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Appendix A

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Appendix A
Definitions and Principles of Sustainable Communities

This appendix includes examples of sustainable communities principles as adopted by organizations and groups and within municipalities of the United States. The purpose of their presentation in this report is for informational intent only and should not be construed as endorsement by the Sustainable Communities Task Force or the President's Council on Sustainable Development. 

Elements of a Sustainable Community, Institute for Sustainable Communities

The Awahnee Principles, Local Government Commission

Principles of Environmental Justice, First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit

Principles of Sustainable Community Development, Burlington, Vermont

Charter of Sustainability, New Pattonsburg, Missouri 

Elements of a Sustainable Community

Institute for Sustainable Communities

Ecological Integrity

    1. Satisfaction of basic human needs for clean air and water and nutritious, uncontaminated food.
    2. Protection and enhancement of local and regional ecosystems and biological diversity.
    3. Conservation of water, land, energy, and nonrenewable resources, including maximum feasible reduction recovery, and reuse and recycling waste.
    4. Utilization of prevention strategies and appropriate technology to minimize pollution emissions.
    5. Use of renewable resources no further than their rate of renewal. 
Economic Security

    1. A diverse and financially viable economic base.
    2. Reinvestment of resources in local economy.
    3. Maximization of local ownership of businesses.
    4. Meaningful employment opportunities for all citizens.
    5.Provision of job training and education to help the workforce adjust to future needs.

Empowerment and Responsibility 
    1. Equal opportunity for all individuals to participate in and influence decisions that affect each of their lives.
    2.Adequate access to public information.
    3. A viable, nongovernmental sector.
    4. An atmosphere of respect and tolerance for diverse viewpoints, beliefs, and values.
    5. Encourages individuals of all ages, gender, ethnicity, religions, and physical ability to take responsibility based upon a shared vision.
    6. Political stability.
    7. Does not compromise the sustainability of other communities.
Social Well-Being
    1. A reliable food supply that optimizes local production.
    2. Adequate health services, safe and healthy housing, and high quality education for all members of the community.
    3. Maintains a place that is safe from crime and aggression.
    4. Fosters a community spirit that creates a sense of belonging, a sense of place, and a sense of self-worth.
    5. Stimulation of creative expression through the arts.
    6. Protection and enhancement of public spaces and historic resources.
    7. Provision for a healthy work environment.
    8. Adaptability to changing circumstances and conditions.

    This listing was developed by the board of the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC). 
    For more information, contact ISC, 56 College Street, Montepelier, VT 05602-3115, 802 229 2900, fx 802 229 2919, email <isc@iscvt.org>. 

The Ahwahnee Principles


Existing patterns of urban and suburban development seriously impair our quality of life. The symptoms are: more congestion and air pollution resulting from our increased dependence on automobiles, the loss of precious open space, the need for costly improvements to roads and public services, the inequitable distribution of economic resources, and the loss of a sense of community. By drawing upon the best from the past and the present we can first, infill existing communities, and second, plan new communities that will more successfully serve the needs of those who live and work within them. Such planning should adhere to these fundamental principles.

