Sustainable Communities Task Force

"Within the neighborhoods, the towns, the local communities of America are the stirrings of a new movement of citizens acting together to solve community problems."

— A Nation of Spectators: The National Commission on Civic Renewal


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.


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(518) 573-3108

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