Table of Contents | Appendix
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
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
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).
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: <firstname.lastname@example.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: <email@example.com>
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