Mitch Sears

Climate and Community Innovation: City of Davis

In the early 1970’s, the Davis community responded to the global energy crisis by adopting a comprehensive set of innovative energy saving measures that was dubbed the “Davis Experiment” by an independent research group.  The research group sought to share these advances with other communities and concluded in their report that “…the Davis experiment proves that citizens working through local government, really can have a substantial effect on a major international issue.”  Over the past 35 years, Davis has continuously strived to prove that point. A key, understated conclusion of the 1977 report was that citizen action was critical to success.  In 2010, Davis adopted a systems based Climate Action and Adaptation Plan that identified direct community engagement as both a guiding principle and specific actionable objective.  The City concluded that without an engaged community that is willing to take ownership of this critical issue, Davis is unlikely to meet its targets.  Mitch Sears of the City of Davis, CA touches on the value of setting individual citizen GHG “budgets”, establishing community wide household engagement goals, supporting aligned community organizations, and developing tools to help households succeed and see themselves as part of a community wide solution.

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