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What is Environmental Planning?



Sustainable Planning


Current Community

SEQRA & the Public

Planning Tools

Affordable Housing


Water Quality

Water Conservation

Thinking Green

Rockland Program

Westchester Program

List of Terms

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory








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Yonkers murals look at the past as a way to see the present

Historically, local environments have been significantly altered by human presence.  Planning decisions are usually intended to maximize short-term returns and long-term consequences are only taken into account secondarily.  Environmental planners aim to turn this around and take into account long-term sustainability.

Environmental planning is urban planning that focuses on sustainability.  When looking at a new or old development project, an environmental planner aims to minimize the environmental impacts and make sure environmental regulations are met.  This often includes conducting environmental impact assessments, which analyze the development’s effects on the environment.  Environmental planners review site plans, visit project sites to investigate potential environmental effects and identify needed changes. 

Be sure to consider the community resources of your study area as you discuss:

  • What has attracted people to your area?
  • How have businesses in your community made use of the river in the past?
  • What is the current community like in your area?
  • What do you think is special or unique that should be maintained or enhanced in your community?
  • What are the problems that need to be addressed?
  • Can you think of a past industry that managed to balance economic improvement, environmental protection, and community focus?
  • What are the major businesses in your community? If one of these business were to leave the community how would this affect other local business?
  • Do you think the river plays as important a role today in the community as it did in the past? Will your proposed project connect to any part of the Hudson River, or its past?







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