Livable Florida: Planning for Sustainable Communities

Welcome to an expanding online resource you can contribute to and use.

Welcome to APA Florida’s sustainable planning toolkit webpage. This site is intended as a resource for Florida planners as we work toward creating sustainable communities while attempting to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to address the impacts of climate change and preserving the environment that we live in. We hope this toolkit is clear and easy-to-use, and that it provides planners with a starting point for learning about tools and strategies for integrating sustainability into comprehensive, long-term planning in Florida. This site features brief summaries of identified tools and projects, with links for accessing more detailed information. This site is produced and maintained by the APA Florida’s Sustainability Committee.

We welcome your input!

This site is a work in progress and is intended to provide you with credible knowledge, powerful tools, and inspiring and instructive cases that highlight examples of innovative sustainability planning. Furthermore, this site is designed to grow and change as our knowledge of the issues and initiatives evolve. We welcome your comments on this site, suggestions for changes, and information for updates.

What is Livability? 

Although, livability and sustainability are distinct concepts, there is substantial overlap and they are often used interchangeably. Livability refes to the subset of sustainable impacts that directly affect the quality of life of people living in a community, including the built and natural environment, economic prosperity, social stability and equity, educational opportunity, and cultural, entertainment and recreation possibilities.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is the wise use of today’s resources so that future generations of Floridians can utilize those same resources tomorrow. Sustainable development is the planned use of land with the provision of community services and infrastructure that provides economic vitality and preserves the biodiversity and viability of the natural environment. The planning process shall maintain community values, meet the needs of all segments of society including the poor, use science responsibly, and be consistent with open government policies.

Sustainability encompasses our activities and practices as a culture with the same approach of maintaining and enhancing the environment.

Sustainability Committee Mission: To promote the integration of sustainability principles into planning policy and practice through relevant education and outreach.

Introduction to Sustainability Action Topics

In order to help frame a discussion of sustainability and present resources within this tool kit, “Action Topics” are identified.  They are referred to as “Action Topics” because they represent a specific subject matter included in a discussion of sustainability and they each involve actions that, if taken, can have a positive impact of improving sustainability.  Although, it is apparent that there is much overlap between these action topics and it is impossible to isolate any one of these topics in discussing sustainability, these Action Topics are used here as a tool to present the information.

The tool kit currently includes an introduction and ten of 14 Action Topics:

  • Climate Change
  • Water Resources
  • Land Use
  • Environment
  • Transportation/Mobility
  • Healthy by Design
  • Resiliency
  • Housing
  • Solid Waste and Recycling
  • Food Systems

Each of Action Topic includes a brief discussion of the more salient issues involved and an overview of sustainable solutions, followed by:

  • Florida/National Studies, Research, and Manuals
  • Webinars/Presentation
  • Toolbox (hands on examples, actual ordinances, etc)
  • Suggested Website Links

Additional Action Topics will be added as they are developed: Agriculture and Food Supply, Energy,  Economy and Finance,  Green Building Practices.

APA Florida recognizes that different jurisdictions are in different stages of sustainability planning, and will want to find actions appropriate to their circumstances and available resources.  These action topics are based on current thinking and will evolve over time, but the intent is to give some sense of the degree of challenge or difficulty implied by the different actions.

Disclaimer: APA Florida's official web site is  APA Florida provides links to other sites because they provide additional information that may be useful or interesting. These links are being provided in a manner consistent with the intended purpose of the APA Florida website. APA Florida cannot attest to the accuracy of non-APA Florida information provided by these third-party sites or any other linked site. APA Florida is providing these links for your reference. In doing so, APA Florida does not endorse any websites, companies, nonprofits or applications.