Enhancing Sustainability

’Sustainability’ means that future generations can have the same quality of life we are giving ourselves by the way we currently use our resources – natural, financial and human. It involves a new way of looking at the natural environment; it also emphasizes economic vitality and social equity.  This broader perspective helps evaluate the lifetime returns a community receives from its capital investments. Sustainable communities are more likely to be successful because they attract and keep residents and businesses over the long term. Strategic Community Solutions provides research, education, policy recommendations, program design and other assistance to enhance sustainability.

SCS projects address the long term vitality and success of communities.



Community design based on natural assets. The natural features that led to a community’s initial settlement are often obscured by subdivisions, shopping centers and business parks that could be located anywhere. Yet the most beloved neighborhoods are often those with appealing natural features – open spaces, trees, paths, streams and vistas – that reflect a community’s natural setting. SCS can work with you to incorporate specific natural assets into your planning and community design projects. It can also create comprehensive sustainability initiatives tailored to your community and its natural setting.

Economic development. To be sustainable, communities must remain attractive and affordable to residents and businesses as the economy changes. Sustainable economic development must help a community adapt, so it can use its resources most effectively to support businesses that provide the jobs of the future. Sustainable economic development also means support for businesses that help the community provide a desirable quality of life for residents now and in the future. SCS assists communities in creating economic development strategies that support both aspects of economic sustainability.

Ecotourism planning. Ecotourism, as well as other tourism based on local natural and cultural resources, offers economic benefits while it helps preserve local assets. SCS can work with property owners, community leaders and others to develop creative concepts for tourism based on local assets. Once the vision is established, SCS will translate it into strategic plans, policy direction and action programs.

Education on planning and sustainability. Many people are unfamiliar with the concept of sustainability, particularly at the local level. Many others are concerned about global resource issues but don’t know how their daily choices affect these concerns. SCS provides information and education that relate community-shaping planning decisions to sustainability for the neighborhood, city and region.

Neighborhood revitalization. Existing neighborhoods and communities represent a huge investment – in public improvements like streets, sewers and parks; in private investment in homes and neighborhood businesses; in the human assets that created local institutions, a distinct identity and a unique history; and in the land and other natural resources where the communities are now located. Sustainability means having the strategies and tools to continually renew and restore neighborhoods and communities so these investments pay dividends for future generations. SCS assists your neighborhood or community by conducting a realistic assessment of opportunities for revitalization and then working with you to develop practical programs for action.

Research on issues affecting community sustainability. What makes a community successful over the long haul? What planning and design concepts will make the most of its resources? How do the latest trends and research relate to a specific community? What actions are feasible given today’s market reality? SCS can conduct research on these issues or provide an analysis of their impacts on your situation.