Sustainable Community Solutions - Building Sustainable Communities
- Ahwahnee Principles for Resource-Efficient Communities:
applying the Ahwahnee Principles to the creation of livable, sustainable communities.
- ALICE (American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange):
U.S. website providing the details of progressive legislation that can be used to create new laws around the country.
- Banking - Sustainable Banking:
banks who invest money to create positive social, environmental and cultural change. Great example: Triodos Bank
- Best Practices Database in Improving the Living Environment:
searchable database contains over 2150 proven solutions from more than 140 countries to the common social, economic and environmental problems of an urbanizing world.
effective community-based organization focused on two goals: to connect people with solutions by popularizing breakthrough ideas and practices and to grow social capital by catalyzing, connecting and strengthening strategic networks, including bioregional and community-based alliances.
used to describe an approach to political, cultural, and environmental issues based on naturally-defined regional areas, consistent with the concept of bioregions.
- Buy Local Movement:
increasingly popular movement in communities toward buying more often from local businesses.
- Clean Elections:
(also called Clean Money or Voter-Owned Elections) is a system of public financing of political campaigns (a form of campaign finance reform).
provides support and services that connect women raising children alone. Thru this connection, single parent women families pool their finances and resources to improve their living conditions for themselves and their children by sharing a home.
a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhoods.
- Community-Based Social Marketing: provides tools for encouraging individuals in a community to adopt healthy, sustainable lifestyles.
- Community Gardening: a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people to provide fresh produce and plants as well as satisfying labor, neighborhood improvement, sense of community and connection to the environment. One great example for schoolchildren: Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, CA.
- Community Investing: financing that creates resources and opportunities for economically disadvantaged people in the US and overseas who are underserved by traditional financial institutions.
- Community Land Trust (CLT): a nonprofit corporation which acquires and manages land on behalf of the residents of a place-based community, while preserving affordability and preventing foreclosures for any housing located upon its land (U.S. CLT Network)
- Co-operative: an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
- Credit Union (aka Community Development Bank): form of banking that funds projects that build healthy communities. Available in local communities or online.
- Department of Peace:
a department that would augment current problem-solving modalities, providing practical, nonviolent solutions to the problems of domestic and international conflict.
- Ecological Footprint for Communities:
depict the amount of land and water area a human population would hypothetically need to provide the resources required to support itself and to absorb its wastes, given prevailing technology.
- Ecological Handprint:
expands on the Ecological Footprint by bringing together the interrelated goals of sustaining the biological integrity of the planet and insuring sustenance for those in need.
- Eco-Municipality (or Eco-Town) :
a local government area that has adopted ecological and social justice values in its charter. Recognizes that issues of sustainability are key to all decisions made by government. Many incorporate the Natural Step into their change processes.
- Environmental Education:
organized efforts to teach about how natural environments function and, particularly, how human beings can manage their behavior and ecosystems in order to live sustainably.
Check out the great article: Learning to Live in Harmony.
- Environmental Planning:
a relatively new field of study that aims to merge the practice of urban planning with the concerns of environmentalism.
- Fair Trade:
an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries to make better trading conditions and promote sustainability.
- Food Scrap Recycling:
an increasing number of communities are adding curbside pickup for food scraps and composting them.
- Gift Economy:
an economic system in which the prevalent mode of exchange is for goods and services to be given without explicit agreement upon a quid pro quo.
- Global Ecovillage Network:
a global association of people and communities (ecovillages) dedicated to living "sustainable plus" lives by restoring the land and adding more to the environment than is taken. Network members share ideas and information, transfer technologies and develop cultural and educational exchanges.
- Green Community Toolkit by the EPA: through a 5-step planning process, provides tools and information to help communities become more sustainable.
Green Plans (a.k.a. strategic environmental management plans):
comprehensive and integrated strategies for the deliberate pursuit of sustainable development. Government, business, and NGO sectors are all involved as partners in developing and implementing the plans.
- Green Procurement Strategies:
program to assist local governments in purchasing products and services with a reduced effect on the environment and human health.
- Greendex Worldwide Tracking Survey:
interntional survey of green practices in several different countries.
- The Happiness Initiative:
provides tool for conducting a community happiness survey (example: Seattle).
- Horticultural Therapy:
promoting health and wellness through the therapeutic use of gardening.
- How Green Is My Town?:
an EPA-award winning environmental assessment program designed to help local governments in their efforts to address issues of climate change, sustainability and environmental health.
- ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives): an association of over 1200 local governments around the world representing more than 560 million people who are committed to sustainable development.
- Imagine This! TV:
a network of people dedicated to creating sustainable, life-altering projects for communities around the globe.
