Community
How can we build our homes and communities so that they co-exist harmoniously with Nature? What does it mean to create a sustainable house, a sustainable community, a sustainable city? For each additional day that we live, design and build unsustainably, we pull another fibre out of the fabric of Earth’s ecosystems.
 

ISLAND/COAST REGION
PREMIER'S SUMMIT ON ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

WHAT IS AN ECO-FRIENDLY INFRASTRUCTURE ?

by Guy Dauncey

The thoughts contained in this paper are the author's alone. The author is a writer, futurist and sustainable communities consultant, with a background in community economic development and environmental consultancy.

For the purposes of this paper, "eco-friendly infrastructure" refers to :

  • eco-friendly physical infrastructure (transport, sewage, water, waste management),
  • eco-friendly financial infrastructure (bonds, tax-exemptions, subsidies)
  • eco-friendly legal infrastructure (laws, bylaws, zonings)
  • eco-friendly organizational infrastructure (tourism associations, agricultural alliances, eco-business networks, web-sites, newsletters)
  • eco-friendly human capacity infrastructure (education, training, business start-up facilitation)
Following the precepts of 'The Natural Step', for an infrastructure to be "eco-friendly" it should follow four principles :

(A) Substances from the Earth's crust should not systematically increase in the biosphere. (EARTH'S CRUST)
(B) Substances produced by society should not systematically increase in nature. (SYNTHETICS)
(C) The physical basis for the productivity and diversity of nature should not be systematically deteriorated. (PHYSICAL DESTRUCTION)
(D) There needs to be a fair and efficient use of resources with respect to meeting human needs. (FAIR AND EFFICIENT)

This paper covers 16 aspects of eco-friendly infrastructure :

1. Agriculture
2. Forestry
3. Fisheries
4. Ecotourism
5. Energy
6. Water
7. Liquid Wastes
8. Solid Wastes
9. Transport
10. The Built Environment
11. Greenspace
12. Local Businesses
13. The Arts
14. Finance & Investment
15. Community Organizing
16. Resources

1. Agriculture
The demand for local, organically grown food far outstrips the supply. Every week, trucks ship organic food to Vancouver Island and the coast region from California, while local supermarkets cannot get enough product.

Organic production is good for the local economy, as well for nature. Money spend on chemical pesticides and fertilizers leaves the local economy, while money spent by organic growers on compost and labour remains locally.

Actions

  • Local colleges could include organic methods in their agriculture & horticulture courses.
  • Local organic growers need to organize and train together, to increase their output.
  • The farming community needs information on conversion to organic methods.

2. Forestry

The global demand for eco-certified timber is growing seven times faster than the supply. In September, Home Depot (who supply 10 per cent of the world's lumber market) announced that from 2003, they would be restricting their purchases to ecocertified timber.

This is both an opportunity and a necessity for local forest products companies who wish to remain competitive. Companies which do not make the shift may find themselves with weak prices and few buyers within 5 - 10 years. Value-added production is clearly another area of importance.

Action

  • Colleges teaching forestry could include training in ecosystem-based forestry
  • Government (local and provincial) could encourage the sector by making commitments to purchase eco-certified timber.
  • Small forest businesses need training for eco- certification.

3. Fisheries

Coastal communities wishing to rebuild control over their local fisheries need to adopt conservation methods, work in partnership with stream stewardship groups, and build a strong alliance including sports & native fishers, local environmental groups and municipal councils.

Ocean-based salmon aquaculture has too many unresolved environmental issues to be considered an eco-friendly activity. The recent escape of 30,000 Atlantic salmon from the Stolts fish farm at Port McNeill is recent evidence of the risk. Existing fish-farms need to be either fully enclosed or land-based, to prevent the escape of Atlantics and the spread of disease pathogens, pesticides and antibiotics. The wild salmon industry is already in grave danger; to accept the loss of the wild fishery in a trade for a future of farmed fish may please the corporate fish industry, but it would be a terrible way to go for coastal communities.

4. Ecotourism

The potential of the region to serve the growing market for ecotourism is enormous.

