APWA Center for Sustainability Leadership Group member Michael Simpson, Senior Environmental Engineer, City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, has a story to tell.  So does Jenifer Willer, P.E., City of Eugene, Oregon Department of Public Works.   Both Jenifer and Michael have written case studies describing projects that demonstrate sustainability in public works. 


In the Humboldt Stormwater Greenway Project, the City of Los Angeles worked to daylight an existing storm drain system and constructing a stormwater  greenway with a “stream’ ecosystem.  The project constructed an above ground detention basin for temporary runoff storage in order to capture, infiltrate and remove pollutants from dry-weather runoff and limited stormwater flows from approximately 3.5 acres of adjacent ands, thereby improving the downstream water quality of Los Angeles River receiving waters.  The projects resulted in positive impact upon the natural environment and improved the delivery of services and enhanced the local infrastructure. 


The City of Eugene has implemented a variety of construction methods to maximize the sustainability practices in pavement preservation.  The three primary construction technologies the city uses reduce environmental impacts, increases the use of reclaimed asphalt binder materials and in-place recycling v. traditional street reconstruction.  The incorporation of these methods of construction have shown positive results in environmental, economic, social and health benefits to the community.  These projects create jobs, leverage city funds, and address pavement preservation backlogs while also providing public education opportunities, creating safe public facilities and improving overall community livability. 


The APWA Center for Sustainability is would like more stories like this to share with other APWA members.  The Center would like to highlight sustainable public works and infrastructure projects, programs and local initiatives so that we can build a collection of useful resources. 


The Center for Sustainability defines sustainability in public works as “seeking a balanced approach for a vibrant community today and tomorrow, and it is accomplished by the efficient delivery of infrastructure in an environmentally and socially responsible way that ensures the best economic choice in the long term.

We are seeking case studies on a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Communications and stakeholder engagement
  • Making the case for sustainability to your elected officials
  • Recognizing a sustainability champion on your team
  • Budgeting/ finance issues
  • Transportation/ Transit
  • Water
  • Fleet
  • Facilities and Grounds
  • Small cities and Rural communities
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Leadership and Management
  • Solid Waste/ Recycling
  • Others topics that you want to share!


We have created a template for you to follow-- http://www.apwa.net/DR/index.asp?ID=1726.  

Please keep the case studies as brief as you can while still providing robust information.  Pictures, graphics and other images always add to the presentation.  


The Center for Sustainability will publish these case studies on the APWA website and make them accessible to everyone.  This is a great way to tout your own success, share learning experiences and advice, and connect with other public works professionals working to create sustainable communities. 

Thank you and if you have any questions please contact Julia Anastasio at janastasio@apwa.net