    Community Principles:
    1. All planning should be in the form of complete and integrated communities containing housing, shops, work places, schools, parks and civic facilities essential to the daily life of the residents.
    2. Community size should be designed so that housing, jobs, daily needs and other activities are within easy walking distance of each other.
    3. As many activities as possible should be located within easy walking distance of transit stops.
    4. A community should contain a diversity of housing types to enable citizens from a wide range of economic levels and age groups to live within its boundaries.
    5. Businesses within the community should provide a range of job types for the community's residents.
    6. The location and character of the community should be consistent with a larger network.
    7. The community should have a center focus that combines commercial, civic, cultural and recreational uses.
    8. The community should contain an ample supply of specialized open space in the form of squares, greens and parks whose frequent use is encouraged through placement and design.
    9. Public spaces should be designed to encourage the attention and presence of people at all hours of the day and night.
    10. Each community or cluster of communities should have a well defined edge, such as agricultural greenbelts or wildlife corridors, permanently protected from development.
    11. Streets, pedestrian paths and bike paths should contribute to a system of fully-connected and interesting routes to all destinations. Their design should encourage pedestrian and bicycle use by being small and spatially designed by buildings, trees and lighting; and by discouraging high speed traffic.
    12. Wherever possible, the natural terrain, drainage, and vegetation of the community should be preserved with superior examples contained within parks or greenbelts.
    13. The community design should help conserve resources and minimize waste.
    14. Communities should provide for the efficient use of water through the use of natural drainage, drought tolerant landscaping and recycling.
    15. The street orientation, the placement of buildings and the use of shading should contribute to the energy efficiency of the community.
Regional Principles:
    1. The regional land use planning structure should be integrated within a larger transportation network built around transit rather than freeways.
    2. Regions should be bounded by and provide a continuous system of greenbelt/wildlife corridors to be determined by natural conditions.
    3. Regional institutions and services (government, stadiums, museums, etc.) should be located in the urban core.
    4. Materials and methods of construction should be specific to the region, exhibiting continuity of history and culture and compatibility with the climate to encourage the development of local character and community identity.

    Implementation Strategies:

    1. The general plan should be updated to incorporate the above principles.
    2. Rather than allowing developer-initiated, piecemeal development, local governments should take charge of the planning process. General plans should designate where new growth, infill or redevelopment will be allowed to occur.
    3. Prior to any development, a specific plan should be prepared based on these planning principles. With the adoption of specific plans, complying projects could proceed with minimal delay.
    4. Plans should be developed through an open process and participants in the process should be provided visual models of all planning proposals.
The Awahnee Principles were drafted by Peter Calthorpe, Michael Corbett, Andres Duany, Elizabeth Moule, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Stefanos Polyzoides, architects who have been leaders in developing new notions of land use planning.

For further information, contact: Center for Livable Communities c/o Local Government Commission, 1414 K Street, Suite 250, Sacramento, CA 95814, 916 448 1198, fx 916 448 8246. 

Principles of Environmental Justice

    1. Environmental justice affirms the sacredness of Mother Earth, ecological unity and the interdependence of all species, and the right to be free from ecological destruction.

    2. Environmental justice demands that public policy be based on mutual respect and justice for all peoples, free from any form of discrimination or bias.

    3. Environmental justice mandates the right to ethical, balanced and responsible uses of land and renewable resources in the interest of a sustainable planet for humans and other living things.

    4. Environmental justice calls for universal protection from nuclear testing and the extraction, production and disposal of toxic/hazardous wastes and poisons that threaten the fundamental right to clean air, land, water, and food.

    5. Environmental justice affirms the fundamental right to political, economic, cultural, and environmental self-determination of all peoples.

    6. Environmental justice demands the cessation of the production of all toxins, hazardous wastes, and radioactive materials, and that all past and current producers be held strictly accountable to the people for detoxification and the containment at the points of production.

    7. Environmental justice demands the right to participate as equal partners at every level of decision-making including needs assessment, planning, implementation, enforcement and evaluation.

    8. Environmental justice affirms the right of all workers to a safe and healthy work environment, without being forced to choose between an unsafe livelihood and unemployment. It also affirms the right of those who work at home to be free from environmental hazards.

    9. Environmental justice protects the right of victims of environmental injustice to receive full compensation and reparations for damages as well as quality health care.

    10. Environmental justice considers governmental acts of environmental injustice a violation of international law, the Universal Declaration On Human Rights, and the United Nations Convention on Genocide.

    11. Environmental justice must recognize a special legal and natural relationship of Native Peoples to the U.S. government through treaties, agreements, compacts, and covenants affirming sovereignty and self-determination.

    12. Environmental justice affirms the need for urban and rural ecological policies to clean up and rebuild our cities and rural areas in balance with nature, honoring the cultural integrity of all our communities, and providing fair access for all to the full range of resources.

    13. Environmental justice calls for the strict enforcement of principles of informed consent, and a halt to the testing of experimental reproductive and medical procedures and vaccinations on people of color.

