Available April, 2004
The Natural Step for Communities:
How Cities and Towns can Change to Sustainable Practices
by Sarah James and Torbjörn Lahti
Countless inspiring examples of the successful ecological transformation of
cities and towns in Sweden and North America and how they accomplished this.
Sustainability may seem like one more buzzword, and
cities and towns like the last places to change, but The Natural Step for Communities provides inspiring examples
of communities that have made dramatic changes toward sustainability, and
explains how others can emulate their success.
Chronicled in the book are towns like Övertorneå, whose government
operations recently became 100 per cent fossil fuel-free, demonstrating that unsustainable municipal practices really can be overhauled.
The book first clarifies the concept of sustainability, offering guiding principles -- the Natural Step framework -- that help identify sustainable action in any area. It then introduces the sixty-plus eco-municipalities of Sweden that have adopted changes to sustainable practices throughout municipal policies and operations. The third section explains how they did it, and outlines how
other communities in North America and elsewhere can do the same. Key to success is a democratic "bottom-up" change process, and clear guiding sustainability principles such as the Natural Step framework.
The book will appeal to both general readers wishing to understand better what sustainability means and practitioners interested in introducing or expanding sustainable development in their communities.
Sarah James is the principal of a community planning consulting firm. She co-authored the American Planning Association's Planning for Sustainability Policy Guide, and has published articles throughout the U.S. on this subject. Torbjörn Lahti was the planner for Sweden's first eco-municipality, and is directing a five-year sustainable community demonstration project. He was instrumental in forming the Swedish national association of eco-municipalities.
Order from New Society Publishers