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IRVINE, CALIF. — University of California, Irvine Extension announced the launch of its new “Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Planning & Development,” developed to meet the needs for interdisciplinary planning and development continuing education training that focuses on incorporating sustainability into community environments. The first of its kind, this program is designed to provide leaders and emerging leaders with the skills necessary to guide smart growth, identify sustainability best practices, implement public policy applications, and enhance collaborations for commercial, mixed-use, residential, civic centers, and parks from small to large metropolitan sites. Interested parties may register in August and begin taking courses for this program starting this fall.

“Our new certificate program was developed to provide participants an opportunity to gain the real-life skills necessary to incorporate elements from civil engineering, architecture, environmental and land use planning, community infrastructure, landscape architecture, transportation policy, water management, ecosystems design and community health and implement public policy applications to improve and enhance quality of life in communities,” said Kirwan Rockefeller, Ph.D., director of Sustainability Leadership at UC Irvine Extension. “These elements are increasingly important considerations in climate action plans, regulatory compliance of California’s legislation (i.e., SB375, AB32, and AB1881) and greenhouse gas inventories. The risks of climate changes primarily impacts virtually all of the ecosystem services on which humans rely, and as such our urban, community and natural landscapes must adapt to these ecological changes to achieve long-term sustainability.”

Designed with an interdisciplinary focus, many courses allow LEED AP professionals from various career fields an opportunity to gain approved U.S. Green Building Council continuing education training. Many businesses can benefit from the grants associated with the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act designed to promote sustainable community planning and development.

UC Irvine Extension’s Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Planning & Development will include five required courses for 15 quarter units. The program is open to individuals seeking a career change and those who currently plan, design, construct and maintain urban environments. LEED professionals seeking continuing education credits are also good candidates for this certificate program.

Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Planning & Development courses:
•A Collaborative Approach to Sustainable Sites (Offered Fall 2010) — Course
will highlight sustainable sites issues, and bridge professionals from varied
backgrounds who seek to identify and apply the new lexicon of sustainable
communities in compliance with government regulations.
•Sustainability & Ecosystems Services Planning (Offered Winter 2011) —
Participants will learn to develop planning approaches for optimizing
performance of sustainable development programs and emphasize on the
challenges and emerging issues associated with planning in the era of climate
change adaptation and ecological accountability.
•Developing Green & Sustainable Planned Communities (Offered Fall 2010
& Winter 2011) — Gain insight into the underlying principles of sustainable
development, the practical application of green building practices, including
LEED and their relevance to master planned communities. Participants will
also learn how to integrate sustainable practices from the original site and
marketing analysis, through project planning and costing, operations, and
implementing a green marketing plan.
•Sustainable Healthy Communities (Offered Spring 2011) — By
understanding how to build healthy communities, participants of this course
will be able to identify the inner functioning of sustainable communities and
how cultural sensitivities work together with physical environment.
•Sustainable Infrastructure (Offered Summer 2011) — This course will
emphasize localization and reducing the ecological footprint in areas with
high population density and discuss how municipal decision making and
investment planning integrates with multi-discipline practices to ensure green
procurement.

With an outstanding advisory committee assembled to provide the most up-to-date industry insights and knowledge for program content development, UC Irvine Extension’s Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Planning & Development is a premier provider of “green” continuing education. To learn more about the Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Planning & Development, please visit www.extension.uci.edu. To register for the Fall courses, call 949-824-5414 or e-mail sustainability@uci.edu.

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