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City Sustainability Initiatives: Problems of Policy Definition and Intergovernmental Coordination

Eric S. Zeemering, San Francisco State University, Department of Public Administration
Feb 15, 2011 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-800)
1130 K Street, Room LL3
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City governments in California are under pressure to “green” their operations and advance principles of sustainability within the community and in city operations.  Implementing sustainability principles will be a challenge for city governments for at least two reasons.  Cities will face problems of policy definition and intergovernmental coordination.  A recent study of cities in the San Francisco Bay Area shows that cities emphasize distinct policy priorities when discussing sustainability.  The research uncovered emphases on urban design, equity and reinvestment, and public participation.  Lacking a clear definition of sustainability, cities will be challenged to form successful intergovernmental networks to share policy knowledge to advance the successful implementation of sustainability principles at the local level.  Our discussion will conclude with lessons on intergovernmental coordination from cities identified as leaders in sustainability.

Eric Zeemering is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration at San Francisco State University.  He earned a Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University in 2007.  He is currently conducting research on intergovernmental relations and local government sustainability initiatives in the U.S. and Canada.  He also investigates the adoption and oversight of interlocal agreements by city governments.

His work appears in journals including The American Review of Public Administration, The Journal of Politics, Public Administration Review, Urban Affairs Review and State and Local Government Review.  He was elected to and served on the city council in Rockford, Michigan, and has served on citizen advisory boards at the local level in Michigan and California.



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