St. Petersburg is the first city in Florida and the 20th in the U.S. to commit to becoming completely reliant on sustainable energy sources. It is also one of more than 57 U.S. cities to sign the Chicago Charter, a commitment to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The city has pledged to become more resilient to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise and extreme weather.
As the lead consultant, VHB helped the city develop their Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (ISAP) as a blueprint for advancing the city’s sustainability and resiliency goals. VHB worked with the City to complete its first-ever municipal- and community-scale greenhouse gas emissions inventory. The inventory was then used to design reduction strategies; develop a roadmap for 100 percent clean energy; complete a climate vulnerability assessment; and guide the city and community partners in implementing programs and strategies that will enhance sustainability and resiliency across municipal departments and throughout the community. VHB also led an extensive outreach and engagement process with the community stakeholders to inform the goals and strategies for the city’s sustainability and resiliency plan.
The ISAP establishes smart city goals and strategies for broad social, economic, and environmental sustainability with a focus on equity, livability, and resiliency. The identification of these goals and strategies is data-driven, informed by community input, and emphasizes the relationship between transportation, urban design and health. VHB's work was critical to St. Pete being a recipient of the American Cities Climate Challenge from Bloomberg Philanthropies, an award valued at $2.5 million to further their climate change efforts.