O’Brien & Company conducted an economic sustainability evaluation to help the City of Kirkland address their concerns about economic and environmental sustainability. The project evaluated leakage (the goods and services residents cannot find in Kirkland), recruiting of environmentally-friendly businesses, and ways to support businesses that wanted to improve their sustainability.
This four-month intensive effort focused on community outreach, determining economic gaps in products and services; conducting community surveys on economic sustainability activities that residents desired; and planning and facilitating a community workshop to present the City’s ideas and collect feedback.
Our work resulted in a tailored definition of what economic sustainability meant for the city, and a detailed recommendations report. The report highlighted ways for the city to achieve a more robust economy while simultaneously reducing its ecological footprint. One aspect of the report was a listing of green jobs that are realistically appropriate to promote in Kirkland given conditions observed in our study. One of several recommendations in our report, a Buy Local Campaign, was prioritized by the City and is now in full swing.