Another attempt that show Eugene’s strong leadership in sustainability is establishment of Sustainability Commission which act as a policy advisory body to the council and city manager in the development or initiation that will enhance, develop and create sustainable practices within the community. The Sustainability Commission consist of 12 citizen members and one city councilor, who demonstrated interest in sustainable business practices, building and design, energy conservation or alternative energy sources, economic development or educators. The commission members have frequent meeting once in a month to have hearing session where I had chance to attend one of Sustainable Commission meetings, where begin with public comment from citizens who have any initiative proposals regarding sustainability issues or anything that makes Eugene’s community have better lives, followed by any committee proposals and work which at those meeting, they discussed about Electric Vehicle-Ready Home and Tiny House Proposals. If all (or the majority) of the attended members agreed on the significance of the proposals, they would proceed and bring it into recommendations for the mayor, city manager, and city council at a periodic hearing session to be followed up further. At those commission meeting, I was also given time to share my work and my interest to among the members, which was such an honored and humbled experience for me to be acknowledged by the Eugene’s Sustainability commission members.
In Eugene, I am amaze how Triple Bottom Line/TBL (read in my previous article here to know about TBL) is valued with every single aspect, even for Tiny House proposal that being discuss with Sustainability Commission explained about the TBL analysis as well.
TBL value is not only be souled by high executive or commission level, but also not an exception for operation division, such as Parks and Open Space division on Department of Public Works whom I had an Urban Forestry and Park related tour with. The Urban Forestry whose jobs mainly on managing approximately 100,000 public street trees, having strong mission to maximize the social, economic and environmental benefits of Eugene’s urban forest and to minimize its costs and liabilities by means of adaptive management and community engagement. And the cool thing, they already have online system to monitor the condition of their tree, which could identify the condition each of their public. By those system, if somebody cut down or destroy the trees, they could know the position of the tree is and the real-time or the updated of tree’s photo. I had been around to explore green area of Eugene, one of the prominent is Skinner Butte, where we could see the Eugene from above. The awesomeness is, the high spot just closely been reached from downtown.
Also I inspected on-site crew who work on tree maintenance, and they immediately chop the wood waste on the site by machine. On the way tour around, we also passed with street-leaves swiping truck which sucked all the leaves lay on the street (considering this is fall when most of street is covered by the leaves) in order to avoid leaves poisoned the city underground water flow or the river.