Help regions, communities, and neighborhoods plan and prepare for a sustainable future.

man at desk with tie standing upBackground

In the 21st century, regions, communities, and neighborhoods face many challenges. They need to develop skills and implement strategies and actions that meet their specific, immediate needs and concerns. At the same time, they must plan in ways that fit into a more holistic, long-term framework. In the absence of such a framework, unforeseen external forces and turnover in community leadership often lead to instability and a new round of uncertainty.

The sustainability concept can help communities be resilient in these turbulent times:

Sustainable regions, communities, and neighborhoods are those that meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (From the United Nation’s 1987 Brundtland Report).

Our goal is to equip regional, community, and neighborhood leaders with tools to make decisions using the sustainability framework. More specifically, we will engage communities in a rigorous and customized process, supported by strong educational and technical assistance, to help them balance economic development, social development, and environmental considerations (both now and in the future). Tools available include the North Central Region’s Sustainable Communities curricula, Local Decision Maker, and a variety of resources within Purdue (such as Discovery Park’s Center for the Environment and Energy).

Who We’ll Engage

We will engage regional, community, and neighborhood leaders, including elected and appointed public officials; and will make special efforts to engage youth and the members of diverse organizations in meaningful and effective ways. We also will work with the leaders and staff of economic development organizations, human and social service providers, and environmental and natural resource organizations.

Intended Outcomes

More communities will base their plans and decisions on sustainability criteria. Specifically, by 2015 we will have established strong educational and technical assistance partnerships with at least 10 communities; and those communities will routinely use sustainability criteria and concepts in their planning and decision-making. The ultimate outcome of our efforts will be to improve “quality of place,” a measure of a community’s overall well-being.

Action Objectives

  • Develop and deliver sustainability framework educational programs throughout Indiana.
  • Provide mentorship to help community and other leaders integrate the sustainability framework in their decisions.

Success Indicators

  • Communities and community leaders will adopt sustainability best practices.
  • Community leaders will engage diverse people (including youth) and organizations in the decision-making process.
  • Community leaders and communities will demonstrate principles of the sustainability framework in their community planning and decision-making processes.
Check this site regularly to check our progress.
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