Sierra Club Conservation Policies
The Sierra Club is vitally concerned that the urban environment, in which a majority of
this country's residents and a majority of our members live, be healthy and stimulating
since the physical state of a city reflects the well-being of its people. The Sierra Club
is also concerned that urban areas, which consume the majority of our resources, be highly
efficient and non-polluting so as to minimize our impacts upon this planet's resources and
Therefore, the Sierra Club urges planning and policies which stimulate:
Conservation of Open Space
- Preservation of hills, coasts, wetlands, other outlying natural areas and agricultural
lands by zoning, curbing suburban highway development, control of municipal services and
other devices to eliminate "leap-frog" sprawl.
- Abundant, convenient public open spaces, including parks, playgrounds and natural
- "Infill" residential and commercial development on unused or under-used land
within city boundaries and already served with streets, water, sewer and other public
services, but excluding parks, park-like lands, agricultural lands, and sensitive and
- Opening up of waterfronts to public access and use.
Protection and Enhancement of the Quality of Urban Life
- Protection and enhancement of the quality of urban life by preservation of our
architectural and cultural heritage.
- Preservation and revitalization of urban neighborhoods, with residents protected from
unreasonable economic and physical disruption; rehabilitation of housing and community
facilities; jobs creation; a safe and healthy workplace environment; and elimination of
- Attractive, compact and efficient urban areas; with densities and mixtures of uses that
encourage walking and transit use, and encourage more efficient use of private autos in
balance with other transportation modes.
Conservation of the Urban Infrastructure
- Upkeep and improvement of the urban infrastructure, including water supplies, sewage,
rail systems and waterfronts.
- Improvement of transit systems, including operating and capital subsidies where
necessary to maintain reasonable fares and safe, frequent service.
Wise Use of Resources and Safe Disposal of Waste
- Energy- and material-efficient residential and commercial buildings and water-conserving
- Incentives for reducing the generation of solid waste and for promoting recycling of
- Management of toxic and hazardous materials to decrease their use and to assure that
public health and the environment are fully protected from any releases to air, water or
land (during manufacture, use, storage, transport or disposal).
- Full public disclosure of the uses, emissions, and potential effects of all hazardous
and toxic materials.
These development patterns and transit improvements would conserve energy, water, land
and building materials while enhancing the pleasure and safety of urban life and reducing
travel distances. This and the control of toxic substances would improve air and water
quality and make better use of existing urban infrastructure. Additionally, these patterns
would reduce developments in forest lands, on coasts, in coastal wetlands, and other
Adopted by the Board of Directors, February 1, 1986