What is a sustainable community, and what does it mean for you?

Published by Lowri Robbins on

Right now, the world is changing at a very fast pace, and one word you might hear being thrown about is sustainability… but how does sustainability relate to you and your community?! In every project that we present, we must aim to promote a sustainable community where everyone thrives, and this is what it means for you…

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 and are considerate of the environment and contribute to a high quality of life.

There are 3 main concepts of a sustainable community:

  1. Meeting social needs
  2. Protecting and enhancing the environment
  3. Promoting economic success

Meeting social needs

‘Because everyone deserves to live in a good area with good opportunities.’ – Your Back Yard

In any community, the needs of everyone need to be met in order to foster a safe, healthy and happy environment. This can be through the creation and enhancement of spaces that work well for people. The main theme of meeting social needs is to value and protect diversity and local distinctiveness, whilst working to strengthen the local cultural identity. All sections of the community, especially those groups who are marginalised, deserve to be empowered and to take part in decision-making when considering the social and community aspects of decisions. We want to maximise everyone’s access to skills and knowledge, and to provide everyone with experiences that ultimately make them happy and contribute to a healthy life.

Protecting and enhancing the environment

People are at the heart of all of our projects for sure, but we can’t forget the environment that we work, live, and play in! In recent years there has been a very obvious shift in our attitude towards the environment, as we realise how important it is to protect it. I have found the first step is just education! Education allows us to value and appreciate the benefits and diversity of nature. I’ll attach a quick link to a video below for you to check out…

To protect and enhance the environment we need to use minimise waste, re-use or recover it through recycling, and sustainably disposing of what is left. We need to limit pollution levels where possible, to levels which do not cause damage to our natural systems. This could be achieved by simple actions such as using public transport or buying a reusable water bottle instead of single-use plastics bottles at the shops.

Promoting economic success

A vibrant local economy gives access to satisfying and rewarding work without damage to the local, national, or global environment. Value needs to be placed on unpaid work; however, a balance must be struck as to not exploit those workers and to provide them with benefits elsewhere. We need to make opportunities for culture, leisure, and recreation readily available to all groups and encourage necessary access to facilities in a way that people can access them without a car. We need to recognise that not everyone has access to the same means and that we make services accessible and inclusive to everyone.

Sustained and inclusive economic growth can drive progress, create decent jobs for all, and improve living standards, creating better opportunities for everyone!

Resources

Just in case you want to explore the topics a little bit more, here are some resources! I will publish some blogs in the following weeks to just give you ideas about simple things you can do to promote a sustainable community!

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/economic-growth

https://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/Low-Carbon-and-Sustainable-Communities

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/

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