Sustainable community

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Sustainable communities are communities planned, built, or modified to promote sustainable living. This may include sustainability aspects relating to equality, water, transportation, energy, and waste and materials.1 They tend to focus on environmental sustainability (including development and agriculture) and economic sustainability. Sustainable communities should focus on sustainable urban infrastructure, social equity, and sustainable municipal infrastructure. The intersection of all four areas of sustainability, economy, environment, and equality, are necessary to the creations of a sustainable community.

Sustainable communities by country


Huangbaiyu is a model sustainable village in Benxi, Liaoning, People's Republic of China.

New Zealand

Kaikoura has a stunning environment which is important to the community and attracts close to 1 million visitors each year. Throughout the Kaikoura community, the value in looking after the environment, for the community, the tourists and the next generation, has become increasingly important - Green Globe provided a framework to reduce the environmental impact of the community and the visitors.

Green Globe is a tool used by Kaikoura's community to measure and work towards reducing its impact on the environment.

To become certified the environmental impact is measured each year (also known as benchmarking). Annually they calculate 12 indicators, which include the amount of energy used in the District, amounts of [greenhouse] gas and waste produced, and 9 other indicators (for benchmark results in 2003/2004, 2004/2005, 2005/06 and 2006/07).

By measuring the impact they are having - they can manage it and work to reduce the negative effects. The Council has adopted an Environmental & Social Sustainability Policy and every day activities focus on leading the community towards sustainability

Papua New Guinea

The nation-state of Papua New Guinea is organized around rural and urban village communities with the informal sector constituting over 90 per cent of the economy and food security dependent in large part on local production. In this context, while the country faces considerable ecological pressures through the extractive industries, the most consequential sustainability issues for communities are in the domains of economic livelihoods, cultural resilience and political adaptation.2 Work by the Department for Community Development using the Circles of Sustainability approach, an approach developed by the Global Cities Institute responded to these pressures by emphasizing the need for nationally supported, locally organized community learning centres.

United Kingdom

The Government of the United Kingdom defines a sustainable community in its 2003 Sustainable Communities Plan: "Sustainable communities are places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment, and contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe and inclusive, well planned, built and run, and offer equality of opportunity and good services for all."345

The agenda sets out a long term plan to combat the under supply of homes in the South East and over supply of void or low demand properties in the Midlands and North.

It has also formed the Academy for Sustainable Communities.

Current sustainable communities in the United Kingdom include BedZED, which is based in Hackbridge, London; and Yours South Lynn, which is based in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. 6

United States

The Atlanta BeltLine "could become a model for sustainable communities worldwide" according the The Atlantic magazine who also called it the United States' "most ambitious smart growth project".7 The Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies is a small scale example of a sustainable community for students at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.


Tamera peace research center is one of the biggest communities in Europe which is aiming to create a model of sustainable life on earth.

Costa Rica

See also


  1. ^ California Sustainability Alliance, Sustainable Communities, Received October 28th, 2010
  2. ^ Paul James, Yaso Nadarajah, Karen Haive, and Victoria Stead, Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Development: Other Paths for Papua New Guinea, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 2012, xix+462pp.
  3. ^ Maliene V, Howe J, Malys N (2008). "Sustainable communities: affordable housing and socio-economic relations". Local Economy 23 (4): 267–76. doi:10.1080/02690940802407989. 
  4. ^ Maliene V, Malys N (2009). "High-quality housing—a key issue in delivering sustainable communities". Building and Environment 44 (2): 426–30. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2008.04.004. 
  5. ^ McDonald S, Malys N, Maliene V (2009). "Urban regeneration for sustainable communities: a case study". Technologic and Economic Development of Economy 15 (1): 49–59. doi:10.3846/1392-8619.2009.15.49-59. 
  6. ^ "Yours South Lynn". 
  7. ^ Kaid Benfield, "The Country's Most Ambitious Smart Growth Project", The Atlantic, July 26, 2011

External links

*Within Reach movie - 6500 mile, 2 year bicycle journey, 1 couple, 100 USA sustainable communities visited and documented in this film released early 2013

Additional reading

  • Maliene V, Malys N (2009). "High-quality housing—a key issue in delivering sustainable communities". Building and Environment 44 (2): 426–30. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2008.04.004. 

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