path for a sustainable future

Action Plan

The Action Plan is the implementation guidance for the Sustainable Development Plan and is derived from the extensive public and stakeholder outreach process, trends and best practices research and the Element Reports. The Action Plan ties together the broad ideas discussed throughout the plan with specific and targeted activities for implementation at multiple geographic and institutional scales. While comprehensive and representing significant first steps towards a sustainable future, the Action Plan by no means exhaustive of the opportunities to improve the County’s quality of life.

The Action Plan policies and practices were grouped into eight Policy Areas. For each Policy Area, a policy statement and theme were developed and a series of projects and practices were identified. For the complete list of recommended policies and practices developed as part of the Sustainable Development Plan, download the full Action Plan.

Policy Areas

The Policy Areas include:

Grow Smarter

Encourage and support sustainable and fiscally responsible development patterns.

Policy Statement – Onondaga County will encourage and support sustainable and fiscally responsible development patterns. Growth that takes advantage of existing infrastructure, strengthens our traditional centers and is designed to be a long term asset to the community is a core priority of the County. We will strive for place-based design to ensure distinct, vibrant places are attractive and responsive to the needs of our residents, workers and visitors.

Sustainability Pays

Sustainable development today pays dividends well into the future.

Policy Statement – Sustainability pays dividends in a variety of ways – with cleaner air and water, cost-effective public services, and appealing places for people and jobs. It is the policy of Onondaga County to require, recognize and reward principles and practices resulting in a more efficient and sustainable region. Innovative strategies that improve cooperation, create a regional competitive advantage and strive to meet the vision of this plan will be supported by the County.

Protect the Environment

Support and enforce practices to protect our natural environment for future generations.

Policy Statement – Projects and practices that protect our natural resources, conserve our wildlife habitat and enhance opportunities for connective greenways and recreational systems will provide an important legacy for future generations. Onondaga County will support and enforce practices to protect our natural assets and minimize the effects of development on our fragile ecosystems.

Strengthen the Center

Strengthen and support the City of Syracuse as the region’s center of commerce, culture and innovation.

Policy Statement – We are one region, and we will rise and fall together. It is the policy of Onondaga County to support projects and practices to strengthen our urban core as a nationally recognized regional center of jobs and commerce, culture, education and innovation. We will work collectively to elevate the region by combating the challenges facing our region’s core.

Fix it First

Maximize the use of existing infrastructure as a way to provide fiscally responsible public services.

Policy Statement – A sustainable future is dependent upon our ability to be fiscally prudent. We will collaborate as a region to protect our built and natural assets and maximize the use and efficiency of fragile infrastructure. With finite fiscal capacity, continued expansion of infrastructure and service districts in the absence of true regional need is unsustainable.

Keep Rural Communities Rural

Strengthen and protect the region’s strong agricultural tradition and conserve invaluable rural landscapes.

Policy Statement – Sustaining environments for farmland protection, local food production and preservation of rural resources are key elements of local and regional planning and relate to the success of all our communities. Onondaga County will engage a broad base of stakeholders to devise local and regional strategies for protection of our finite rural resources.

Lighten Our Footprint

Lower our carbon footprint by reducing energy demand, embracing cleaner energy options and using resources wisely.

Policy Statement – Working with government, research institutions and businesses, Onondaga County will identify and implement a variety of practices and projects to maximize use of clean and renewable energy supplies and reduce overall energy demand. We also recognize that reducing our energy demand relates significantly to our commuting patterns, as well as the location and design of residential and commercial buildings. We, as citizens, businesses and government will strive to reduce the region’s vehicle miles traveled and household and building energy demands.

Plan for People

Recognize people as our greatest asset by creating quality places and opportunities for all.

Policy Statement – As a region, we will work together to ensure that all our residents have access to quality communities, jobs and services. We will ensure that we are creating and sustaining the elements of our communities that enhance public health, economic opportunity, mobility, access to daily needs and enjoyment of our region.


For the complete list of recommended policies and practices developed as part of the Sustainable Development Plan, download the full Action Plan.

Share