CRC Discussion Paper, Number 2:
Yuill Herbert The Sustainability Imperative: A preliminary investigation into sustainable communities in Canada
What is a sustainable community? The difficulty with arriving at an un-ambiguous definition lies behind the word in the society in which the concept originates. In developing the idea of sustainability, society as a collective seeks to reconcile the modern character of both human to nature and human-to-human relationships in order to address the moral and social implications of its ecological impacts and inequities within and between communities.
This paper explores sustainable communities in Canada. Firstly, the question of what is a sustainable community is addressed through a review of the current literature. Then a set of principles are developed that characterize a community on the path to sustainable development. A broad survey identifies ten Canadian communities, ranging from a small Gulf Island to a major city, that are operating or aim to be operating in line with these principles. Social, ecological and economic characteristics of each jurisdiction are described and finally each community is placed, in relation to the other communities, on a sustainable development spectrum.
Exploring sustainable communities in Canada to develop a set of principles that characterize a community on the path to sustainable development