Integrating Sustainability-3


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  • The verbiage below relates to community and economic development trends in the postwar period. Note that they have evolved into a view that is the same as the world view that was just outlined. Much of the science of sustainability focuses on the fairly dramatic changes that have been occurring in the postwar period.  Views regarding the relationships between the three major components of most sustainability frameworks have been changing as well.  These three elements are represented here as economy, environment, and society.  Sometimes they are framed as the “three Es”—ecology/environment; economy/employment; and equity/equality or as the “three Ps”—people, planet, and profit. Economic models treat them as the three types of capital that comprise total capital stock—natural capital, physical (built) capital, and human capital.  I am going to use a community-level example and briefly overview how views have evolved over the past fifty years through the different historical waves of community and economic development.  This first figure depicts economy, society, and environment as unconnected to each other and representing a silos view of capitals within the community. This typified the industrial recruiting “wave” of economic development that prevailed from the 1950s to the early 1980s. Economic concerns were accorded primacy over environmental and societal considerations. Less generous depictions of this period show the economy circle, from the business point of view, as much larger than the other two or as containing the other two circles within it.  The second figure is often used to depict a sustainable development point of view. In this case, economy, society, and environment are seen as linked or interconnected. While this implies that all three need to be considered for development decisions in light of these links, note that large portions of each circle remain outside of the interconnected areas. This is representative of both the cost competition and regional competitiveness waves of community economic development; the former gained strength from the early 1980s through the early 1990s and the latter dates from the early 1990s and continues today. Economic concerns were no longer viewed as fully independent of and primary to social and environmental considerations. This depiction, however, does not reflect in a meaningful way the environmental impacts of the human enterprise that have become increasingly apparent over the past few decades.  The final figureis fundamentally different than the other two. It shifts attention to a central aspect of the sustainability revolution and what can be termed the fourth wave of community and economic development. With its nested and interdependent circles, the emphasis is on a systems view of the community and the interrelationships between its parts. The economy exists and functions within society, which exists and functions within a finite environment.  A system-based definition of sustainability emphasizes relationships among economy, society, and the environment. The systems view provides a simple way of thinking about the implications of scale, in this case scale of the human enterprise relative to a finite global ecosystem. These sustainability constraints can be viewed as system boundaries or boundary conditions. In this sense, the science of sustainability has become a systems thinking conversation.
  • By way of background, it was decided early on to host a series of regional roundtables prior to the March forum. The purpose of these roundtables is to get a clearer and statewide sense of what is helping and what is hindering sustainability efforts at the community level and to gather ideas and suggestions on how to enhance such efforts. The five areas of community engagement for sustainability that we will be using to frame the roundtable discussions are: modeling sustainability through physical design cultivating community connections localizing economic production mobilizing community funds mobilizing society using community members’ energy and resources for broader sustainability effortsA key element of the roundtables and forum is to get broad-based input for a post-forum document. This document will capture the current status of community sustainability efforts and outline public policy options and recommendations that can help the state—and its communities—build on this foundation and continue to move sustainability efforts forward. Participants at the roundtables and forum will be tapped to shape this document and agenda.
  • Integrating Sustainability-3

    1. 1. C O O P E R A T I V E E X T E N S I O N S T A T E C O N F E R E N C E O C T O B E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 0 M A D I S O N , W I S C O N S I N Integrating Sustainability
    2. 2. Wisconsin Eco-municipalities Town of La Pointe City of Washburn City of Ashland City of Madison City of Bayfield Town of Bayfield Douglas County Village of Johnson Creek City of Marshfield City of Manitowoc City of Neenah City of Menasha Town of Menasha City of Eau Claire Town of Cottage Grove City of La Crosse La Crosse County City of Stevens Point City of Wausau City of Beloit City of Baraboo City of Sheboygan Dunn County Village of Spring Green Village of Colfax Town of Greenville Village of Shorewood
    3. 3. Four Sustainability Principles ...concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust, ...concentrations of substances produced by society, ...degradation by physical means, ...people are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs. In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing... and, in that society...
    4. 4. Evolving Views of the Community Unconnected or silos view Interconnected or linkages view Interdependent, nested, or systems view EnvironmentEconomy Society EnvironmentEconomy Society Environment Society Economy
    5. 5. Authors: Sherrie Gruder, UW-Extension, Madison, Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center Anna Haines, UW-Stevens Point, Center for Land Use Education Jerry Hembd, UW-Superior, Northern Center for Community and Economic Development Lisa MacKinnon, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin Jane Silberstein, UW-Extension, Ashland County
    6. 6. UW-Extension Sustainability Team  Initiated in late 2006  State specialist and county faculty co-chairs  Over thirty members on roster  Monthly WisLine meetings since January 2007  Sustainable Communities Capacity Center launched October 2008 (
    7. 7. Eco-municipality Gathering in April 2008  City of Amery  City of Ashland  City of Baraboo/Sauk County  Barron County  City of Beloit  Calumet County  Dane County  Door County/Sturgeon Bay  Douglas County  City of Fitchburg  City of Galesville  City of Green Bay  Town of Greenville  Jefferson County  Village of Johnson Creek  Village of Kimberly  Lac du Flambeau Band  City of La Crosse  La Crosse County  City of Madison  City of Marshfield  City of Monona  City of Oconomowoc  Village of Osceola  City of River Falls  City of Stevens Point  City of Waterloo  City of Waukesha  UW-Extension  WI Alliance of Cities  WI League of Municipalities  WI Office of Energy Independence
    8. 8. Building Community Webinar Series  Community Sustainability—Setting the Stage  Energy Efficiency  Renewable Energy  Comprehensive Community Planning and Sustainability  Sustainable Business Practices  Green Collar Jobs  Local Food Networks  Sustainability Indicators and Measures  Community Organizing for Sustainability
    9. 9. Webinar Sites  58 total sites  35 Wisconsin County Extension offices  15 private Wisconsin sites  8 out-of-state sites  Illinois  Maine  Minnesota  Nebraska  Tennessee  Utah
    10. 10. Other Activities  Internal survey of understanding of sustainability  In-service training for 70 colleagues (January 2009) with energy planning focus  Partnering with Energy Independent Communities Program  Virtual study circles on The Natural Step
    11. 11. Sustainable Communities Public Policy Forum  Wisconsin Idea Public Policy Forums  UW Colleges and UW-Extension sponsoring a forum on Sustainable Communities  Six regional roundtables  Statewide public policy forum  Web-based prioritization process  Document with recommendations nearing completion
    12. 12. Current Projects and Efforts  Video case studies of successes related to community sustainability  TNS-US survey of state’s eco-municipalities  Identification of community-based sustainability organizations  Sustainable communities curriculum for Extension educators – from regional origin to national program  UWEX Sustainability Initiative
    13. 13. UW-Extension