Action

  • Ecotourism operators need to link up and form their own local associations, to co-operate and assist each other to expand.
  • Packaged ecotourism holidays (eg for European and Japanese tourists) require that local operators combine forces to offer a multi-faceted holiday experience, combining (for instance) hiking, kayaking, camping, cycling, native salmon feasts, whale-watching, sunset cruises, First Nations cultural immersion, local bed and breakfasts.

The hotel sector could benefit enormously by tapping into the growing wave of 'green hotel' initiatives. Market research shows that customers are beginning to priorize staying at hotels which have stronger environmental awareness and actions.

Case Study : The eco-features at Philadelphia's new Sheraton Rittenhouse Square Hotel include no smoking allowed in the whole 193 room hotel; filtered, fresh air is pumped into every room 24 hours a day; all paint, wallpaper, carpeting and draperies are non-toxic; night tables are crafted from recycled shipping pallets; all wooden furniture is grown in ecocertified, sustainably managed forests; bedding consists of 100% organic cotton and pure wool, produced without any toxic bleaches or dyes; energy efficient lighting is used through the hotel; the staff use non-toxic, environmentally safe cleaning and laundry products. It also includes a 40 foot high forest of live bamboo trees, chosen because they take in CO2 and produce oxygen 35% faster than any other known plant; and 93% recycled granite flooring in the lobby area. (In Business Magazine, March/April 1999)

The 'Earth Centre in Yorkshire, Britain is a $300-million project that has been recently completed on the site of an abandoned coal mine. Every conceivable aspect of sustainability is demonstrated, and the Centre operates as a major destination tourist attraction, designed to attract millions of visitors every year. Such a project locally could become the "Butchart Gardens" of sustainability.

5. Energy

Ninety percent of B.C.'s energy comes from hydro-electric, which produces no greenhouse gas emissions. Large-scale hydro-electric energy is at full capacity, however, and almost all of BC's new energy demands are being met by gas-fired thermal generators, which produce greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane, making it close to oil as a generator of greenhouse gases). All new sustainable energy can contribute by offsetting carbon-based energy; it can also attract carbon credits.

The local impacts of global warming are going to be devastating, intense and expensive:

  • Increased forest fires
  • Increased forest insect infestations
  • Increased periods of summer drought
  • Heavier and more intense rainfall and snowfall, producing floods and washouts
  • Later snowfall and earlier snowmelt, affecting ski resorts
  • Rising sea levels, affecting all coastal communities
  • Northerly spread of tropical diseases, such as malaria
  • Northerly migration of species which are able to migrate
  • Inability of salmon to migrate back to BC waters, as the 7o Celsius line which salmon cannot cross moves further north.

Sustainable energy solutions :

Solar thermal : Solar heating (hot water) for swimming pools pays for itself, and makes a cost-effective investment for municipalities, parks boards, etc. In Lillooet, the municipal swimming pool has been successfully converted to solar thermal heating.

Solarvoltaic: Solar shingles may become cost-effective within five years. The barrier to solar development is not climate, but energy and tax policies. Germany and Holland are leading the solar revolution, at latitudes similar to BC's. The policy which allows them to prosper is called net-metering, which allows a solar (or wind) producer to avoid the need for expensive batteries by selling the energy back to the grid for a good price, which allows the owner to amortize the cost of installation through future energy sales. The current BC Hydro policy does not support net metering.

Wind : In Denmark, co-operatives of farmers worked together to persuade the Danish government to accept net-metering. As a result of this policy-change, there are now 100,000 wind turbines in Denmark, 50,000 of which are owned and operated by farmers' cooperatives without negative impact on their farming operations. There must be many BC coastal areas where wind energy would be effective.

Tidal : Bluenergy is a Vancouver company which has developed a tidal turbine, and is negotiating a major contract with the Philippines. Tidal turbines are like giant underwater windmills, connected together into a "tidal fence" at locations where there is a strong tidal race. A road, a bicycle lane or even holiday cottages can be build on top of the fence. Wind turbines can also be erected on the fence. There must be many BC coastal locations which could operate tidal turbines.

