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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

About Sustainable Communities Network



About Sustainable Communities

Imagine what a safe, livable, healthy community might look like. Around the country citizens are coming together to create a vision of what their community might be and to develop steps toward making these visions come true. Alternatively called "healthy," livable" or sustainable communities, these efforts are integrative, inclusive and participatory. In many communities -- large and small, rural and urban -- issues are being addressed in an interconnected manner. They are demonstrating how innovative strategies can produce communities that are more environmentally sound, economically prosperous, and socially equitable.

Find out what's happening in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Seattle, Washington; what the Green Institute is doing in the Phillips Neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and how the Mountain Association For Community Economic Development and Rural Action are helping rural areas of Appalachia. Learn about principles of sustainability and visioning processes and how they can help guide community initiatives . Discover how community indicators in Olympia, Washington or Jacksonville, Florida are helping residents define and inventory what they value. Find out how $mart Growth can guide planning in neighborhoods and regions and what tools are available to help. Locate your local community network and civic engagement opportunities. Then tell us what other resources you need to help make your community more sustainable.

RESOURCE AREAS, BELOW:

Related Resources | Related Reading
Case Studies

RELATED RESOURCES

Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), 2125 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647, Tel: 773.278.4800, Fax: 773.278.3840, Email: info@cnt.org, Website: www.cnt.org.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology promotes public policies, new resources and accountable authority which support sustainable, just and vital urban communities.

Center for Policy Alternatives, 1875 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009, Tel: 202.387.6030, Fax: 202.986.2539, Email: info@cfpa.org, Website: www.cfpa.org.
The Center for Policy Alternatives is a non-profit public policy and leadership development center that links elected leaders with private and non-profit sector leaders in the search for community-based solutions that strengthen families and communities.

Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development, US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Denver Regional Support Office, 1617 Cole Boulevard, Golden, CO 80401, Tel: 303.275.4826; 800.357.7732, Fax: 303.275.4830, Email: sustainable.development@hq.doe.gov, Website: www.sustainable.doe.gov/.
The Center helps communities design and implement innovative strategies that enhance the local economy as well as the local environment and quality of life. Its website contains a "tool kit" of sustainable information including manuals, workbooks, bibliographies, data bases, case studies, and model codes and ordinances.

Citizens' Network for Sustainable Development (CitNet), c/o ISF, 11426 Rockville Pike, Suite 306, Rockville, MD 20906-3007, Tel: 301.770.5535, Fax: 301.770.5537, Email: info@isforum.org, Website: www.citnet.org.
CitNet is a national volunteer organization established prior to the UN Earth Summit as a vehicle to work on issues relating to sustainable development, the environment, government policy, and civic participation.

Communities by Choice, 427 Chesnut Street, Suite 4, Berea, KY 40403-1547, Tel: 859.985.1763, Fax: 859.985.9063, Email: info@CommunitiesbyChoice.org, Website: www.CommunitiesbyChoice.org.
Communities by Choice is a national network of communities, organizations and individuals committed to learning and practicing sustainable development. Its website contains extensive resources and case studies.

CONCERN, Inc., 1794 Columbia Road, Washington, DC 20009, Tel: 202.328.8160, Fax: 202.387.3378, Email: concern@igc.org
CONCERN, Inc. is a national nonprofit environmental education organization with a focus on sustainable communities. Its mission is to build public understanding of and support for programs, policies, and practices that are environmentally, economically, and socially sound. CONCERN identifies and profiles examples of community-wide and issue-specific programs and projects; catalogues local, state, national, and international sustainability initiatives in its database; publishes and disseminates informational materials on issues related to sustainability; promotes the concepts of sustainability to key constituencies through presentations and workshops; and facilitates the exchange of information within and among communities and constituencies.

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), City Hall, East Tower, 8th Floor, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada ON M5H 2N2, Tel: 416.392.1462, Fax: 416.392.1478, Email: iclei@iclei.org, Website: www.iclei.org.
ICLEI is the international environmental agency for local governments. It serves as a clearinghouse on sustainable development and environmental protection policies, programs and techniques; initiates joint projects or campaigns among groups of local governments; organizes training programs; and publishes reports and technical manuals on state of the art environmental management policies.

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), 161 Portage Avenue, East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, MB R3B 0Y4, Tel: 204.958.7700, Fax: 204.958.7710, Email: info@iisd.ca, Website: www.iisd.org.
IISD, a Canadian non-government organization, promotes sustainable development in decision-making internationally and within Canada. Its website contains information on many issues related to sustainable development.

Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA), Sustainability Education Project, 707 Conservation Lane, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, Tel: 301.548.0150, Fax: 301.548.0146, Email: general@iwla.org, Website: www.iwla.org.
IWLA's Sustainability Education Project educates the public about population and natural resource consumption issues and works with organizations involved in promoting sustainability at the community level.

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), 1739 Snowmass Creek Road, Snowmass, CO 81654-9199, Tel: 970.927.3851, Fax: 970.927.4178, Email: outreach@rmi.org, Website: www.rmi.org.
RMI seeks to foster the efficient and sustainable use of resources as a path to global security.

Sustainability Institute, 3 Linden Road, Hartland, VT 05048, Tel: 802.436.1277, Fax: 802.436.1281, Email: hhamilton@centerss.org, Website: www.sustainer.org.
The Institute provides information, analysis, and practical demonstrations that can foster transitions to sustainable systems at all levels of society, from local to global.

Sustainable Communities Network (SCN), c/o CONCERN, Inc., 1794 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC 20009, Email: info@sustainable.org, Website: www.sustainable.org.
The SCN website connects citizens with the resources they need to implement innovative processes and programs to restore the economic, environmental, and social health and vitality of their communties. It addresses a wide range of issues related to community sustainability, including creating communities, living sustainably, and governing communities. In addition it gives case studies, resources, links to relevant websites, events calendar, and suggested reading.

Sustainable Communities Program, Global Development and Environment Institute, Cabot Center, Fletcher School, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, Tel: 617.627.3530, Fax: 617-627-2409, Email: gdae@tufts.edu, Website: ase.tufts.edu/gdae.
This project brings together government officials, environmental regulators, academic researchers, business people, non-government organizational staff, and others to work on environmental issues in the northeastern United States and Canada.

Sustainable Development Communications Network (SDCN), c/o International Institute for Sustainable Development, 161 Portage Avenue E., 6th Floor, Winnipeg, MB, R3B OY4, Canada, Tel: 204.958.7700, Fax: 204.958.7710, Email: info@sdcn.org, Website: sdgateway.net.
The SDCN, formerly Spinning the Web, is a group of leading non-governmental organizations working together to find ways of using the Internet to meet the goals of sustainable development.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Communities Program, Region III (3ES10), 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029, Tel: 215.814.2739, Fax: 215.814.2783, Email: r3green@epamail.epa.gov, Website: www.epa.gov/greenkit.
This EPA Region III program is designed to help communities access the tools and information that will help them become more sustainable, green communities. Its online Green Communities Assistance Kit is a step-by-step guide for planning and implementing sustainable actions.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Region 2 Community Resources Pages, Website: www.epa.gov/region02/community.
This website provides access to a broad set of resources for communities, including links to tools for community action, directories of community grants and financial assistance, as well as links to EPA contacts and other information sources.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Community-Based Environmental Protection (CBEP), Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation, Website: www.epa.gov/ecocommunity.
This program integrates environmental mangement with human needs, considers long-term ecosystem health and highlights the positive correlations between economic prosperity and environmental well-being.

United Nations Centre for Human Settlements UNCHS (Habitat), Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme (BLP), Website: www.bestpractices.org.
The BLP continues the Best Practices Initiative of the Habitat II preparatory process which selected outstanding urban initiatives from around the world. Its website contains a searchable database of these and other initiatives.

Urban Habitat Program, P.O. Box 29908, Presidio Station, San Francisco, CA 94129-9908, Tel: 415.561.3333, Fax: 415.561.3334, Email: contact@urbanhabitatprogram.org, Website: www.urbanhabitatprogram.org.
The Urban Habitat Program, a project of the Earth Island Institute, builds multicultural urban environmental leadership for socially just, ecologically sustainable communities in the San Francisco area.

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RELATED READING

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the documents listed are provided as files that you may download. To read "PDF" files, Acrobat software is required, available free from Adobe.

Alliance for Community Education. This Place Called Home: Tools for Sustainable Communities. (Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 1998). This CD Rom is a resource library to stimulate ideas for positive action in communities everywhere. It includes video, still photographs, audio, and hundreds of pages of text from books, articles, interviews, and speeches. To obtain this resource contact New Society Publishers, P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC, V0R 1X0, Canada; Tel: 800.333.9093; Fax: 604.247.7471; or Alliance for Community Education, Tel: 410.990.0108.

Beatley, Timothy and Kristy Manning. The Ecology of Place: Planning for Environment, Economy, and Community. (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1997). This book presents a holistic approach to repairing and enhancing communities by introducing a vision of "sustainable places" that considers not just the physical layout of a development but the broad set of ways in which communities are organized and operate.

