Sustainability is:
"...long-term cultural, economic, and environmental health and vitality..."
Sustainable Seattle

Talking Points
  • Long term
  • Participatory process requiring consensus
  • Sustainable Seattle project produced a great indicators report

Although not the first community group to work on issues of sustainability, Sustainable Seattle is one of the most well known groups that have developed indicators. They came up with this definition of sustainability, which specifically mentions the importance of all three aspects of a community: society, economy and environment. It took them a long time to arrive at this definition because of a disagreement over whether the economy or the environment should be listed first. As a compromise, they used the term "cultural" and put the three words in alphabetical order. This definition emphasizes the fact that the economic, environmental, and social aspects of a community are all linked; issues in one area cannot be solved at the expense of another area.
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Copyright © 1998 Maureen Hart. All rights reserved.