    14. Environmental justice opposes the destructive operations of multi-national corporations.

    15. Environmental justice opposes military occupation, repression and exploitation of lands, peoples and cultures, and other life forms.

    16. Environmental justice calls for the education of present and future generations which emphasizes social and environmental issues, based on our experience and an appreciation of our diverse cultural perspectives.

    17. Environmental justice requires that we, as individuals, make personal and consumer choices to consume as little of Mother Earth's resources and to produce as little waste as possible; and make the conscious decision to challenge and reprioritize our lifestyles to insure the health of the natural world for present and future generations.

These principles were adopted by the delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leaderships Summit held in Washington, DC, on October 27, 1991.
Principles of Sustainable Community Development
Burlington, Vermont
    In Burlington, decisionmakers have embraced six principles of sustainable community development. They are:
    1. Encourage economic self-sufficiency through local ownership and the maximum use of local resources;

    2. Equalize the benefits and burdens of growth;

    3. Leverage and recycle scarce public funds; 

    4. Protect and preserve fragile environmental resources;

    5. Ensure full participation by populations normally excluded from the political and economic mainstream; and

    6. Nurture a robust "third sector" of private, non-profit organizations capable of working in concert with government to deliver essential goods and services.

For further information, contact the Office of the Mayor, Peter Clavelle, City Hall, Room 34, Burlington, VT 05401, 802 865 7272, fx 802 865 7024. 

Charter of Sustainability
New Pattonsburg, Missouri

In accord with the decision to ensure our community's future by its relocation from the flood plain, we, the elected officials and contracted development professionals of Pattonsburg, Missouri, agree to uphold the following principles of sustainability. In doing so, we recognize our responsibility to the plan for the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. In good faith with the agencies and organizations supporting our relocation and redevelopment, we will strive to achieve these accepted objectives of sustainability in the areas of economics, ecology, and community process. Adopted December 8, 1994.Objectives for a Sustainable EconomyTo build a sustainable and sustaining economic system, providing equitably for our materials needs and the needs of future generations, we agree to:

Encourage local ownership by building skills and encouraging entrepreneurial innovation;
In considering distant ownership, seek business people who have demonstrated good citizenship in their local communities; 
Build local capacity to support financing of sustainable economic activity;
Consider the full environmental and social impacts of economic decisions;
Encourage ecologically sensitive businesses;
Encourage and give priority to businesses that add to the economic value of regional agricultural and other resources, instead of exporting unprocessed resources to be developed elsewhere;
Capitalize on the economic opportunity presented by New Pattonsburg's proximity to an interstate highway, both as a connection to the transportation network and as a provider of access for new consumers to New Pattonsburg's marketplace.

Objectives for a Sustainable Ecology

To build a sustainable and sustaining ecological system, providing equitably for a thriving human and natural community for ourselves and for future generations, we agree to:

Preserve the character and health of our natural environment, using and reusing the materials, energy and water we need as efficiently as possible and eliminating waste;
Utilize clean, renewable resources extracted and processed within the community whenever possible;
Preserve and expand the choices of present and future members of our community, providing information and design alternatives that encourage use of sustainable resources, technologies and methods suitable for our environment and culture.

Objectives for a Sustainable Community Process

To build a sustainable and sustaining process that empowers all community members to participate in determining their present and future quality of life, we agree to:

Provide full, accessible information and education on issues that affect the community to all members, including our children;
Sponsor community gatherings, community based committees and other forums that solicit ideas and convictions of the people, encourage the exchange and development of new ideas and promote full and diverse participation in decision making;
Seek concensus within the community to guide the work of leaders and professionals charged with the responsibility of implementing community decisions. 

For more information, contact Christopher Kelsey, BNIM Architects, One Kansas City Place, 1200 Main Street, Suite 1515, Kansas City, MO 64105.


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PCSD - Sustainable Communitites - Index



Executive Summary


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix D

Appendix E

Appendix F

Appendix G