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Greening the Community. Will O’Brien January 2010. Challenges Facing Communities. Loss of traditional economic base and current economic slowdown Intense competition for service employment Flat tax revenues in the face of increasing local government costs

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Greening the community

Greening the Community

Will O’Brien

January 2010

Challenges facing communities
Challenges Facing Communities

  • Loss of traditional economic base and current economic slowdown

  • Intense competition for service employment

  • Flat tax revenues in the face of increasing local government costs

  • Unplanned sprawl threatening municipaltax base and family farms

  • Depletion/pollution of natural resources

Challenges facing communities1
Challenges Facing Communities

  • Cuts in state and federal transfer payments due in part to events of 9.11.01

  • Changing face of agriculture

  • Increasing residential segregation

  • Weakening of traditional community based organizations & decreased civic involvement

Greening the community


Ecologically Sustainable Development

This web site aims to promote and support programs, services and policies for

sustainable development in Australia and to provide links to useful

sustainability information:

  • Sustainable development in Australia

  • What is Sustainable Development?

  • A Brief History of Sustainable Development

  • How Can We Achieve Sustainable Development in Australia?

  • Local Agenda 21 Program

  • National Sustainability Initiatives

  • Local Government NRM Facilitators

China agenda 21
China&Agenda 21

  • Leading Group of China's Agenda 21: After the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in 1992, the Chinese Government began the process of formulating China's Agenda 21. The Chinese Government decided to establish a Leading Group and an affiliated office, under the direction of the State Planning Commission (SPC) and the State Science and Technology Commission (SSTC), to engage in the formulation of China's Agenda 21 and the associated Priority Programme.

  • Completion: In March of 1994, China's Agenda 21 was finally completed, based on China's specific national conditions and paying attention to population, environment, and development, sets up a strategic goal of sustainable development that can promote coordinated development of economy, society, resources, and environment.

  • China's Agenda 21 can be categorized into four parts:

    • Comprehensive strategy and policy of sustainable development

    • Sustainable social development

    • Sustainable economic development

    • Rational utilization of resources and environmental protection

Experimental sustainable community
Experimental Sustainable Community


With respect to hot points such as environment, population and resources, in 1986, led by the State Science and Technology Commission, the State Planning Commission, and other relevant governmental sectors, Changzhou City and Wuxi county of Jiangsu Province were chosen, as demonstration, to test comprehensive community management through the dissemination of innovative ways of thinking and input of science and technology. The demonstration involves both theoretical researches and extensive social practices. It has conducted  comprehensive experiments in areas with great differences in natural and geographical conditions, including rural areas, county town and city blocks. Through ten years' effort, a new way has been figured out which depends on the scientific and technological advancement to promote economic and social sustainable development. By the end of 1996, there were 26 such communities at the national level and 45 at the provincial and municipal level; those cover 23 of China's provinces. With the implementation of China's Agenda 21, the Chinese government is placing sustainable development as one of its important base of experience and practice for the implementation of China's Agenda 21 at local level.


The main objective of the experimental sustainable communities is to develop new mechanisms which will benefit economic development while keeping in harmony with social development and environmental protection; to improve the relationship between human beings and nature by increasing people's awareness of new concepts and improving their capabilities; and to "control population growth, expand job availability, improve the social security system, protect the environment; and in this way to promote social prosperity through fair, secure, civilized and healthy development.“


Greening the community

European Union

Ministers strike a deal for Sustainable Communities.

UK Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and full text of the Bristol Accord, “Sustainable


Greening the community

EU Ministers strike a deal for sustainable communitiesODPM News Release 07 December 2005

An historic agreement to unite Europe behind a common goal of creating sustainable communities was announced today at the EU Informal Meeting of Ministers, hosted by Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.The Bristol Accord will provide a new framework for EU Governments to deliver jobs, economic prosperity, social justice, and improved quality of life for Europe’s 450 million citizens.

It sets out eight key characteristics that will inform future European regional policy to deliver places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. Sustainable communities should be safe, fair, thriving, environmentally sensitive, well run, served, connected and designed.

