Introduction and Sustainability Goals
Within the City of West Melbourne’s 2022 Sustainability Report, the City recognizes the importance of reversing the damage caused by previous generations and move toward a more sustainable future. The sustainability report is a compilation of achievements and recommendations that address how the City of West Melbourne has promoted sustainability while recognizing future areas of improvement. With this report, the City demonstrates its commitment to transparency and accountability in its progress toward tackling environmental hazards, enhancing sustainability in city operations, and collaborating with communities to become more resilient.
In many contexts, the word ‘sustainability’ is often associated with plants and the environment. However, when sustainability is analyzed on a global scale, one may observe a strong relationship between ecological stability, social stability and economic sustainability. Sustainable development requires an integrated, holistic approach that considers environmental concerns while simultaneously acknowledging opportunities for economic development. As the relationship between humans and the environment is reciprocal, the perceived separation between humans and nature may have significant impacts on future environmental values, behavior, and attitudes.
To secure a sustainable future, the City of West Melbourne continues to advocate for and develop ways to meet the current needs of individuals without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Ten overarching goals have been identified as core concepts for promoting the health and well-being of the City’s residents. These goals reflect the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations and are used by the City of West Melbourne as a guide to promote sustainable development:
UN Sustainability Goal 1 - Safe and Affordable Housing: There are a variety of housing options to meet the needs of the community’s changing demographics as well as affordable housing for residents with various income levels.
UN Sustainability Goal 2 - Inclusive and sustainable urbanization: Inclusive urbanization not only emphasizes importance of affordable housing, but strives to enhance the capacity for participatory, integrated human settlement. To promote this goal, the City continues to partner with providers for multi-modal accessibility resources and disability accessibility features to accommodate for residents no matter their identity.
UN Sustainability Goal 3 - Affordable and sustainable transport systems: Through cooperative intergovernmental agreements, the City coordinates transportation and land-use planning by aligning comprehensive plan objectives and policies with recommendations stated in local mobility plans to effectively manage travel demands and congestion. The City aims to provide its citizens with a highly connected road network that responds to the changing mobility demand while utilizing modern technology. To further improve connectivity, pedestrian and bike facilities undergo continuous improvement and are being integrated into new developments within the planning area.
UN Sustainability Goal 4 - Reduce the adverse effect of natural disasters: As the City continues to develop, it is important that the possible hazards and vulnerabilities are continuously analyzed to better serve individuals located in hazard-prone areas. To promote stormwater risk 5 reduction, older neighborhoods within the City have undergone a series of drainage improvements with construction still underway. Strict enforcement of building and land development codes will continue to be necessary in future development projects to significantly reduce the number of individuals affected and decrease the direct economic losses caused by natural disasters.
UN Sustainability Goal 5 - Protect the worlds cultural and natural heritage: Although there are no historic districts or properties within the city, the City of West Melbourne continues to support and promote nearby historic districts and local landmarks. Through education and comprehensive outreach, the City can expand local appreciation and understanding of the surviving local historic communities.
UN Sustainability Goal 6 - Measure and reduce environmental impacts of cities: Natural habitats and local conservation areas act as buffers and contribute toward floodplain and water quality management. The City protects the integrity of the natural environment through sustainable land development strategies that better utilize new and existing areas of land development. The City of West Melbourne provides its residents with resources and access to educational programs that inform and help promote the sustainable use of natural resources, reduce waste, and stop pollution.
UN Sustainability Goal 7 - Strong national and regional development planning: The City supports and participates in regional development partnerships to ensure that not only the region, but the community is planned and developed in a way that promotes and protects the character and well-being of its residents, visitors, and local businesspeople.
UN Sustainability Goal 8 - Provide access to safe and inclusive green and public spaces: The City of West Melbourne is a leader in providing access to inclusive green and public spaces, such as the West Melbourne Community Park and the Space Coast Field of Dreams, which is Florida’s first all-accessible sports complex. Developing diverse recreational opportunities provides an outlet for individuals of all backgrounds which ultimately encourages community engagement. As the population continues to grow, it is important that the City’s green and public spaces remain interconnected to provide its residents with opportunities to interact with nature and promote the establishment of multi-use trails that enhance the City’s characteristics.
UN Sustainability Goal 9 - Implement policies for inclusion, resource efficiency and disaster risk reduction: Through the integration of modern technology, the City continues to improve its ability to anticipate, mitigate, and adapt to emergencies and disasters of all scales and better withstand and recover from these events. As the safety and well-being of residents is the City’s main priority, West Melbourne coordinates with Brevard County to establish programs that help educate residents about emergency response and enforcement.
UN Sustainability Goal 10 - Support least developed countries in sustainable and resilient building custodian agencies: With younger generations having an increasing concern toward sustainability and the environment, it is highly likely that the City will begin to see increased support for sustainability efforts in the future. Being home to technology-oriented companies, businesses, manufacturers, and corporate headquarters, West Melbourne could be instrumental 6 the way in assisting the United Nations in their efforts to support the current Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
The metrics within this report are more than just a number, they directly determine whether the residents of West Melbourne will be able to adapt, endure, and thrive in the years to come. While the increasing momentum of West Melbourne’s sustainability initiatives are heartening, the City recognizes that this is just the beginning of the journey. Much work remains to be done, both in terms of implementing the City’s goals and fostering strong new policies and initiatives that will advance the sustainability goals in this report.
To learn more about sustainability in West Melbourne, please view the reports below.