A System's Approach to Sustainable Development

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Community Sustainability Projects

Blue Lagoon Restoration & Sustainable Community Development (SCD) in Jamaica – Sustainability Now, 2105 Main St., Napa, CA 94559 (December 2009 – November 2010). The Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) collaborated with Warren Flint and Sustainability Now, a non-profit organization from the United States of America. Seven months of research and collaborative partner building, highlighted by the presentation of the Blue Lagoon Conceptual Plan to the Ontario International Development Agency entitled "Blue Lagoon Heritage Concept Plan"at their “Summer Congress 2010” by team member, Adrienne Duperly, was capped by a “Jump-Team” 10 day assessment of SCD in Jamaica involving an on-the-ground program of public consultation, group dialogue, visioning, and strategic brainstorming with Government Agencies and stakeholder groups from the Blue Lagoon area, as well as the larger Portland Parish bioregion. We had dialogue with more than 200 community stakeholders. The week of community consultation was concluded with the Blue Lagoon Restoration & Sustainable Community Development Summit (2010) held at the Goblin Hill Hotel Conference Center on Saturday, November 20, 2010. A total of 78 people attended the Summit, which included community stakeholders and government officials. Sectors represented by Summit participants included fisherman, rafters, farmers, market vendors, small business operators, transportation drivers, domestic service providers, hotel managers, wealthy property owners, government representatives (parish and national), environmental managers, elected officials, chamber of commerce directors, human right activists, crafts people, artists, resort property directors, attorneys, conservationists, physicians, media, wildlife managers, peace corps volunteers, teachers, youth, regional planners, and architects. The Team was able to obtain community perspectives on needed socio-economic improvements and environmental management for communities in Portland. This information coupled with the issues of concern and potential solutions offered by Summit participants provided the Portland SCD Jump-Team with sufficient data to integrate into the design of “Next Steps” for Portland toward Blue Lagoon Restoration and Sustainable Community Development of surrounding towns and villages. Contact: Ms. Valerie Facey, The Mill at Manor House, 184A Constant Spring Rd. P.O. Box 167, Kingston 8, Jamaica West Indies – e-mail: valequest@gmail.com – Tel. 876-925-6886 or Ms. Beverly Boos, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA – e-mail: bkboos@fas.harvard.edu – Tel: 617-947-7972.

Kayak Point Park Community Visioning, Snohomish County, WA (2009-2010). Served as lead facilitator in designing and conducting public participation activities directed at community visioning and action strategy planning for habitat protection, coastal & beach restoration, and facilities improvement of a Park on the Puget Sound. Worked with Snohomish County Parks & Recreation (WA), the Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee, and the NGO, People for Puget Sound (Seattle, WA). Employed Technology of Participation and Pattern Mapping facilitation tools to assist stakeholders in identifying their core values related to the Park and articulating their vision for sustainable development of the Park over the next 20 years that would promote sound environmental protection, multiple recreational uses, equitable public access to the Puget Sound, and restoration policies compatible with the larger Sound ecosystem. Provided scientific support to facilitate public dialogue in defining and assessing specific action strategies that simultaneously considered ecological, social, and economic issues related to coastal marine habitat restoration and facilities improvement. Contact: Ms. Sharon Swan, Senior Park Planner, Snohomish County Parks & Recreation, 6705 Puget Park Dr., Snohomish, WA 98296 – e-mail: Sharon.swan@co.snohomish.wa.us – Tel: 425-388-6616; Mr. Jamie Wine, Community Educator, People for Puget Sound, 911 Western Ave., Suite 580, Seattle, WA 98104 – e-mail: jwine@pugetsound.org – Tel: 206-382-7005.

Sustainable Community Development Course Design, Laureate Education, Inc., Baltimore, MD (2009). Researched and designed the syllabus for a 12-week, on-line graduate course entitled "Tools for Sustainable Community Development" (Walden University Course MMPA 6821). The primary goal of this course is to equip students with an overall understanding of the meaning of and multiple paths toward sustainable community development, including tools and methodologies that can be used to achieve a livable community and prosperous economy in the larger context of sustainability. The course is designed to employ the elements of sustainable and livable communities, including theories and concepts, to effectively identify and implement the tools most appropriate for advancing any community’s sustainability objectives. This course will prepare students, as future practitioners, to assist communities interested in either improving their economy or totally reinventing themselves. It will give students the ability to holistically facilitate and recommend solutions that simultaneously address the three sustainability imperatives of environmental integrity, social equity, and economic vitality. Students will learn how to listen to stakeholder concerns and to design sustainability strategies in a way that meshes with core values of community stakeholders. In essence, students will be better able to understand overall community dynamics at work in places attempting to improve themselves and achieve some form of community self-defined sustainability. Contact: Ms. Laura Schindler, Senior Course Developer, 650 South Exeter Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. tel: (866)492-5336, ext. 6442. e-mail: laura.schindler@waldenu.edu OR Mr. Todd Johnson, Media Producer, 650 South Exeter Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. tel: (410)843-6238. e-mail: todd.johnson@laureate-inc.com.

