We are what we measure.   It's time to measure what we want to be.

Definitions of sustainable community and society

Sustainable Community Roundtable Report (South Puget Sound)
"In a sustainable community, resource consumption is balanced by resources assimilated by the ecosystem. The sustainability of a community is largely determined by the web of resources providing its food, fiber, water, and energy needs and by the ability of natural systems to process its wastes. A community is unsustainable if it consumes resources faster than they can be renewed, produces more wastes than natural systems can process or relies upon distant sources for its basic needs."
Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED)
"Sustainable community development is the ability to make development choices which respect the relationship between the three "E's"-economy, ecology, and equity:
  • Economy - Economic activity should serve the common good, be self-renewing, and build local assets and self-reliance.
  • Ecology - Humans are part of nature, nature has limits, and communities are responsible for protecting and building natural assets.
  • Equity - The opportunity for full participation in all activities, benefits, and decision-making of a society."


Puanani Rogers, Ho`okipa Network, Lihu`e, Kaua'i, Hawaii
"Aloha 'aina, malama' aina, ahupua'a style living... Aloha 'aina simply means to love and respect the land, make it yours and claim stewardship for it. Malama 'aina means to care for and nurture the land so it can give back all we need to sustain life for ourselves and our future generations, and, an ahupua'a is an ancient concept of resource uses and management based on families living in a division of land that connects the mountains to the reefs and the sea."
Northwest Policy Institute(University of WashingtonGraduate School of Public AffairsSeattle, Washington USA)
"Sustainable communities foster commitment to place, promote vitality, build resilience to stress, act as stewards, and forge connections beyond the community"
Coop America
"Sustainable society - Society whose long term prospect for continuing to exist are good. Such a society would be characterized by an emphasis on preserving the environment, developing strong peaceful relationships between people and nations, and an emphasis on equitable distribution of wealth."
Coop America Quarterly, No. 37 Summer 1995.