Sustainability Plan

Update! …

Office of Sustainability is currently working with the people of Baltimore to create a new citywide Sustainability Plan. Find out more in our Sustainability Plan Update section.

In 2006, the Baltimore City Planning department created a Comprehensive Master Plan designed to position Baltimore as a world-class city. Organized around four themes representative of life in Baltimore; Live, Earn, Play and Learn, the plan was designed to respond to opportunities for growth in Baltimore. The Sustainability Plan was adopted as a portion of this plan, but also functions as a plan of it’s own.


The Baltimore Sustainability Plan’s public engagement process, engaging over 1,000 citizens over an eight month period, gathered and analyzed ideas, studied best practices, and developed aspirations for a more sustainable city. The plan articulates 29 priority goals across seven core themes;

Pollution Prevention
Resource Conservation
Environmental Education and Awareness
Green Economy


To make decisions and take appropriate actions to guide the implementation of the sustainability plan, The Commission on Sustainability was created. Members represent environmental groups, community organizations, labor unions, public health and environmental justice interests, and private industry. Visit the Commission on Sustainability homepage for more information.


The Sustainability Plan has 29 goals across seven core themes;


-Eliminate litter throughout the city
-Sustain a clean and maintained appearance of public land
-Transform vacant lots from liabilities to assets that provide social and environmental benefits.


Pollution Prevention

-Reduce Baltimore’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2015
-Improve Baltimore’s air quality and eliminate Code Red days
-Ensure that Baltimore water bodies are fishable and swimmable
-Reduce Risks from hazardous materials
-Improve the health of indoor environments


Resource Conservation

-Reduce Baltimore’s energy use by 15% by 2015
-Reduce Baltimore’s water use while supporting system maintenance
-Minimize the production of waste
-Maximize reuse and recycling of materials



-Double Baltimore’s Tree Canopy by 2037
-Establish baltimore as a leader in sustainable, local food systems
-Provide safe, well-maintained public recreational space within 1/4 mile of all residents
-Protect Baltimore’s ecology and biodiversity



-Improve public transit services
-Make Baltimore bicycle and pedestrian friendly
-Facilitate shared-vehicle usage
-Measure and improve the equity of transportation
-Increase transportation funding for sustainable modes of travel


Education and Awareness

-Turn every school in Baltimore City into a green school
-Ensure all city youth have access to environmental stewardship programs and information
-Raise the environmental awareness of the Baltimore community
-Expand access to information on sustainability


Green Economy

-Create green jobs and prepare city residents for these jobs
-Make Baltimore a center for green business
-Support local Baltimore businesses
-Raise Baltimore’s profile as a forward-thinking, green city



Some of the goals within the Sustainability Plan lend themselves to measurement metrics, while others are more difficult to quantify. The plan contains date-specific goals for some, but not all of the 29 goals. Where targets are not currently stated, The Baltimore Office of Sustainability and the Commission on Sustainability will work to develop metrics to tract the collective progress towards these goals.

Annual Reports

The Baltimore Office of Sustainability will monitor progress made on the Plan goals and produce reports for the community on an annual basis. The report will serve as a “check-in”, renewing our commitment, and celebrating our successes together as a community. As a community, we can hold ourselves accountable on a personal and collective level to future generations.

Links to the PDF’s of these plans can be accessed on the Annual Reports page.


Download the full plan in a PDF version.