Sustainability Indicator Research for Sustainable Seattle, WA. (April-July, 2008). Researched and updated "Communities Count" indicators for the Natural and Built Environment section. These indicators included Air Quality, Water Quality, Land Cover, Farmland Treated with Chemicals, and Commute Choices. Updating of indicators is the same as in the 2005 report and/or are among "B-Sustainable" sets of indicators. For each indicator, the indicator template in Sustainable Seattle database was updated, new public information graph(s) were prepared, a short introduction and a set of narrative bullets for the new report were developed, and the Data Source, Definition, and Limitations of each indicator was clearly identified. Contact: Executive Director, Sustainable Seattle, 1402 Third Avenue, Suite 1220, Seattle, WA 98101. tel: (206)622-3522. e-mail: megan@sustainableseattle.org.

Strategic Planning for the Town of Dauphin Island (AL) to Attain Sustainable Economic Development & Environmental Protection (January - December 2007). Five E's Unlimited assisted the Town of Dauphin Island in developing a long-term strategy and implementation plan for community development that created a more hazard resistant community able to balance economic development with environmental protection and conservation. Our consultant services included (1) reviewing existing documents and statutes applicable to future development, (2) providing stakeholder sustainability awareness and inventorying all stakeholder place-based interests, values, practices, and future vision, (3) conducting community asset identification via public consultation processes, (4) developing visual frameworks of historical and current conditions that could influence changes in environment, community development, and cultural views, (5) planning and designing management strategies through public participation, including the visualization of possible futures and related timelines for progress, and (6) promoting implementation of a sustainable management strategy and measurement processes. During the final phases of the project we worked collaboratively with the Planning Commission and others in identifying how this strategic planning process could be integrated into the Island’s Comprehensive Plan. This project was summarized in a recent publication entitled "Seeking Resiliency in the Development of Sustainable Communities." The Dauphin Island project was recently recognized as a finalist in the IAP2 2009 Project of the Year Award. This international recognition was related to the project's diversity and breadth of sustainable strategic planning, as well as promotion of successful public participation. Funding for this work came from the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium; the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; and the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. Consultant partners in this contract included Gene Martin of the University of Washington, Seattle WA and Mary Mullins of the Bellwether Group, Mobile, AL. Contact: Ms. Nannette Davidson, Planning Commission, Town of Dauphin Island, AL 36528. tel: (251)861-5525, ext. 25. e-mail: ndavidson@townofdauphinisland.org.

Community Sustainable Development Assistance, Lake Tahoe (CA)-Northern Nevada (September, 2006). Served as a member of a Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Communities by Design program. Conducted a week-long charrette designed to help the communities of Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Reno, and Carson City assess their strengths and weaknesses with regards to water resources, land-use, transportation, energy, and economic development. Conducted a series of workshops to develop the background on issues, seek stakeholder input on core values and important concerns for the future, and provide recommendations for the communities to proceed in a sustainable fashion. Developed a team Assessment Report that strongly recommended to the different communities that they begin to plan on a regional basis since they are very closely linked by a common watershed, transportation corridors, commerce, and labor force. Affordable housing was also a significant issue to all communities involved in the assessment. My leadership in water quality issues provided a strategic process for the involved communities into the exploration and design of Low Impact Development (LID) policies for future development guidance in the region. Contact: Mr. Peter J. Arsenault, Stantec Architecture, Inc, 2060 Brighton-Henrietta Townline Road, 2nd Floor, Rochester, NY 14623. tel: (585)413-5305. email: parsenault@stantec.com or Dr. Richard Licata, Professor of Architecture, Truckee Meadows Community College, 5250 Neil Road, Suite 301-G, Reno, Nevada 89502. tel: (775)750-8852. e-mail: rlicata@tmcc.edu.

