KANSAS CITY, MO, and WASHINGTON DC, March 16, 2010 -- To support a new sustainability vision in public works management, the American Public Works Association (APWA) has recently created the new APWA Center for Sustainability. The Center was designed to enable APWA to become the driving force for sustainability in public works, and to support the development of the next generation of public works leaders with strong sustainability credentials and commitment. In the 21st century, the public works professional must think beyond the current generation, work closely with a more engaged and better informed public, and take an integrated systems approach to addressing livability and community issues.
The mission of public works has traditionally been to provide and maintain a high quality of life by designing, building and maintaining public works infrastructure. This mission has been accomplished amidst the challenges of a cyclical economy, shrinking budgets, increased costs of materials, competing priorities and regulatory mandates. "We believe we are creating better solutions for public works management by focusing on sustainable ideas for innovation, collaboration, leadership and whole systems thinking," said APWA President Larry Koehle, P.Eng, MPA. "The Center's leadership team includes 12 sustainability leaders and subject matter experts from North America who are already creating a foundation for sustainable action throughout public works departments."
Sustainability is a cross-cutting concept that touches all aspects of public works and infrastructure. "The coming decades will require new skills and tools to solve complex problems," said APWA Director of Sustainability Julia Anastasio. "Sustainability in public works means that new solutions can be developed in environmentally and socially responsible ways, while delivering services and infrastructure citizens expect with the best economic choice in the long term." (For more information about the Center, go to http://www.apwa.net/sustainability/centerforsustainability.aspx.)
APWA is also currently creating professional development and educational activities that focus on the Center's public works sustainability principles so that public works professionals have the tools and resources they need to advance sustainable change in their communities. A full realm of sustainability ideas and innovations will be explored more fully at the APWA Sustainability in Public Works Conference in Minneapolis, MN from June 8-10, 2010. "The conference is designed to explore and promote the evolving role of public works professionals in the creation and management of sustainable communities," Anastasio said.
For more information about APWA's Center for Sustainability or the APWA Sustainability Conference, please email to [email protected]. For media queries, please contact Laura Bynum, APWA Media Relations Manager at [email protected].
The American Public Works Association (www.apwa.net) is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 29,500 members involved in the field of public works. APWA serves its members by promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge. APWA is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, has an office in Washington, D.C. and 64 chapters in North America.