Brown, Lester R et al. State of the World -- A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society. (New York, NY: W. W. Norton). This annual report analyzes interdisciplinary data from around the world and informs policy makers and the general public about strategies needed to achieve a sustainable society.

Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1962). By looking at the effects of insecticide and pesticides on songbird populations throughout the United States, Rachel Carson set off a wave of environmental legislation and launched the environmental movement.

Clayton, Anthony and Nicholas Radcliffe. Sustainability: A Systems Approach. (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996). This book explains why a transition to a more sustainable way of life means abandoning the search for simple solutions and adopting a systems perspective, in which both problems and solution are multi-dimensional, dynamic, and evolving.

CONCERN, Inc. Building Sustainable Communities. (Washington, DC: CONCERN, Inc., 1995; revised 1997). This 4-page fact sheet explains the principles and process of community sustainability and gives examples of community initiatives. To obtain this resource contact: CONCERN, Inc, 1794 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC 20009, Tel: 202.328.8160, Fax: 202.387.3378, Email: concern@igc.org

CONCERN, Inc., Community Sustainability Resource Institute, Jobs & Environment Campaign. Sustainability in Action: Profiles of Community Initiatives Across the United States. (Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, September 1995; revised 1997). To obtain this resource contact CONCERN, Inc., 1794 Columbia Road, Washington, DC 20009; Tel: 202.328.8160; Fax: 202.387.3378; Email: concern@igc.org. This resource can be found online at: www.sustainable.org/casestudies/studiesindex.html.

Daly, Herman E. and John B. Cobb, Jr. For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future. (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1989). In this book the authors demonstrate how conventional economics and a growth-oriented industrial economy have led us to the brink of environmental disaster, and show the possibility of a different future.

Gore, Albert. Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. (Boston, MA and New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1992). This book probes the roots of the environmental crisis and offers a forceful vision of a new, more sustainable path.

Hempel, Lamont C. Sustainable Communities: From Vision to Action. This book introduces the key concepts, applications, and four greatest challenges to sustainability. To obtain this resource contact Population Coalition, P.O. Box 7918, Redlands, CA 92375; Email: info@popco.org; Website: www.popco.org.

Hempel, Marilyn, ed. Sustainable Communities: Guide for Grassroots Activists. This booklet provides viewpoints, ideas, and activities for those wishing to develop their own projects. To obtain this resource contact Population Coalition, P.O. Box 7918, Redlands, CA 92375; Email: info@popco.org; Website: www.popco.org.

Howe, Jim, Ed McMahon and Luther Propst. Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities. (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1997). This book of case studies and analysis describes several ways in which communities created new jobs and economic opportunities while celebrating and protecting their area's natural resources.

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide: An Introduction to Sustainable Development Planning. (Toronto, Canada: International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, 1996). The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide has been prepared to assist local governments and their local partners to learn and undertake the challenging task of sustainable development planning. The Guide offers tested and practical advice on how local governments can implement the United Nation's Agenda 21 action plan for sustainable development. To obtain this resource contact ICLEI, P.O. Box 8500, Ottowa, M5H 2N2, Canada; Tel: 416.392.1462; Website: www.iclei.org/iclei/la21.htm.

Izaak Walton League of America. The Community Sustainability Collection. This collection of community sustainability workshop materials and guides is designed to build an understanding of the concept and community applications of sustainability and the processes through which communities can work together to build successful community sustainability initiatives. To obtain this resource contact IWLA, 707 Conservation Lane, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, Tel: 301.548.0150; Fax: 301.548.0146; Email: general@iwla.org; Website: www.iwla.org.

Kline, Elizabeth. Sustainable Community Program Publications. (Medford, MA: Center for Environmental Management, Tufts University, 1993). To obtain this resource contact Sustainable Community Program, c/o G-DAE, Cabot Center, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155; Tel: 617.627.3530; Fax : 617.627.2409; Email: gdae@tufts.edu; Website: www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae.

Kretzmann, John and John McKnight. Building Communities from the Inside Out. (Evanston, IL: Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, 1993). This is an extensive guide to identifying and mobilizing community resources. To obtain this resource contact ACTA Publications, 4848 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640; Tel: 800.397.2282 or 773.271.1030.

Kunstler, James Howard. The Geography of Nowhere. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1993). This book focuses on the modern auto-dependent suburb and its economic, social, and spiritual costs.

Meadows, Donella H. et al. Beyond the Limits: Confronting Global Collapse, Envisioning a Sustainable Future. (Post Mills, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 1992). This sequel to The Limits of Growth shows that the world has already overshot some of its limits and, if present trends remain unchanged, we face the possibility of a global economic collapse.

