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: http://www.apwa.net/centerforsustainability
Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure: http://www.sustainableinfrastructure.org/
Institute for Sustainable Communities: http://www.iscvt.org/
Urban Sustainability Directors Network: http://usdn.org

Good luck with your efforts!!


“I am pleased to announce the addition of Daryl Grigsby, Public Works Director, San Luis Obispo, CA  and Stephane Larocque, SVP, Impact Infrastructure, Toronto, ON to our Center Leadership Team.  Both bring valuable experience to the Center and will help us in further expanding the tools, resources, and knowledge that will make our public works professionals more successful in their efforts to create sustainable communities, ” reported Center for Sustainability Chair Jen Winter.


“Daryl Grigsby has over 32 years of experience in the public works profession and, as a current Public Works Director, can assist the Center in considering leadership, management and implementation issues in sustainability.  He has a diverse public works background, experienced in water, wastewater, transportation and, as public works director for several cities.  He has been involved in sustainable projects such as creating a “Master Bike Plan” for the City of Pomona, CA.   Daryl served as a former national Director for APWA and he continues his passion to be involved in issues that will advance the future of our communities and of the public works profession.  We are fortunate to have such a well-rounded and experienced public works director on the Center Leadership team.


We also are enthused to welcome Stephane Larocque will expand the expertise of our Center Leadership with his extensive background in the field of triple-bottom line economic analysis, which reflects the environmental, social and financial impacts of all manner of infrastructure investment.  Stephane was also one of the original pioneers in the development of the Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) Framework and will bring a focus on the economics of sustainability to our Leadership Group,” Winter added.


Since its creation in 2009, the APWA Center for Sustainability’s goal has been to serve as a primary resource for APWA’s members regarding sustainability and sustainable practices in public works.  The Center Leadership consists of twelve APWA members from the US and Canada who serve a two year term and whose expertise covers a diverse variety of public works disciplines.