There are many definitions and there are many different ways for communities to attain a more sustainable future. The sustainability of a community depends on creating and maintaining its economic and environmental health, promoting social equity, and fostering broad-based citizen participation in planning and implementation. Communities that engage citizens and institutions to develop sustainability principles and a collective vision for the future and that apply an integrative approach to environmental, economic, and social goals are generally likely to be more successful.
Job creation, energy use, housing, transportation, education and health are considered complementary parts of the whole. Since all issues are interconnected they must be addressed as a system. The process includes:
- broad and diverse involvement of citizens
- the creation of a collective vision for the future
- the development of principles of sustainability
- an inventory of existing assets and resources and additional assets that would benefit the community
- clear, measurable goals
- the development of community indicators to evaluate progress
- open and transparent communication
- early, visible results
- celebration of success
Sustainability is a process of continuous improvement so communities constantly evolve and make changes to accomplish their goals. The initiatives and resources on this website have been selected to help you learn about ways to make your community healthier, safer, greener, more livable, and more prosperous.
About Sustainable Communities Online
Sustainable Communities Online is the newly revised, updated, and redesigned website formerly known as the Sustainable Communities Network (SCN) website which was developed by a broad coalition of organizations around the United States in the mid-1990s. The intent of the SCN was to pool information on sustainability to make it more readily accessible to the public. CONCERN, Inc. and the Community Sustainability Resource Institute managed the SCN from 1993–2001 and CONCERN has managed it since then.
P.O. Box 5892
Washington, DC 20016