Community Sustainable Development Assistance, Guemes Island, WA (June, 2006). Served as a member of a Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) for the American Institute of Architects, Communities By Design program. Conducted a week-long charrette process designed to help the Guemes Island community assess their choices and issues and define a path toward formulating strategies and solutions in their commitment to planning for a sustainable future. Team research and public consultation focused upon five community objectives that included: preserve the island’s rural character; conserve water and protect the quality of the island’s sole source aquifer; resolve transportation disagreements; protect wildlife and shoreline habitat; and increase island energy independence. Community participants commented that the sessions were far more valuable in examining the bases of their prejudices, wishes, and positions than they had expected. “One of the things that really impressed me was how many different voices and people, who often disagree, were brought together in this process,” said one participant. “Having all their input has made us all aware that we do have a community with a common vision. It’s made us all energized and hopeful about our future.” Team work assisted the community who was anxious to take charge of its future, especially with regards to controlling growth that’s compromising the Island’s rural legacy. The week’s work created an Assessment Report that described the blueprint the Island would recommend as its sub-area plan to document much of the philosophy, direction and tools that will eventually be adopted as the Island’s land-use plan by Skagit County. My leadership on community water issues assisted participants with identifying alternatives for regulating water use and providing alternative water supply by imagining seven potential futures for the Island’s development. Identifying water supply and quality problems associated with each of those potential scenarios provided the community an opportunity to develop solutions to each of those problems, resulting in an action plan. Contact: Ms. Erica Gees, Kuhn Riddle Architects, 7 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002. tel: (413)259-1621. e-mail: egees@kuhnriddle.com or Ms. Marianne Kooiman, Anacortes, WA 98221. tel: (360) 293-581. e-mail: eyrie@cnw.com.

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Port Hartcourt, Nigeria, Western Africa. (March-September, 2005) Advised private sector and government on sustainable community development in the Niger River Delta region, Nigeria (West Africa). Designed and developed programming that would implement an NDDC Master Plan for the rapid, even, and sustainable development of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Advised the Partners for Sustainable Development Forum (PSDF) on the principles and tools to use in implementing sustainable community development actions for the 9 States of the Niger Delta Region. Designed a process which outlined the minimum human and logistics capacities required in each directorate of the NDDC in light of anticipated responsibilities for guiding implementation of the region’s Master Plan. Developed instruments and procedure for testing all Master Plan programs and projects, including the NDDC’s defined Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) for social, economic and environmental sustainability. Facilitated Participatory Regional Assessment (PRA) activities to build human capacity in target communities for sustainable revitalization action programs, emphasizing equally economic, environmental, and social justice issues. Provided guidance on processes for the monitoring and evaluation of projects designed and implemented under the NDDC Development Master Plan. Designed and implemented communications and advocacy projects to ensure sustained stakeholder confidence and participation in the NDDC sustainable community development plan implementation. Advised public and private stakeholders on the design of a Sustainable Technology Industrial Park (STIP) that emphasized principles of industrial ecology and eco-efficiency and stressed the importance of business attention to the triple bottom line. Contact: Mr. Uzo Nduka, Shell Oil, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. tel: 011-23484575136. e-mail: Uzochukwu.Nduka@shell.com or uzonduka@yahoo.com.

Revitalization of a Sustainable Community on Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland, U.K. (September-November, 2003). International Countryside Stewardship Exchange, Cold Spring, NY. Served as a member of a Countryside Stewardship Exchange team sponsored by the Glynwood Center (Cold Spring, NY) and the Countryside Exchange Institute (Manchester, UK). My role on the team was to carry-out community asset assessment, evaluate community-based development of natural marine resources, offer guidance on sustainable community development around the issues of economy and community capacity, and work with other team members on collectively making recommendations for Rathlin Island to progress on their strategic planning and implementation of actions in a sustainable and secure way. Work included evaluation of present conditions, resolving conflict among varying points of view within the community, and reporting on collective steps the community could take to achieve its goal of sustainability. Contact: Ms. Judith M. LaBelle, President, Countryside Stewardship Exchange Inst., Glynwood Center, P.O. Box 157, Cold Spring, NY 10516. tel: (914) 265-3338. e-mail: jlabelle@glynwood.org.