Microhydro : The same arguments apply. With net metering, microhydro could make a useful contribution to the grid.

Energy efficiency : BC Building Corporation has accumulated a solid body of knowledge about energy efficiency, which can be applied to all municipal buildings.

Obstacles : The biggest obstacle to BC joining the leaders in sustainable energy production is BC Hydro's commitment to cheap energy, which undermines the competitiveness of renewable energy. Globally, the price of oil-based energy is around 6 cents a kilowatt-hour. In BC, renewable energies have to compete with BC Hydro's price of closer to 2 cents per kWh. The absence of net metering is also an obstacle for renewable energy suppliers.

6. Water

Fresh water is becoming a scarce resource around the world, and is a scarce resource in some BC coastal communities. The quality of water is also a matter of considerable concern.

The quantity of available water can be addressed (a) by using, encouraging and legislating the use of water efficient toilets, showerheads and faucets, and (b) by adopting water recycling technology, which allows treated water to be re-used through dual-pipes for irrigation and urinals. Huband Park Elementary school in Courtenay does this, using the Hill-Murray sewage treatment technology (see below). The BC legislation has been recently amended to encourage water re-use. There is no legislation to encourage water efficiency, however.

The quality of fresh water can be affected (a) by logging within community watersheds, and (b) by toxic pollution from around the world accumulating in snowmelt, and draining into aquifers. The former can be addressed by restricting logging in community watersheds (as Victoria does). The latter requires federal and provincial action to push for the proposed global treaty on persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

7. Liquid Wastes

There are several innovative advanced sewage treatment technologies available in British Columbia to replace or upgrade existing systems, which are acceptable to the BC Ministry of Environment :

(a) Hydroxyl (250-655-3348) uses the hydroxyl radical to purify sewage to tertiary quality in an enclosed box system, for large scale or single family purposes. The system can be seen at Brentwood College in Mill Bay, and elsewhere.
(b) The Hill-Murray "xenon" system (250-388-3930) uses an ultra-fine molecular filter to separate the solids from the liquids, producing quality re-useable water. The system can be seen at the Kingfisher Resort outside Courtenay, and elsewhere.
(c) Ecotech Wastewater Treatment's "solar-aquatic" system ((604-882-2999) uses tanks filled with plants in a greenhouse environment to recycle the solids and the liquids as compostable plant material. The system can be seen at the Englishman River Falls mobile home park in Errington, near Parkesville (2130 Errington Road, 5.9 km past the Errington Market). In the small town of Bear Hills, Nova Scotia, the solar aquatic sewage treatment plant which the municipality constructed (population 881, $600,000 investment, created 13 jobs), has become a major tourist attraction, with 8,000 visitors in 1995 who went out of their way to visit the remote facility.
(d) Where space permits, an aquatic marsh system can also be used to polish treated sewage wastes. The best-known example is in the town of Arcata, California, where a faulty system was repaired using an aquatic marsh which has gone on to become a premier bird-watching site, attracting visitors from all over North America.

On a smaller scale, there are many septic systems in coastal areas which are polluting local waters, causing closure of the local shellfish industry (eg Baynes Sound). Composting toilets are one solution which is generally acceptable to the BC Ministry of Environment and area health authorities, as long as the greywater is treated in an acceptable manner. The 'Phoenix' system is distributed by Sunergy Systems Ltd, in Nanaimo (250-751-0053); the 'Clivus Multrum' system is represented by Compost Toilets Western, (604-926-3748). Constructed wetlands are becoming popular, because they attract birds and wildlife while treating liquid effluents. A system is currently under trial on Hornby Island (contact Ed Hoeppner, 250-335-2037).

Private septic systems can also be linked, so that the effluent that was going into individual septic fields is piped to a collective wetland or advanced facility (see above). Local by-laws can be written, requiring owners to pump out at regular intervals, and/or imposing fines for owners who do not produce a dated pump-out certificate. Septic system technical upgrades are also available.

