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City of Decatur recognized as a 2022 Green Community by Atlanta Regional Commission

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City of Decatur recognized as a 2022 Green Community by Atlanta Regional Commission

Trees along E. Ponce De Leon Avenue in downtown Decatur. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — The city of Decatur received recertification as a Green Community at the platinum level by the Atlanta Regional Commission.

ARC’s Green Communities program is a voluntary certification program that helps local governments implement measures that will reduce their environmental impact. It recognizes commitment to environmental stewardship and leadership in sustainability practices, according to a press release.

ARC developed the Green Communities Program in 2009 to recognize local governments that invest in programs and policies that lead to a more sustainable region.

The winners earned certification points for sustainable measures implemented in their cities. Here are some measures Decatur earned points for:

– Requiring all new residential and commercial buildings to be certified under an existing green building program, resulting in a more sustainable city, better building quality, and an overall improvement in quality of life.

– Taking steps to become solar-ready, including offering an expedited permitting process for residential rooftop solar photovoltaic panel installations and robust participation in the Decatur-DeKalb solarize program.

– Developing a stormwater master plan that included robust stakeholder engagement, a road map for near-term decisions, and a long-term vision for successful operation and maintenance of the city’s stormwater management system, and new policies for improvement.

– Achieving recognition from several national sustainability-focused certification programs including BeeCity USA, TreeCity USA, Bicycle Friendly Community and Walk Friendly Community.

– Adopting a Clean Energy Plan that set goals and outlined steps to transition the city away from fossil fuels.

The city also partnered with Agnes Scott College to develop a climate resilience plan.

In metro Atlanta, 16 local governments are currently certified under the ARC Green Communities program.

“The 2022 Green Communities have played an instrumental role in moving metro Atlanta towards greater sustainability and environmental resilience through innovative and community-informed projects,” said Natural Resources Managing Director Katherine Zitsch. “These communities demonstrate exemplary dedication to building a stronger, greener region.”

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