Guest post from Center for Sustainability Leadership Group member Keith Reester, Director of Public Works, Loveland, CO.

Public Works is about sustainability!


Don’t think so? When is the last time you built a bridge that you planned to last 10 years, we are building 50 years from now today. Fifty years ago John Kennedy was president of the United States, in Canada the Trans-Canada Highway opened, and the Cuban Missile Crisis rocked the world. Our business has always been about taking the long view about building communities and making them safe, interesting, livable, and business friendly. Now granted there are days when it seems that the long view is a long ways away – potholes, trash, storm runoff, and political funding challenges – but we are in the business of building great towns.


For the longest time the three legs of the stool in public works planning were cost, schedule, and quality; but these days we need to think about sustainability as the fourth leg. Just like any change this is a challenge, we’re not used to asking the questions associated with sustainability on the level we ask about the other three legs. It takes practice, patience, and an innovative spirit to lead through the turmoil.

One of the great things about APWA is the tremendous network we share with over 28,000 other professionals that we can tap into to help us along the path of working on sustainability. These links may help you find someone who is nearby or you may have met at an APWA event that might be a tie to aid your effort.

APWA Center for Sustainability:
Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure:
Institute for Sustainable Communities:
Urban Sustainability Directors Network:

Good luck with your efforts!!