8. Solid Wastes

The province's goal since 1990 has been that regions and municipalities should reduce their flow of non-recycled garbage by 50 per cent by the year 2000. Some regions have done well (Victoria has reached 40% diversion), while others have yet to begin a serious waste diversion effort. There are two differing and opposed approaches to waste diversion - recycling and waste-to-energy plants (incineration).

Recycling is considered to be very eco-friendly, and wins widespread public support. To push recycling towards the 80% level, the following strategies have been found to be successful :
(a) An extensive blue box system, doing curbside separation and collection for mixed paper, newspaper, metals, glass and some plastics. Recycling centres, where the public ferry their wastes to a depot, do not approach the percentage of material recycled through curbside collection.
(b) Landfill bans for selected materials
(c) Public education, to build local support
(d) Partnerships with private sector recycling businesses, so that win-win solutions are maximized and conflicts minimized.
(e) Community composting, at the municipal level, and through compost education projects to encourage home-composting of non-food wastes, and mulch-mowing of lawns.
(f) Provincial beverage container legislation - now in place
(g) Provincial and/or federal "take-back" legislation, requiring manufacturers to take back their products once they are "dead". This is gradually becoming the industry norm in Europe, following Germany's lead.

From an environmental and a financial perspective, incineration ('waste to energy' - WTE) has many problems :

1. It requires a steady flow of combustible garbage, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. chiefly paper and compostables, which are easiest to recycle. This makes a marriage of incineration and recycling very difficult to achieve.
2. The air emissions are problematic, since many plastics and other materials release carcinogenic dioxins when burnt, even at high temperatures.
3. Disposal of the ash involves the same problems. The EPA may argue that the ash is not a hazardous waste, but the EPA's methods do not total the amounts of heavy metals like lead, cadmium and chromium in the ash, and nor do they test for dioxin levels.
4. The siting of an incineration plant will usually run into stiff resistance from local residents. In the USA, WTE plants are about as unpopular as nuclear plants; since 1985, 85 WTEs have been built, while over 300 proposals have been defeated.
5. To overcome very difficult financial realities, many incinerators in the USA ignore public health requirements, and burn medical, industrial and pharmaceutical wastes, as well as items like tires and creosote railroad ties.
6. In terms of energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, studies have proven that recycling is a better strategy for saving energy and reducing emissions (EPA 530-R-97-101). For paper, recycling saves twice the energy that can be saved through incineration. When electricity is generated from the heat, the saving becomes ten times higher, because of the very low thermal efficiency.
7. By removing recycled paper from the waste-stream, it can no longer be used to make recycled paper. More forests must therefore be felled to produce pulp.
8. WTEs find it hard to make money. In Britain, energy from waste is subsidized by 33 per cent, as a "new" technology.

To encourage the development of a market for recycled materials :

California runs a very successful state-wide loans and incentives program called Recycled Materials Development Zones (RMDZ), which channels low-interest loans, loan assistance and business advice through municipalities which choose to establish an RMDZ for businesses within their boundaries.

The Oakland/Berkeley Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) encourages manufacturing and processing businesses which specialize in the use of re-used and recycled materials to locate within the zone, and encourages existing businesses to expand. Its goals are to support recycling businesses by creating markets for recycled materials and products, to diminish the waste stream, and to create jobs. The RMDZ is organized and supported jointly by the City of Oakland and the City of Berkeley, through their economic, community development and public works departments. Businesses locating in the zone receive assistance with loan and grant packaging, site selection and permitting, and benefit from the RMDZ's promotion and development of markets for recycled materials. Since its inception in 1993, the RMDZ has generated over $8.2 million in investment in recycling and reuse; packaged $4 million in loans and grants for recycling businesses; created over 155 new jobs; supported businesses that employ 135 people in the region; and diverted over 100,000 tons of new material from area landfills, and supported businesses that are already diverting 287,000 tons of material. In Berkeley, the RMDZ contributes to the city's overall effort to support environmental businesses. (Local Economic Development Information Service, Glasgow, UK)

9. Transport

Ferries win all the arguments when it comes to eco-friendly infrastructures; better ferry connections (eg to the Sunshine Coast) are a pre-requisite for economic development.

