The Global Cities Project
The Global Cities Project
Building on the momentum of Earth Day 1990, EPC conducted extensive research into local environmental policies and provided valuable insights to local governments pursuing sustainability goals.
Building Sustainable Communities
Originally a program of Earth Day 1990, The Global Cities Project was adopted by EPC with the goal of assisting local governments in the design and implementation of sustainable policies. Following a massive research effort, EPC published a series of ten environmental guidebooks titled Building Sustainable Communities. These guidebooks contained a plethora of real world examples of successful local environmental policies on topics ranging from energy efficiency to land use.
The Global Cities Project guidebooks and case studies were then greatly expanded for online access in a complex searchable database-backed website named PolicyScan. The objective was to provide local government decision makers and those working with them an online “virtual staff for sustainability research.”
PolicyScan: A virtual staff for sustainability research
In the early 1990s, a nationwide trend was developing where environmental decision making was being divested to thousands of local governments. No website offered targeted local policy reforms or could fill demonstrated gaps in both the offline and online civic engagement infrastructure. EPC filled this need by developing PolicyScan, an interactive, easy-to-use website that gave users access to a database of over 5,000 case studies on environmental programs and policies.
Another goal of the website was to create a forum for the exchange of information between decision-makers at all levels of government, opinion leaders and other stakeholders in the development of environmental policies. Institutions and organizations could search the library to access hard-to-find reports, news articles and Internet resources. PolicyScan also provided the media with key environmental contacts and a comprehensive library to develop story ideas, maintain accessible sources and find meaningful facts for features, articles and in-depth reports.
The Global Cities Project was the most comprehensive resource on environmental policy for its time
In a time where the internet was still in its early stages, the Global Cities Project provided a vital resource to local governments in implementing policies to meet their sustainability goals. It played an important role in promoting the replication of innovative, effective and efficient local sustainable policies and programs.