Metropolis West. Finding the Thread of Sustainability. This is a report of the proceedings of the Metropolis West conference in San Francisco, February 7-8, 2001, in which participants discussed the issue of environmental sustainability in 2001. This resource can be found online at: www.metropolismag.com/html/content_1001/sup/index.html.

Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). Communities By Choice: Economy, Ecology, Equity. (Berea, KY: Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, 1997). This booklet introduces the concepts of sustainable community development and outlines steps to guide communities toward becoming sustainable. To obtain this resource contact MACED, 433 Chesnut Street, Berea, KY 40403; Tel: 606.986.2373; Fax: 606.986.1299.

Oregon State University Extension Service. Looking for Oregon's Future: What is Sustainability?. (November 2001). This publication is designed to encourage discussion on the big questions surrounding sustainability and what sustainability means to the lives of the people of Oregon. To obtain this resource contact Publications Orders, Extension & Station Communications, Oregon State University, 422 Kerr Administration, Corvallis, OR 97331-2119; Tell: 800.561.6719; Email: puborders@orst.edu. This resource can be found online at: oregonfuture.oregonstate.edu.

President's Council on Sustainable Development. Sustainable America: A New Consensus for Prosperity, Opportunity and a Healthy Environment for the Future. (Washington, DC: President's Council on Sustainable Development, 1996). This resource can be found online at: clinton2.nara.gov/PCSD/Publications/TF_Reports/amer-top.html.

President's Council on Sustainable Development. Sustainable Communities: Task Force Report. (Washington DC: President's Council on Sustainable Development, 1997). This resource can be found online at: clinton2.nara.gov/PCSD/Publications/suscomm/ind_suscom.html.

President's Council on Sustainable Development. Building on Consensus: A Progress Report on Sustainable America. (Washington DC: President's Council on Sustainable Development, 1997). This resource can be found online at: clinton2.nara.gov/PCSD/Publications/Progress_Report.html.

President's Council on Sustainable Development. Towards a Sustainable America: Advancing Prosperity, Opportunity, and a Healthy Environment for the 21st Century. (Washington, DC: 1999). This third and final report of the President's Council on Sustainable Development highlights 140 ways we can improve our economy, protect our environment, and improve our quality of life. This resource can be found online at: clinton2.nara/PCSD/Publications/tsa.pdf.

Roseland, Mark. Toward Sustainable Communities: Resources for Citizens and Their Governments. (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 1998). This book offers practical suggestions and innovative solutions to a wide range of municipal and community problems. To obtain this resource contact New Society Publishers, P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC, VORIXO, Canada; Tel: 800.333.9093; Fax: 604.247.7471.

Roseland, Mark, ed. Eco-City Dimensions: Healthy Communities, Healthy Planet. (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 1997). More than a dozen contributors discuss issues of ecological economics and community design, collaborative housing and traffic restraint programs, governance and resource management, cross-cultural dynamic and community participation, indicators of success, and overcoming barriers to change. To obtain this resource contact New Society Publishers, P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC, VORIXO, Canada; Tel: 800.333.9093; Fax: 604.247.7471.

Shaffer, Carolyn R. and Kristin Anundsen. Creating Community Anywhere: Finding Support and Connection in a Fragmented World. (Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee, 1993). This book examines the current structures that connect people and proposes ones better adapted to the framework of contemporary society.

Wackernagel, Mathis and William Rees. Our Ecological Footprint - Reducing Human Impact on the Earth. (Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers, 1996). This book presents a new tool for measuring and visualizing the resources required to sustain our households, communities, regions, and nations. To obtain this resource contact: New Society Publishers, P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC, VORIXO, Canada; Tel: 800.333.9093; Fax: 604.247.7471; Website: www.newsociety.com.

Walter, Bob et al. Sustainable Cities: Concepts and Strategies for Eco-City Development. (Los Angeles. CA: Eco-Home Media, 1992). This is a tool for architects, developers, planners, environmentalists, educators, public officials and anyone else interested in the hands-on process of bringing the built environment and natural environment into harmony. To obtain this resource contact Eco-Home Media, 4344 Russell Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027; Tel: 213.662.5207.

World Commission on Environment and Development. Our Common Future. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1989). In this report the World Commission on Environment and Development, headed by Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Prime Minister of Norway, offers an agenda advocating the growth of economies based on policies that do not harm, and can even enhance, the environment, warning that governments must take responsibility for policies that cause environmental damage.

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CASE STUDIES

Visit the SCN Case Studies Index to locate community case studies that highlight a broad range of sustainable community development strategies.

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