Key Elements for a Sustainable Community

Key Elements for a Sustainable Community

Sustainable and community; two words that have taken on a range of meanings in recent years and when put together create endless opportunities for ensuring a peaceful, healthy planet for generations.

What is a Sustainable Community

Sustainable communities are forward thinking, prioritizing being good stewards to ensure current and future generations have the resources and opportunities to thrive. Inclusivity is a key component ensuring that diversity is welcome and prosperity is for all. In 1995 ISC (Institute for Sustainable Communities) established the following as key elements for sustainable community:


  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, sexual orientation, 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.


  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 of waste.
  4. Utilization of prevention strategies and appropriate technology to minimize pollution emissions.
  5. Use of renewable resources no faster than their rate of renewal.


  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.


  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.

There is no one path to a sustainable community the key is to just get started. Whether it is just within your immediate household, neighborhood, or workplace;  listen to everyone's needs, research best practices and implement change. Every small change leads to a bigger transformation and do not be afraid to adjust when necessary.

Go to our social media pages Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and share how you are creating a sustainable community.

Thanks for reading,


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