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.


Sunshine Coast "Building a Sustainable Economy" conference, September 1999

  1. Build a long-term community-wide vision.
    Participation, schools, media, the Internet.
  2. Educate people about sustainability and livability.
    Sprawl, global warming, resource-use, species loss, dissipation of community, vision.
  3. Set goals and management plans for livability and sustainability. Write them into Mission Statements, OCPs and Regional Plans.
  4. Establish sustainability indicators - salmon, creek restoration, water quality, listed species (eg herons), greenways, travel mode split, C02 emissions, recycling, houses within 5' walk of shops. Also community & livability indicators.
  5. Create an ecological atlas, starting from aerial photos.
  6. Establish growth boundaries for all settlement areas.
  7. Plan long-distance greenways for hiking and cycling.
  8. Monitor and improve all new development proposals. Sustainability report cards & checklists.
  9. Set up local stewardship associations for every area, to nourish, conserve & protect.
  10. Establish local clusters of 25 houses, for greater resilience & participation.
  11. Redesign existing communities for greater sustainability & livability. Village centers, people-friendly streets, greenways connections, reduced setbacks, transit access, granny suites, home-based businesses. Neighbourhood charrettes.
  12. Establish local community development corporations. Forestry, farming, energy, eco-tech, software, eco-tourism, housing, finance, health, services, etc. Revelstoke; Vermont Socially Responsible Banking Fund; Danish wind-power co-operatives.
  13. Establish community forest licenses and partnerships. Encourage eco-certification.
  14. Establish a branch of the Natural Step. Invite all local businesses to sign up.
  15. Celebrate, acknowledge and reward, at an annual event.

Guy Dauncey,
Sustainable Communities Consultancy,
395 Conway Rd, Victoria, B.C. V8X 3X1 (250) 881-1304

September, 1999