Sustainability and Resilience Planning

We provide tools, analysis, and other technical assistance for local governments and cities to plan for and create more sustainable and resilient communities. Our work turns policy into action at the local level.

Sustainability and resilience planning services provided by GPI include:

  • Comprehensive planning
  • Climate action planning
  • Energy planning
  • Solar planning, zoning, and permitting

Resilience planning is emerging as an important tool for cities to understand how to best prepare for and respond to abrupt environmental, economic, and social change. Identifying vulnerabilities in city operations, functions, and infrastructure can help a city understand which areas need improvement to enhance resiliency and mitigate future consequences.

Some examples of our work include:

  • Assisting cities to incorporate resilience into their comprehensive plans.
  • Developing actionable energy plans for local governments.
  • Supporting cities throughout the Midwest to identify opportunities and reduce barriers to increase solar development.
  • Working with the Twin Cities’ Metropolitan Council to develop the resilience element for their Local Planning handbook.
  • Partnering with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to write new resilience best practice actions for the GreenStep Cities program.

A focus of our sustainability planning is working with local governments throughout the Midwest to become 'solar ready' through community technical assistance. By eliminating local regulatory barriers to, and creating encouragement for solar installations, local governments can shape how they want their community's solar resources developed. Reducing development costs makes solar energy more accessible to business and residents.

In a partnership funded by the Department of Energy, GPI also works directly with cities and counties to adapt national best practices to local conditions in order to create economically self-sustaining markets for local solar energy resources. 


Minnesota’s Stearns County provides a unique national example of a ‘solar-ready’ community

The county is well on its way to achieving designation as one of the leading counties in the nation on solar energy best practices.

How Duluth's New Mapping Tool Helps Predict Solar Energy Potential

App translates statewide solar energy data into a predictive model for solar energy production.

Minnesota Solar Pathways Grant to Advance Solar Energy Progress

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has been awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to increase solar deployment.


Program Assistant
Senior Planner
Senior Program Director