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Eco-Cities are places where people can live healthier and economically productive lives while reducing their impact on the environment. They work to harmonize existing policies, regional realities, and economic and business markets with their natural resources and environmental assets. Eco-Cities strive to engage all citizens in collaborative and transparent decision making while being mindful of social equity concerns.

Looking to make Alexandria a more sustainable city, in spring 2007, the City of Alexandria partnered with Virginia Tech’s Department of Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) to design and facilitate a collaborative strategic planning process, called Eco-City Alexandria. Working closely with the Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission and City staff, the Mayor and City Council charged this group to first develop the Eco-City Charter and then the Environmental Action Plan -2030 (EAP), officially adopted by the Alexandria City Council in June 2008 and June 2009. (LEARN MORE)

In January 2015 the City of Alexandria’s Office of Environmental Quality (OEQ) and Environmental Policy Commission (EPC) engaged the Alexandria campus of Virginia Tech’s (VT) Urban Affairs and Planning Department to help revise and update the current Environmental Action Plan (EAP) adopted by the mayor and city council in June 2009.  As he did for the inaugural Eco-City Initiative (2008-2009), Professor Joe Schilling led the current project in conjunction with 8 graduate students from the fields of planning, urban design, and architecture from his spring 2015 Sustainability Planning and Policy class.  Metropolitan Institute (MI) research assistants also assisted in the report’s synthesis, research, drafting, and formatting.