"There is a sense of great opportunity and hope that a new world can be built, in which economic development, social development and environmental protection as interdependent and mutually reinforcing components of sustainable development can be realized through solidarity and cooperation within and between countries and through effective partnerships at all levels."
Characteristics - General
Cities will need to become more aware of the impact that their consumption patterns have on other regions and ecosystems. A sustainable city will also need to acquire accountability and responsibility for increasing consumption patterns. Cities may work towards responsibility by adapting a policy to reduce, recycle, and re-use consumed goods. Some cities may go as far as implementing user fees in order to control unsustainable consumption patterns.
By examining the characteristics of a sustainable community, a better understanding can be reached about defining a sustainable community. Being very complex entities, cities can be characterized by a number of different properties. These properties may change across countries and geographical regions. This section gives you an overview of the most important sustainability issues in cities - grouped by the geographical locations of the project partners.
" Economy, ecology and social cohesion are the pillars of a sustainable city. These must be in balance and therefore require an integrated approach. Dialogue is the basic principle for achieving this for Local Agenda 21."
According to RRP International, the five basic elements to the community include:
Sustainability characteristics outlined by the Centre for Sustainable Development include:
Excerpts from Beth Lachman's article describes the issues that will have to be addressed with long-term planning to accomplish sustainable urban development:
"Economic issues include good jobs, good
wages, stable businesses, appropriate technology development
and implementation, business development, etc. If a community
does not have a strong economy, then it cannot be healthy and
sustainable over the long term
. From an environmental standpoint,
a community can be sustainable over the long term only if it
is not degrading its environment or using up finite resources.
Environmental concerns include protecting human and environmental
health; having healthy ecosystems and habitat; reducing and/or
eliminating pollution in water, air, and land; providing green
spaces and parks for wildlife, recreation, and other uses; pursuing
ecosystem management; protecting biodiversity; etc
a community has significant social problems, such as serious
crime, then it cannot be healthy and stable over the long term.
Furthermore, such a community probably will not be able to address
other key community issues, such as environmental problems, because
it is so busy dealing with its social problems. Social issues
addressed in sustainable community efforts include education,
crime, equity, inner-city problems, community building, spirituality,
environmental justice, etc. A major assumption of the sustainable
community definition is that trying to address such issues in
isolation eventually ends up hurting some other part of the community's
Another critical dimension to creating a sustainable community is fostering a sense of community. Such sustainability activities try to enhance individuals' and organizations' feelings of attachment, value, and connection to the community. Many experts feel that only by caring about and feeling a part of their neighborhood, town, county, and/or city will individuals truly work together over the long term to develop a healthy community."
- Beth E. Lachman.
Another way of looking at the characteristics of a sustainable community is by examining behavioural patterns, resource consumption patterns, and policies. In a report prepared for the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy, Nigel Richardson, a consultant, compares strategies for their sustainability or lack of sustainability.
- Nigel Richardson. Prepared for by the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy.