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The Natural Step for Communities : How Cities and Towns can Change to Sustainable Practices - Sarah James

The Natural Step for Communities

How Cities and Towns can Change to Sustainable Practices

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Published: 1st April 2004
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Sustainability may seem like one more buzzword and cities and towns like the last places to change, but "The Natural Step for Communities" provides inspiring examples of communities that have made dramatic changes toward sustainability and explains how others can emulate their success.

Chronicled in the book are towns like Overtornea, whose government operations recently became 100 percent fossil fuel-free, demonstrating that unsustainable municipal practices really can be overhauled. Arguing that the process of introducing change--whether converting to renewable energy or designing compact development--is critical to success, the authors outline why well-intentioned proposals often fail to win community approval and why an integrated approach--not "single-issue" initiatives--can surmount challenges of conflicting priorities, scarce resources and turf battles.

The book first clarifies the concept of sustainability, offering guiding principles--the Natural Step framework--that help identify sustainable action in any area. It then introduces the 60+ eco-municipalities of Sweden that have adopted changes to sustainable practices throughout municipal policies and operations. The third section explains how they did it and outlines how other communities in North America and elsewhere can do the same. Key to success is a democratic, "bottom-up" change process and clear guiding sustainability principles, such as the Natural Step framework.

The book will appeal to both general readers wishing to understand better what sustainability means and practitioners interested in introducing or expanding sustainable development in their communities.

Sarah James is the principal of a community planning consulting firm. She co-authored the American Planning Association's "Planning for Sustainability" Policy Guide and has published articles throughout the U.S. on this subject.

Torbjorn Lahti was the planner for Sweden's first eco-municipality and is directing a five-year sustainable community demonstration project. He was instrumental in forming the Swedish National Association of Eco-municipalities.

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Forewordp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Introduction: The Bumblebee That Changed the Worldp. xxi
Compass for Change: The Natural Step Framework for Sustainabilityp. 1
Introducing and Using the Natural Step Frameworkp. 2
Sustainability: The Trouble We Have Talking About Itp. 15
The Natural Step Approach: Why Is It Useful?p. 20
Practices That Changedp. 27
The Eco-municipalities of Sweden: A Little Backgroundp. 28
Changing to Renewable Energy Sourcesp. 32
Getting Away from Fossil-fueled Vehicles: Transportation and Mobilityp. 49
Ecological Housingp. 60
Green Businesses; Green Buildingsp. 76
Journeys to Self-sufficiency: Community Eco-economic Developmentp. 97
Ecological Schools; Ecological Educationp. 112
Sustainable Agriculture: Growing Healthy; Growing Locallyp. 128
Dealing with Wastep. 141
Natural Resources: Protecting Biodiversityp. 154
Sustainable Land Use and Planningp. 162
How Communities Can Changep. 177
What Gets in the Way of Change?p. 178
Three Change Processes that Workp. 182
Steps to Changep. 203
Inside the Head of a Process Leaderp. 222
Epiloguep. 240
Location Mapp. 241
Guide to Swedish Name Pronunciationp. 242
National Association of Swedish Ecomunicipalities (SeKom) Members in 2002p. 245
References and Sourcesp. 246
Bibliographyp. 246
Talks and Presentationsp. 254
Endnotesp. 256
Indexp. 273
About the Authorsp. 278
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780865714915
ISBN-10: 0865714916
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st April 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 19.1  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.57