Environmental Programs

The City of Falls Church has a strong commitment to leadership in environmental sustainability, as set forth in the Council Vision for the City of Falls Church:

In the year 2040, the City of Falls Church is a welcoming and inclusive community – a special place in the heart of Northern Virginia. Involved citizens are key to the City’s long-term success as a leader in education, environmental sustainability, multi-modal transportation, and vibrant economic development.

By investing in neighborhoods, community services and facilities, schools, and parks the City preserves small-town character and history while honoring a deep commitment to progress and a growing community. The continual rejuvenation of robust commercial areas supports the City’s high quality of life for all citizens.

Environmental Vision

The people of Falls Church believe protecting and nurturing a healthy natural environment is one of their highest callings. The city's public and private development reflect this belief in tangible ways. Parks, open spaces, and clean waterways are valued as recreational, ecological, and economic resources. Environmentally friendly residential and commercial buildings throughout the city incorporate nationally accepted benchmarks for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. The city integrates sustainability into all of its operations, including a strong emphasis on reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

Comprehensive Plan: Environment for Everyone

The "Environmental Sustainability, Resilience and Natural Resources" Chapter of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Environment for Everyone, was updated in 2018-19, and was unanimously adopted by City Council on February 10, 2020. The chapter addresses how environmental goals can be incorporated in urban planning for the future and the development of the City’s thriving urban activity center. This should be done in such a way that the community is able to reap the maximum benefit from integrating natural resources with the built environment while also ensuring natural resources are protected and improved.

The process of community consultation that informed the chapter update is described on the "Chapter 5 Update" page. In 2022, the Environmental Programs Coordinator presented an overview of Chapter 5 sponsored by the League of Women Voters and Citizens for a Better City, available in the recording below.

Falls Church Commitment to Greenhouse Gas Reduction

The City has committed to GHG emissions reduction goals to reduce our impact on the changing climate. In 2017, City Council resolved to adopt the regional goals established by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), to reduce emissions of GHGs below 2005 levels by 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. In 2020, it supported the adoption of a regional interim goal by MWCOG to achieve a 50% reduction in regional GHG emissions by 2030.

City staff are working with expert consultants and the community to develop an action plan to achieve these goals. For information on the development of the plan, and to provide your suggestions and comments, please click the link to go to the Community Energy Plan webpage.