Sustainability is a vision of the future:
  • Community oriented
  • Inclusive of all members
  • Long-term
  • Acknowledges linkages
  • Considers carrying capacity
  • Measurable

Talking Points
  • Of, by, and for the community
  • Everyone can and does participate
  • Long term is 25 or 50 years, seven generations
  • Economy, environment, society are intimately connected
  • Humans are part of nature, need room for all
  • If you don't measure you won't get there

A common factor in all these definitions is a vision of a community's future. That vision is community-oriented and includes all members of the community. The vision is focused on the long term: not just five or ten years out, but 25 or 50. Native Americans talk about making decisions that take into consideration the next seven generations.

The vision takes into account links among economic, environmental and social aspects of the community. The vision also takes into account the need to balance resource use and waste generation with the earth's ability to produce resources and assimilate the waste produced. Last but not least, the vision is measurable. We need to have a goal and a way to measure progress towards that goal, or we will never know if we are making progress.
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Copyright © 1998 Maureen Hart. All rights reserved.