Examining Strategic Sustainability Plans and Smart-Growth Land-Use Measures in California Cities

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Given many potential obstacles, what types of strategic plans and measures for climate protection and/or energy sustainability are more likely than others to be adopted by cities? What are the key internal and external obstacles to adopting and implementing these plans and measures? Based on data obtained from a survey conducted from 2010 to 2011 and other sources, this paper develops a framework derived from political contracting theory and strategic orientation literature to examine how public management obstacles, socio-economic factors, and political factors influence a city’s likelihood of having strategic energy sustainability plans and measures in place. Moreover, this paper finds that many California cities remain reluctant to require residents and businesses to comply with more challenging sustainability measures, such as smart-growth land-use practices, and that those cities with a strategic energy sustainability plan already in place tend to be more willing to adopt smart-growth land-use measures.