The Accord agreed today in Bristol builds on the Rotterdam urban acquis, the Lisbon agenda for jobs and growth, the goals of environmental sustainability agreed at Gothenburg, and effective democratic governance agreed at the Warsaw Summit in May.

The Deputy Prime Minister said:“We are united in our common goal – a European approach to creating sustainable communities. We are committed to delivering the quality of growth our people need and the quality of life they deserve. Sustainable communities is a big idea for a bigger Europe. It offers a chance to create thriving and successful places in which the people of Europe will have a more secure and prosperous future. In Bristol this week, we have taken a major step forward in realizing this shared ambition, with the signing of this Accord.”Ministers also agreed to the establishment of a group of EU experts to consider how European Investment Bank (EIB) loans can contribute to the development of sustainable communities. The group will include Members States, the EIB and the European Commission, reporting back to Ministers during the German Presidency in 2007.

Ministers also signed up to a Sustainable Communities Skills Symposium, to help drive forward the implementation of the Bristol Accord.

United states1
United States

  • Austin

  • Grand Rapids

  • Olympia

  • State of Illinois

Greening the community

Restoring balance, environmental health, quality of life, sense of community

New Goals of for the 21st Century:

High Quality of Life

Social Cohesion

Ecological Integrity

Effective Decision making

Community sustainability

Community sense of communitySustainability

.. ability of a community to utilize its resources to ensure that all present and future members can attain a high degree of health and well-being, economic security, and a say in shaping their future while maintaining the integrity of the ecological systems on which all life and production depends.

The long-term continuity of social, cultural, economic, democratic and environmental health and prosperity of a community.

Community and economic vitality principles
Community and Economic Vitality Principles sense of community

We work toward the long term sustainability and well being of

communities by:

  • Encouraging strategic planning and vision development

  • Identifying assets and building from local resources and skills

  • meeting local needs with local sources

  • Developing the local workforce

  • Considering quality of life issues for all age groups

  • Protecting working landscapes

Key characteristics of community based planning

Resident-driven sense of community

Participatory decision-making




Start small & build on success

Organizational capacity-focused

Emphasizes learning


Key Characteristics of Community Based Planning

Total development paradigm

(Layer Cake Model)

Economic Base

Physical Infrastructure

Support Infrastructure / Quality of Life

Human Infrastructure /

Leadership Infrastructure

Cd process
CD Process sense of community






Projects & Plans



Seek Potential



Goals & Objectives


Action Plan

Long term process of capacity building
Long-term Process of Capacity Building sense of community

Next Process


Next Process

Next Process

Next Process

On Going Processes



Cd challenges resource constraints













Wendell berry s set of rules
Wendell Berry’s sense of communitySet of Rules

  • Always ask of any proposed change or innovation: what will this do to our community

  • Always include local nature – the land, the water, the air, the native creatures

  • Always ask how local needs might be supplied from local sources

Measuring community success
Measuring Community Success sense of community

  • Increased us of the skills, knowledge and ability of local people

  • Strengthened relationships and communication

  • Improved community initiative, responsibility and adaptability

  • Sustainable, healthy ecosystems with multiple community benefits

  • Appropriate and diverse healthy economies

Constituents sense of community

  • Residents, Neighborhood Groups, Community Leaders

  • Under represented groups: youth/senior/immigrant populations

  • Area Businesses

  • Government & elected officials

  • Agencies and organizations

  • State & Federal agencies

Commonalities of successful communities
Commonalities of Successful Communities sense of community

1) Well articulated vision

2) Looks for Opportunities

3) Risk Taking

4) Holistic Perspective

5) A Belief in “Doing”

6) Find Ways for ALL to Participate

7) Develop PEOPLE first

8) Builds upon Community Resources

9) Nothings Succeeds like Success

10) Good Use of Knowledge

11) Trust

Resources sense of community

  • Rocky Mountain Institute

  • Sustainable Communities Network


  • Transition Towns