Public Environmental Forum to Review City's Environmental Goals

November 14, 2006

Nov. 14, 2006 -- Citizens interested in Charlottesville's environment are invited to attend a free community workshop to be held at the Charlottesville Design Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. The public is invited to learn about the condition and plans for city streams, trees, trails and green building. The workshop is sponsored by the University of Virginia, the City of Charlottesville and the Charlottesville Community Design Center.

Graduate students from the urban and environmental planning department in U.Va.'s School of Architecture will present results from a review of city environmental assets and seek citizen input on actions and strategies designed to improve the habitat and quality of life for city residents. Community input will be used to refine the first draft of the environmental sustainability chapter for the city's "Comprehensive Plan," which will be used as a guide for the city's development and will also provide strategies for protecting city assets for the next five years and beyond.

"Protecting the city's environment is one way to ensure that residents can have safe and healthy lifestyles while also meeting the city's goals for environmental sustainability," said Karen Firehock, senior associate for U.Va.'s Institute for Environmental Negotiation and instructor for a class, "Green City: Green Lands," which allows students to apply planning skills to a real-world issue.  Students have developed concept plans for retrofitting city park and school sites to improve environmental health and reduce impacts from stormwater runoff. Students have also researched environmental issues affecting the city and have worked with city leaders to develop ideas for improving and protecting the environment.

According to Firehock, "This is the first time the city of Charlottesville will have a chapter in the comprehensive plan dedicated exclusively to environmental condition and strategies." The chapter, as well as public comments and suggestions, will be presented to the City Planning Commission at their monthly November work session. 
For more information about the workshop, please contact Karen Firehock at (434) 924-5041. For general information about the urban and environmental planning department in the U.Va. School of Architecture, please visit