Major new highways are not generally seen as eco-friendly because they encourage greater greenhouse gas emissions, but there are strong arguments for new inland road connections on Vancouver Island, such as Lake Cowichan to Port Alberni, Tahsis to Zeballos, and Lake Cowichan to Bamfield and Port Renfrew.

Having said this, it must be noted that between 1983 and 1990, average household trips by car increased by 29%, to 11 car trips per day. Allowing private automobile traffic to increase will not only generate increasing greenhouse gas emissions, but will also destroy the very quality that residents and visitors appreciate most about the Coast/Island region.

The real winner for eco-friendly transport infrastructure is the greenway, allowing hikers, cyclists and horse riders to travel long-distances off-road. The Galloping Goose greenway in Greater Victoria has proved to be a huge success among locals and tourists. Market research shows that property values along greenways increase because of the perceived amenity value.

Actions for more greenways :

  • Write greenways provisions into Official Community Plans and Local Area Plans
  • Map future routes for greenways
  • Encourage provincial government funding for future greenways
  • Establish greenways principles to re-assure private land-owners that their land will not be expropriated, and emphasize the available tax-incentives.
  • Establish greenways development funds within municipal and regional parks budgets
  • Build local greenways coalitions, as the Provincial Capital Commission has done in the Greater Victoria area.
  • Zone dis-used railway transportation corridors as transportation zones, to prevent their piecemeal disappearance.

The E & N Railway is a huge eco-tourist bonanza, awaiting expansion under its new ownership. Eco-tourist partnerships could link up with the E & N to offer cycling and kayak excursions, theatre performances (eg Chemainus) and B & B accommodation.

10. The Built Environment

The quality of the built environment is an essential, but often unreported, component of a successful eco-friendly infrastructure. Many small towns in coastal BC lack the urban charm and pedestrian friendliness that attracts tourists, new residents and new businesses. Chemainus is a good example of a town that has done things right, through its murals program and other revitalization initiatives.

Coastal British Columbia has many advantages which are unique in the world. To attract new residents, however, many coastal communities need to brush up on their urban fabric, eg :

  • narrowing streets and installing traffic calming measures, to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment
  • creating design guidelines for downtown areas
  • locating parking behind buildings, not in front
  • renovating old buildings
  • restablishing downtown revitalization programs
  • planting trees, installing planters
  • including the arts through sculptures, murals, banners, bandstands
  • creating pedestrian and cycling routes through town
  • turning creek and riverbanks into greenways, daylighting creeks where necessary

The built environment in North America is often perceived as messy, and full of clutter which obscures the beauty of the surrounding landscape. None of this happens by chance. Behind all clutter there are zoning bylaws which allow it to happen. The new Vancouver Island Highway, by contrast, is wonderfully "clean". Local councils and regional districts can maintain this quality by refusing to rezone highway intersections for strip malls or big box stores.

Similarly, most modern subdivisions lack any defining qualities and look as if they could belong anywhere, which is off-putting to potential new residents. Councils and planners can remedy this "sameness" by requiring developers to include pedestrian features, traffic calming, landscaping, new urbanist designs, innovative approaches to stormwater management (eg wetlands), greenways inclusion, greenspace preservation, etc. The existing infrastructure of zoning bylaws is not eco-friendly - they encourage unnecessarily wide roads, excessive parking, large setbacks, etc. A 1996 home-owners survey showed that 3/4 or all home-buyers would pay more to live in a community where they could walk or cycle everywhere - but such communities are very rare. Good planning and design, by contrast, can reduce local air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by 45%.

Costs and Taxes

Typical low density sprawl costs municipalities more in services than they collect in taxes, while using up valuable forest and farmland. A study in Virgina indicated that while farmland generated $1 in taxes for every 20 cents spent on services, low density rural development costs $1.20 in services for every $1 generated in taxes. Another stidy in New Jersey found that when a typical 'sprawl' development pattern was compared with a planned green development pattern, over the years 1990 - 2010, the state could save taxpayers $9.3 billion in taxes and save 175,000 acres of farmland by adopting the green development pattern.