- International Family Planning Programs:
help millions of women by providing reproductive health care that saves lives, preventing unintended pregnancies and offering the opportunity for people worldwide to plan their families using contraception.
- Limited Equity Cooperative:
business corporations in which residents share ownership of a building. Co-op members work together to reach mutual goals based on democratic control and decision-making. Cooperative residents are typically guided in practices of living together in mutual ownership by the "Rochdale Principles," developed by the International Cooperative Alliance.
- Local Currency:
a currency not backed by a national government and intended to trade only in a small area. These currencies are also referred to as community currency.
- Media Democracy:
promotes a mass media system that informs and empowers all members of society.
- Millennium Project:
eight goals agreed to by all the world's countries and all the world's leading development institutions. Several of the goals would lead to lower birth rates worldwide (including providing universal primary education for girls, promoting gender equality and empowering women, improving maternal health, reducing child mortality, and reducing overall poverty levels - all measures that have been found to reduce family size).
In communities with pay-as-you-throw programs (also known as unit pricing or variable-rate pricing), residents are charged for the collection of household trash based on the amount they throw away. This creates a direct economic incentive to recycle more and to generate less waste. Also check out Nova Scotia's world-renowned waste reduction strategy.
- Peace, Nonviolence, and Conflict Resolution by Gandhi and MLK: successful nonviolent approaches to conflict resolution.
- Precautionary Principle:
an important sustainable principle being adopted by local governments around the world.
- Reforming the Media:
efforts to shift the media toward greater fairness and accuracy.
- Resources for Living Economies:
a variety of resources for strengthening local economies.
- Revoking U.S. Corporate Personhood:
efforts to reverse the legal claim by corporations that the 14th Amendment meant they were intended to fully enjoy the legal status and protections created for human beings.
A reversal would give local governments greater control over determining development in their communities.
- Sharing Sustainable Solutions: helps communities move towards self-sustainability, self-reliance, and autonomy.
- Smart Growth:
used by those who seek to identify a set of policies governing transportation and land use planning policy for urban areas that benefits communities and preserves the natural environment.
- Styrofoam Bans:
U.S. cities/towns that have banned the use of styrofoam food packaging. Links to ordinances or articles for each community.
- Sustainable City (or Eco-City):
a city designed with consideration of environmental impact, inhabited by people dedicated to minimisation of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output of heat, air pollution - CO2, methane, and water pollution.
- Solar Community Energy Projects:
an integrated approach to supplying a local community with its energy requirements from renewable energy or high-efficiency co-generation energy sources.
- Sustainable Urban Infrastructure:
infrastructure that facilitates a place or regions progress towards the goal of sustainable living. Attention is paid to technological and government policy which enables urban planning for sustainable architecture and initiatives that promote sustainable agriculture.
- Ten Steps to Sustainability for a Community:
U.S. Department of Energy has helped simplify the task of launching a community sustainability endeavor by breaking the process down into 10 individual steps.
- Time Banks:
international community building system that lets you earn a Time Dollar for every hour you spend doing something for someone in your community. Then you have a Time Dollar to spend on having someone do something for you.
- Tool Lending Library:
work just like book lending libraries, except they allow the temporary use of tools instead of books (current locations).
- Transition Network (aka Transition Towns):
Builds community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. (Transition United States). Also see Sustainability Street (Australia).
- Trash Pickup Improvements:
BigBelly solar-powered trash compaction systems are reducing waste pickups - saving energy and tax dollars.
- Triple Bottom Line:
accounting framework for communities that goes beyond the traditional measures of profits, return on investment, and shareholder value to include environmental and social dimensions.
- United Nations Population Fund:
world's largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programs. The Fund works with governments and non-governmental organizations in over 140 countries with the support of the international community, supporting programs that help women, men and young people plan their families and avoid unwanted pregnancies, undergo pregnancy and childbirth safely, avoid sexually transmitted infections, combat violence against women, promote the equality of women.
- Urban Design:
concerns the arrangement, appearance and functionality of towns and cities. It typically requires interdisciplinary input with balanced representation of multiple fields including engineering, ecology, local history, and transport planning.
- U.S. Voting Reform:
efforts to create an accurate and fair election system so that voters can elect officials that will work toward creating a sustainable community.
- Walking School Bus:
a group of children walking or riding their bikes ("bicycle train") to school with one or more adults. Either informal (i.e., two families taking turns walking their children to school) or structured (i.e., defined route with meeting points, a timetable and a regularly rotated schedule of trained volunteers).
- Wind-powered Communities:
Community wind is a growing sector of wind development that promises to increase local energy independence and prosperity without contributing to global warming.
- Zero-Waste Community:
Berkeley, California established a zero-waste goal for 2020.