Table of Contents | Appendix D

Appendix C
Community Profiles in the Fifty States


Alabama-Maine | Maryland-Wyoming




This compendium of initiatives, a few of the many outstanding efforts around the country, is intended to address these questions. They demonstrate the diversity and breadth of approaches that communities are using to promote economic health, environmental quality, and social equity. Collectively they illustrate the varying dimensions of sustainability and the interrelatedness of community issues. They offer new perspectives that are participatory, long-term, and often driven by a common community vision.

These 51 reviews, from each state and the District of Columbia, provide examples of solutions at work in communities around the country. Where the problems or issues are similar, often the approach is vastly different. Many, however, contain common elements such as comprehensive and participatory planning, visioning processes, integrative approaches, and collaborations among citizens, businesses, public agencies, and nonprofit organizations. The stories are rural and urban, local and regional. They encompass a variety of issues from job creation to community democracy. Project sponsors vary from nonprofits to businesses to local governments. Many of the initiatives have sustainable development as a stated goal while others do not use the term explicitly.

Though these profiles can serve as valuable sources of information for other communities, they are also a compilation of success stories and therefore should serve as inspiration for all readers. From the South Bronx in New York to the mountains of Montana these stories are a message that citizens are exploring new ways of doing business and opening up exciting possibilities often well in advance of political leadership. Unusual partnerships are coalescing between businesses, governments and nonprofits to step up pollution prevention and save money; developers are reducing costs by designing for the environment; neighborhoods are adding value to their property by creating green spaces; and low-income farmers are staying on their land by connecting with organic foods consumers in the city. Together these examples tell a story of a new wave of American ingenuity and know-how, of citizens solving problems from a new perspective.

These profiles have been arranged alphabetically. Though there is something to learn from each study, we realize that most readers will not have the time to read them all. Each profile therefore begins with summary information including the Project Type, Methods Used, Participants, Scope, and Lessons Learned. We hope this will help to identify which examples will be of interest to you, and we think there is something here for everyone.

This appendix has also been published as a stand alone document by the EPA. Reproduction is encouraged. The following form may be used for attribution: Sustainability in Action: Profiles of Community Initiatives Across the United States, September, 1995. Urban and Economic Policy Division, US EPA; CONCERN, Inc.; Community Sustainability Resource Institute; Jobs & Environment Campaign. For additional copies, call 202 260 2750; fax requests to 202 260 0174 or write to the US EPA, Urban and Economic Development Policy Division, Mail Code 2125, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460. Although this project was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it may not reflect the views of the US EPA. No official endorsement should be inferred. 

We thank the following individuals for their contributions to this report: Susan Boyd, Burks Lapham, and Chris Larsen (CONCERN, Inc.); Susanna MacKenzie Euston, Ondine Wilhelm, Dr. Michael Murtha, and Marilyn Christiano (CSRI); and Judith Shapiro, Robert Inerfeld, and Benjamin A. Goldman (JEC). 

Organizational descriptions

Concern, Inc.

CONCERN, Inc., founded in 1970, is a national non-profit environmental education organization. Its mission is to build public understanding of and support for programs, policies, and practices that are environmentally, economically, and socially sound. CONCERN disseminates examples of successful initiatives and offers resources and guidelines for action. It employs an integrative approach to issues ranging from energy efficiency and safe pest management to waste reduction and water resource management. Its community action guides are being used in all 50 states and over 60 other countries. Through its Sustainable Communities Program it seeks to increase public understanding of and participation in community sustainability. It has identified and profiled examples of community-wide and issue-specific programs and projects, created a national database of sustainability resources, published informational materials, facilitated the exchange of information on sustainability, and is developing, in partnership with other groups, a model community sustainability network to serve as a single point of access to resources on sustainability on the Internet. 

For more information 
Contact: CONCERN, Inc., 1794 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC 20009. Tel.: 202 328 8160 Fax: 202 387 3378 e-mail: <concern@igc.apc.org>.

Community Sustainability Resource Institute

The Community Sustainability Resource Institute (CSRI) was founded in 1989. A national, non-profit organization, its mission is to promote and support the advancement of sustainable development at the local, regional, and national levels. Originally based in the Washington, D.C., area, CSRI's inaugural program (1990 to 1995) was designed to network sustainability practitioners and to encourage the development of sustainability theory and action. It featured: publications (Community Sustainability Exchange, inaugurated in 1991 as S.U.R. Exchange); three annual national conferences (1992, 1993, 1994) which drew over 700 practitioners from around the United States; and, two annual speakers series programs held at the National Building Museum. At its new headquarters in the Asheville, NC area, CSRI is developing the Suburban Sustainability Center, designed to provide information on innovative sustainable living technologies, including agriculture, energy, and health, to people living in suburban settings. Its publications and its extensive database of information on initiatives around the United States will be accessible at its new Internet Web site mid-summer 1996. It will publish a comprehensive handbook on sustainable community development, New Life for Our Communities, in late 1996, which will supplement its technical assistance to communities. 

For more information
Contact: Community Sustainability Resource Institute, P.O. Box 981, Arden, NC 28704, Tel: 704 681 1955, Fax: 704 687 0441, e-mail: <sustain@primeline.com> or <csri@igc.apc.org>.

Jobs & Environment Campaign

The Jobs & Environment Campaign (JEC) was founded in 1993 to defeat the no-win rhetoric that quality jobs and a quality environment are somehow incompatible. JEC's mission is to create jobs that are good for people and the environment. In pursuit of its mission, JEC offers technical assistance, leadership training, policy research, and organizational support. Currently JEC is working with communities in Roxbury, MA, Oakland, CA, the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts, Louisiana's "chemical corridor", and others. Its services include analytical testing services for at-risk communities, leadership workshops, a business incubator for environmental ventures, and assistance in establishing new non-profits. Research efforts include a report for the U.S. Department of Commerce that evaluates sustainable policy options, as well as a report on how to create thousands of new "green" jobs in Massachusetts that will benefit residents and the environment. 

For more information: 
Contact: Jobs & Environment Campaign 
160 Second Street, 2nd floor
Cambridge, MA 02142-1502.
Tel.: 617 547 5321 ext.: x207
Fax: 617 876 6903
e-mail: shapiroj@world.std.com
 
 



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