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The Sustainability Spectrum

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Thank you to everyone who helped make The Sustainability Spectrum a success!

On September 21, 2011, the Town of Chapel Hill Planning Department hosted a professional development conference with a focus on sustainability.

This series of discussion panels showcased innovative sustainability initiatives in the Triangle area. Participants learned about new programs and had an opportunity to discuss new ideas and approaches in this ever-changing field. In-depth discussions ranged from financing sustainable initiatives, recycling at athletic events, electrical vehicle grants, stormwater management and more.

During this conference, participants earned 4 CM Credits!


The Sustainability Spectrum Agenda

Session 1: Making Use of What We've Got
When: 12:35pm - 1:35pm
Earn: 1 CM Credit

Participants learned how lessons from our natural world can be applied to our existing systems. This session, with a focus on local government initiatives, energy efficiency upgrades, and retrofits, demonstrated how participants can view their work with a new eye toward sustainability.


  • Marc Desormeau, Founders of Sundog Solutions, Inc.
  • Robert Chapman, Traditional Neighborhood Development Partners, LLC
    • Suggested reading:
      The Smart Growth Manual by Andres Duany, Jeff Speck, and Mike Lydon (Paperback - October 15, 2009)
      Sprawl Repair Manual by Galina Tachieva (Paperback - September 24, 2010)
      The Original Green: Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability by Stephen A. Mouzon and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Paperback - January 31, 2010)
  • Nick Tennyson, Executive Vice President, Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties
  • Chris Senior, Owner,

Session 2: Sustainable Structures
When: 1:40pm-2:40pm
Earn: 1 CM Credit

Sustainability not only refers to environmental issues, but also encompasses social equity and social justice issues. During this session, participants learned how sustainable thinking can be applied to housing initiatives. From non-profits that save homes from demolition to the lenders that provide “green mortgages,” the housing world is being greatly touched by these eco-practices.


Session 3: The Creative Campus
When: 2:55pm-3:55pm
Earn: 1 CM Credit

Participants learned about what area campuses are doing to change their practices to be more sustainable and how they are encouraging their students and faculty to proactively “think green.” Participants also learned about LEED standards for fuel, electric vehicle grants, and recycling programs at athletic events. During this session, panelists and participants had a dialogue about ways that planners can apply these practices to their own municipalities to encourage citizens to think about a sustainable future.


  • Laura Corin, Accountant, Division of Facilities Services, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BJ Tipton, Solid Waste Program Manager, Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Natalia Posthill, Recycling Coordinator, Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Mark Hough, ASLA, Campus Landscape Architect, Duke University

Session 4: Local Lessons
When: 4:00pm-5:00pm
Earn: 1 CM Credit

Planners can find lessons about sustainability right in their own backyard. During this panel discussion, participants learned about crafting an ordinance which allows for chickens; nurturing a community garden that helps the homeless; and creating a program which finances energy efficiency upgrades. This session also highlighted stormwater best practices and ways to mitigate water run-off and loss.



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