A System's Approach to Sustainable Development

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Check out "Practice of Sustainable Community Development" a new book published by R. Warren Flint of Five E's Unlimited








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Community Sustainability Assessment (CSA)

The Community Sustainability Assessment (CSA) was developed to assist communities in evaluating their accomplishments and charting directions toward ever increasing sustainability. Like the Three Legged Stool concept, overall sustainability of a community (the seat) is upheld when each of the three legs is strong and balanced. In the CSA the three legs, each as important as the other, are the Environmental (ecological), Social and Economic aspects of community.

The Community Sustainability Assessment is a comprehensive checklist that anyone can complete to get a basic idea of how sustainable their community is. This assessment tool is patterned after the Global Ecovillage Network model. It is an effective score card for promoting an understanding and measuring of sustainability in communities, and is applicable to any community. While it requires good knowledge of the life-styles, practices and features of the community, it does not require research, calculation, and detailed quantification. Review a sample of the CSA scorecard by going to this link.

The CSA is a subjective tool. To get the most out of this exercise, community members may meet as a group and work through the CSA together. This offers a meaningful review of the community's accomplishments and areas for improvement. Low scoring items may be selected for community focus and action to improve sustainability, providing direction for the community's future. It is expected that communities’ actively planning and pursuing sustainability will score high; however, there is always room for improvement - from a high to a perfect score.

Contact us to get your community involved
in taking the CSA Score Card.

The CSA was designed to be universal and as useful as possible to a wide variety of communities. Overall, scores should offer an informative picture of the community's sustainability and provide an enhanced awareness for what sustainable community development is about. The kinds of issues of community life that are covered by the CSA are illustrated by the examples listed below.

Ecological Checklist
Sense of Place - community location & scale; restoration & preservation of nature
Food Availability, Production & Distribution
Water - sources, quality & use patterns
Waste Water & Water Pollution Management
Open Spaces – parks, habitat preservation, backyard ecology
Low Impact Development
Conservation-Based Development

Social Checklist
Openness, Trust & Safety; Communal Space
Communication - the flow of ideas & information
Networking Outreach & Services - resource exchange internal/external
Social Sustainability - diversity & tolerance; decision-making; conflict resolution
Health Care

Economic Checklist
Sustainable Economics - healthy local economy
Sustainable Businesses – application of green approaches to business
Physical Infrastructure, Buildings & Transportation - materials, methods, designs
Consumption Patterns & Solid Waste Management
Energy Sources & Uses

Spiritual Checklist
Cultural Sustainability
Arts & Leisure
Spiritual Sustainability
Community Glue
Community Resilience
A New Holographic, Circulatory World View
Peace & Global Consciousness

Contact us to discuss further how you might get your community involved in taking the CSA Score Card.

General Delivery, Placencia Village, Stann Creek District, Belize C.A. ---- Phone: (512) 256-7633 ---- e-mail: rwflint@eeeee.net

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Last Update: 1/1/15
Web Author: Dr. R. Warren Flint