Action

  • Local councils and regional districts could hold "design charrettes" to redesign specific areas. Government 50:50 funding grants for such charrettes, conditional on the precepts of sustainability and regional growth being accommodated within the terms of reference, would encourage a badly-needed wave of eco-friendly urban redesign.
  • Subdivision proposals could be screened against a checklist to ensure their eco-friendliness, before they enter the planning stage.
  • Development Cost Charges could be increased threefold or even fivefold, and then reduced as far as zero as eco-friendly and 'livability' features are incorporated into the plans.

11. Greenspace

Greenspace protection is one of the most important steps than a council or region can take towards protecting its existing eco-friendly infrastructure. If there is one thing that will destroy the natural heritage of the Island/Coast Region, it is uncontrolled urban sprawl. The population of B.C. is predicted to double over the next 30 or so years; uncontrolled development is the one factor which will destroy the advantages and the qualities we have today.

Action :

  • Councils and regions can (and should) instate urban containment boundaries, and write them into all of their OCPs, Local Area Plans and zoning bylaws.
  • Funds should be set aside and tax requisitions made to support critical greenspace purchases.
  • An ecological inventory of the local region is an essential pre-requisite for any long-term strategy of protection and preservation. The Comox & Strathcona Regional District has done this very successfully, using aerial photographs as the basis for ecological interpretation, and placing all sensitive and riparian areas under Development Permit Zone status.

12. Local Businesses

Almost all businesses (and their customers, the consumers) undermine the environment in one way or another, whether by their wastes, or the way their materials are sourced. The larger the company, the greater their potential for ecological impact.

The Natural Step is a very progressive approach to the greening of everyday businesses, large and small, based on four fundamental ecological principles. It started in Sweden, and is being embraced in the USA by companies such as Interface and Nike. The authors of the book The Natural Step for Business : Wealth, Ecology and the Evolutionary Corporation (New Society Publishers, Gabriola. www.newsociety.com) Brian Nattrass and Mary Altomare, live on the Sunshine Coast, and are an available asset. (604-886-0937 nattrass@naturalstep.org)

In a recent report, green marketing consultant Jacquelyn Ottman provides examples of how the Dutch are making product design the focus of their green strategy. At Philips Electronics, all business units are required to produce at least one "eco-designed" product this year, with more planned for completion by 2001. Details of the report are available at www.greenmarketing.com

The Calderdale and Kirklees Green Business Network (West Yorkshire, UK) works to improve the competitiveness of local companies through environmental improvements to their business operations. It achieves this through advice, support, consultancy and grants covering a range of practical solutions such as waste minimization, composting and energy efficiency initiatives. The Network originated in discussions between the private sector and senior figures in Calderdale Council, which indicated how the environmental performance of local businesses could be improved. Several other partners were brought in, who agreed to provide $75,000 to start the Network, with administrative support coming from the Council. A Project officer was recruited in 1995, with a $25,000 budget for grant-aiding business improvements. The Network's annual turnover is $1 million, which includes $400,000 in grants to businesses. (LEDIS, April 1999)

The market for small, eco-friendly businesses is enormous, and should be encouraged. "Eco-friendly" is not a fad or a trend. It is here to stay. In time, all businesses will be eco-friendly, and eco-unfriendly businesses will be forced to adapt, either by the market, by legislation, by the stock market, or by unwanted circumstances.

Action

  • As part of its Green Economy Strategy, the BC government could provide Green Business Capacity-Building Grants, enabling local businesses to join forces, and train in methods such as The Natural Step.
  • Local councils and regional districts could ensure that their bylaws governing home-based businesses are supportive, and do not needlessly discourage or prevent people from developing this very important sector.

13. The Arts

The arts are an intrinsically eco-friendly sector of the economy, which merits investment and organizational support. Many artists and crafts people do not like marketing their work - and yet they need the income. Community organizing can bring artists together for joint marketing, joint web-site development, and (eg) "Artist-at-Work" tourist excursions.

