we live to the water we can count on, and prepare for droughts and disruptions.


  • We should create a “hub” to support local businesses that teaches best practices, provides local financing and allows them to pool needs and resources.
  • We should “brand” Tucson as a “model sustainable community”.


  • We should evaluate transportation using total, lifecycle costs.
  • We should not focus solely on the car.
  • We should focus on all forms of transport, on bringing services closer to residents and increasing opportunities for connections among residents, and on reducing the costs of transportation.


  • We should finance sustainability – both local businesses and sustainability projects.
  • We should invest in ourselves, because “local” is where the opportunities are.
  • We should fix existing roads before building new ones or expanding existing ones.
  • We need to invest in developing desert-adapted technologies.


  • We need to set priorities for the water we do have, particularly for people’s needs (primarily food) and for nature.
  • We need to protect the quality of the water we have.



Principles developed by breakout groups

Green ReDevelopment

  • We should develop financing and economic incentives to promote Green ReDevelopment, including the development of a revolving loan fund.
  • We should align regulations and zoning codes to promote the renovation, upgrade and repair of existing homes and buildings.
  • We should use community development as a means to create green spaces in neighborhoods and match commercial spaces and neighborhoods to improve transportation efficiency.


Local Jobs for Local People, serving Local Needs

  • We can be a model sustainable community with all efforts interconnected.
  • We can create innovative businesses and new jobs in rehab and repair of existing buildings and homes.
  • We can create a unique Tucson Brand that differentiates us from other cities.
  • We should support the development of incentives for the expansion of locally owned businesses.
  • We should buy local, source local, and hire local.
  • We should maximize our use of local resources, specifically including wastes, to foster innovative businesses and new jobs.
  • WE should encourage the creation of technologies that meet the unique needs or our desert environment.


ReInventing Transportation

  • We need to reprioritize our urban planning to shift the emphasis from automobile-centric to multi-modal transit
  • We will evaluate transportation alternatives considering ALL costs and externalities
  • We will increase the livability of Tucson by reducing travel times and distances, bringing services closer to residents, and increasing opportunities for connections among residents, while reducing the need for an automobile.
  • We will reduce the cost, personal and public, of transportation, therefore reducing the impact on low-income members of the community and increasing access to all.


Financing what we need

  • We need to prioritize the resources we have to promote local sustainability.
  • We need to develop creative financing techniques, including incentives.
  • We need to focus our efforts on promoting localism.


Water for food, nature, and beauty

  • We need to adopt lifestyles that match our renewable water supplies.
  • We need to understand, teach, and accept the limits and opportunities of the renewable water supplies we have.
  • We need to develop sustainable practices that fit with the fact we live in a desert.
  • We need to prioritize water for people, particularly urban food, and for nature.
  • We need to invest in developing desert-adapted technologies.
  • We need to plan for disruptions to our water supplies.
  • We need to personally demonstrate sustainable behaviors as examples for the whole community.
  • We need to protect the quality of the water supplies we have.
  • We need to develop our local renewable water supplies.