How can we build our homes and communities so that they co-exist harmoniously with Nature? What does it mean to create a sustainable house, a sustainable community, a sustainable city? For each additional day that we live, design and build unsustainably, we pull another fibre out of the fabric of Earth’s ecosystems.

Ten Easy Things that a Municipal Officer Can Do on a Monday Morning to Help Build a More Sustainable Community

1. Learn How to Protect Your Municipality's or Region's Creeks and Streams
Write off for a copy of 'Stream Stewardship - A Guide for Planners and Developers', in the province's Stewardship Series - a practical guide to everything from OCPs and zoning bylaws to set-backs and construction standards. Write to Fisheries and Oceans (Communications), 555 W.Hastings, Vancouver V6B 5G3 (604) 666-3545

2. Learn How to Build Green Trails and Wildlife Corridors in Your Municipality or Region. Write off for a copy of 'Community Greenways', also in the province's Stewardship Series. Covers everything from conservation covenants (to protect private land) to flood plain protection. Free from BC Environment (Naturescape), PO Box 9354, Stn Prov Govt., Victoria V8W 9M1 1-800-387-9853.

3. Plug into EcoNews, for Monthly News on Vancouver Island's Environment. It's free (financed by donations), and published by Guy Dauncey since 1991.395 Conway Rd, Victoria V8X 3X1. Tel 250-881-1304. Also available by email and on the web -

4. Get up-to-date on Traffic Calming, to Slow the Traffic on Residential Streets. Order a copy of 'Traffic Calming', the clearest introduction to the topic, from Sensible Transportation Options for People, 15405 SW 116th Ave, #202B, Tigard, OR 97224, USA. Tel 503-624-6083. Price US $10 includes postage. You could also contact Mike Skene, Victoria City's Manager of Transportation (250-361-0323), who helped initiate the Transportation Association of Canada's Traffic Calming Committee, which is currently drawing up national standards.

5. Sign up for GreenClips, an email summary of recent articles in the media on sustainable building design, green architecture and related government and business issues, published every two weeks by Chris Hammer. To request a free subscription, email

6. Find out about 'Alternative Development Standards', also known as 'traditional neighbourhood design. There's an article on it in the March 1997 issue of 'Taking Action', Municipal Affairs' newsletter on Growth Strategies. Free from the Growth Strategies Office at 250-356-9019, PO Box 9490, Stn Prov Govt., Victoria V8W 9N7.

7. Check the Toilet in your Washroom - has it been Fitted with a Low-Flush Installation ? Low-flush toilets and showerheads will save money for your municipality or region by reducing water pumping, treatment and sewage treatment costs. Qualicum Beach has passed a bylaw requiring that all new developments follow water-efficient standards. For details, contact Mark Brown, Director of Finance/Administration or Sandra Keddy, the Deputy Clerk, Town of Qualicum Beach, PO Box 130, Qualicum Beach, V9K 1S7.

8. Put your Municipality or Region in touch with the global movement for sustainable communities by writing to ICLEI - the International Centre for Local Environmental Initiatives, Tanya Imola, City Hall E. Tower, 100 Queen St, 8th flr, Toronto M5H 2N2. 416-392-1462. You can also visit ICLEI on the web at

9. Phone your bookshop and order a copy of 'Sustainable Urban Landscapes : The Surrey Design Charrette', edited by Patrick Condon (UBC) ($19.95). This is the story of four landscape design teams who worked in a 'charrette' to dream up four different sustainable futures for a 400 acre site in Surrey, and the different ideas they produced.

10. Check out a Guide to Sustainable Community Indicators. Seattle has established a set of 10 indicators, and there's a lot happening in this area.

Guy Dauncey