14. Finance & Investment

The Dutch government places such a high degree of importance on the "greening" of the country's infrastructure and economy that it placed a 100% tax rebate on all eco-investments. The demand by investors was so strong that the government had to create new categories of 'allowed' investments. The Dutch Post-Bank created a special deposit account for eco-investors, and converted the strength of investor demand into lower interest rates for eco-businesses.

Many local residents have financial resources which they would like to be able to invest in the future of their home regions. The existing financial institutions do not allow this, however - 'Sunshine Coast Bonds' or 'North Island Bonds' do not yet exist. Community Bonds were successfully used in Saskatchewan, to finance local initiatives. In Ilwaco, Washington State, the South Shore Bank of Chicago is working with EcoTrust to develop a vehicle for local sustainable business financing.

Action

  • The BC Ministry of Finance could create a tax-break similar to the Dutch one.
  • The BC Ministry of Cooperatives, Community Development and Volunteers could invite representatives of BC's banks credit unions to work with them, to create the foundations for the development of Regional Sustainability Bonds.

15. Community Organizing

The key to the integration of these approaches and initiatives lies with the development of sustainable economy partnerships, involving local government, businesses, First Nations. colleges, community and environmental groups and financial institutions. To stimulate local sustainable development, Colorado and Virginia hold annual Sustainable Future Conferences (eg 'Virginia's Sustainable Future : Solutions for the Environment, Business and Communities'. www.deq.state.va.us/vsfc). The Sunshine Coast has recently completed a successful 2-day 'Sustainable Economy' conference in Sechelt.

Capacity-building through the use of a community development corporation is a proven way to develop a local economy using the strengths and resources of the local population, instead of waiting for outside help to arrive in the form of an arriving employer. There are many examples worldwide where communities have been successful in this way.

Action

  • Every region needs its own local sustainability partnership.
  • Every community needs its own community development corporation.

16. Resources

  • The bi-monthly Magazine 'In Business : Creating Sustainable Communities and Enterprises' is chock-full of positive environmental success stories. $23 US introductory offer from In Business, 419 State Avenue, Emmaus, PA 18048, USA. (Regular price $33)
  • 'Towards Sustainable Communities : Resources for Citizens and their Governments' by Mark Roseland. (New Society Publishers, 1998).
  • 'EcoNews', monthly, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria, B.C. V8X 3X1. No subscription - financed by donations. Also available by email - guydauncey@earthfuture.com
  • 'Green Development - Integrating Ecology and Real Estate', by the Rocky Mountain Institute. (Wiley, 1997). Full of data and facts about key developments.
  • 'After the Crash - The Emergence of the Rainbow Economy' by Guy Dauncey (Greenprint, 1988). Available in Canada through the author. Tells the story of communities around the world which have successfully built their own local economies.
  • 'Making Waves - Canada's Community Economic Development Magazine', CCE publications, PO Box 1161, Port Alberni, BC V9Y 7M1 (250-542-7057)
  • 'The Benefits of Green Development - Green Development Literature Search'. Smart Growth Library, available from www.smartgrowth.org

October 4th, 1999

Guy Dauncey
Sustainable Communities Consultancy
395 Conway Rd, Victoria, B.C. V8X 3X1, Canada
Tel/Fax (250) 881-1304
guydauncey@earthfuture.com
www.earthfuture.com

Guy Dauncey is an independent author, lecturer and sustainable communities consultant who specializes in developing a coherent vision of a sustainable world, and translating that vision into action. He is author of 'After the Crash : The Emergence of the Rainbow Economy' (Greenprint, 1988), and 'Earthfuture : Stories from a Sustainable Future' (forthcoming, New Society Publishers, November 1999). He is the publisher and editor of EcoNews, a monthly newsletter serving Vancouver Island. In 1999, he was the researcher, production assistant, and website writer for the CBC film 'Turning Down the Heat', with David Suzuki ('Nature of Things'). He is currently working on plans for a car-free village development near Tofino, a CMHC study on Overcoming the Barriers to Sustainable Real Estate Development in Canada, a book on Solutions to Global Climate Change, and a project called The Street Volunteers, which works to build community among neighbours in Greater Victoria.