Resort Municipality of Whistler, British Columbia, Canada (February-November, 2002). Provided the Whistler community and government (British Columbia, Canada) with expert opinions and data on sustainability as they would apply to a resort community to inspire long range planning and enhance sound economic development in tourism and recreation. Retained to prepare a Comprehensive Sustainability Plan that was produced during 2002. The RMOW required that the consultant team, of which I was the lead consultant for the Sustainable Destination Resort Background Report development, work to examine and define sustainability criteria in the context of the Whistler community. A copy of this report can be found at Whistler It's Our Future. My responsibilities in this effort included working to develop community consensus on sustainable destination resort community characteristics and criteria for evaluating futuring scenarios for the community and government to use in evaluating and choosing their preferable alternative future. Designed methodology for developing a comprehensive plan that was not simply collaborative with the community, but that was initiated, driven and concluded by the community. Assisted the public in understanding issues surrounding sustainability and how methodology should be applied to the key economic development issues facing the community. Responsible for guaranteeing the public's considered opinion was recorded and reconciled through further consultation and that the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan was set for implementation. Contact: Mr. Mike Purcell, The Natural Step Canada, 355 Waverley Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 0W4. tel: (705) 495-2822 or (613) 748-3001, ext. 300. e-mail: mpurcell@naturalstep.ca or Ms. Becky Zimmerman, Principal, Design Workshop, Inc., 1390 Lawrence Street, Suite 200, Denver, CO 80204. tel: (303) 623-5186. e-mail: bzimm@designworkshop.com.

National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington, DC (2002-2003). Designed and facilitated two-day Conference Workshop on "Sustainable Communities" to gather collective participant agreement on the science and information delivery needs required to advance concepts of sustainable communities via National Science Foundation research initiatives and Federal Legislation proposals. Contact: Dr. David Blockstein, Senior Scientist, National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), 1101 17th St. NW, Suite 250, Washington, DC 20036. tel: (202) 207-0004. e-mail: david@cnie.org.

Rural Coastal Community Development, Virginia Eastern Shore, Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, Exmore, VA (1994-1998). Designed and assisted in implementation of a project on sustainable rural development with a team of stakeholders in two very poor counties of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, focused upon building community capacity. The emphasis of this capacity-building initiative was to empower stakeholders toward the taking charge of their own destiny with regard to environmental and economic sustainability. The ultimate goal of the Program was to develop a long- term plan for training, citizen empowerment, obtaining informational resources, and implementing other community programming in order to assist communities in improving their economic, social, and environmental assets, while also achieving self-sufficiency. Advised communities and jurisdictions on coastal bay habitat & water quality issues, adaptive, integrated watershed management practices, sustainable agricultural land use, rural countryside management, urban growth/re-development, and sustainable residential unit design. Designed a rural development model for environmentally sustainable agricultural, value-added agribusiness, eco-tourism growth, fisheries enhancement, and community-based natural resource management. Contact: Ms. Brenda Holden, Senior Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Northampton County Office, 5432-A Bayside Road, Exmore, VA 23350 - tel. (757)414-0731. e-mail: bholden@vt.edu.

The Town of Exmore, Exmore, VA (January - August, 1997). Provided contracted services as a planning consultant to the Virginia Eastern Shore Town of Exmore (USA) in their preparation of a Five Year Comprehensive Plan. Facilitated community organizing and public participation in revision of the Town's existing plan and wrote the final document. Provided information technology training and conflict resolution in support of the Town's public hearing process toward the implementation of plan proposals. Contact: Mr. David Scanlan, Town of Exmore, Town Council, P.O. Box 647, Exmore, VA 23350. tel: (757) 442-3114.

Sustainable Community Development in the Dumphries-Galloway Machars Region of Scotland, International Countryside Stewardship Exchange, Cold Spring, NY (September-November, 1996). International consulting as a multi-discipline, team member. Provided advice and technical assistance on community-based natural resource management, watershed resource conservation, sustainable rural economic development, fisheries and aquaculture activity expansion, advancement of value-added fisheries processes, rural village revitalization, eco-tourism development, coastal ecosystem protection, and cultural asset evaluation, for NGOs and governments of the Dumphries-Galloway Machars region of western Scotland. Contact: Ms. Judith M. LaBelle, President, Countryside Stewardship Exchange Inst., Glynwood Center, P.O. Box 157, Cold Spring, NY 10516 - tel: (914)265-3338.

Heartland Center for Leadership Development, Lincoln, NE (September 1998 - January 2000). Facilitated community training programs for community capacity building, telecommunications and information technology, land-use planning and sustainable development, and conflict resolution for the Kellogg Foundation funded Managing Information in Rural America (MIRA) Program. Contact: Ms. Vicki Luther, MIRA Program Director, Heartland Center, Lincoln NE 68508. tel: (402) 474-7667. e-mail: lbv229@aol.com.

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