Defining Community Sustainability

The U.S. Branch
of ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) has released a
comprehensive set of sustainability goals and guiding principles
designed to help local governments to become more sustainable.

According to ICLEI, for too long, community sustainability
has been a nebulous concept with competing definitions and

There has never been a national
standard by which to measure sustainability performance (e.g.,
economic prosperity, health and safety, climate protection, etc.)
at the municipal or county scale.

By establishing defined Goals and Guiding Principles an
important first giant step has been taken toward addressing this
critical need, and giving local governments the tools to accelerate
their efforts and achieve greater success.

The 81 sustainability goals and 10 guiding principles
collectively define community-scale sustainability, and present a
vision of how communities can become more healthy, inclusive, and
prosperous across eight specific categories.

The Goals provide a much-needed vocabulary that local
governments and their communities can use to more effectively
strategize and define their sustainability planning

The STAR Sustainability Goals and Guiding Principles will
enable local governments and community stakeholders
create or revise a sustainability
conduct a sustainability
establish local
sustainability priorities, and
ongoing sustainability initiatives

  1. The ten guiding principles are:  

    1. Think-and act-systemically.

    2. Instill resiliency.

    3. Foster innovation.

    4. Redefine progress.

    5. Live within means

    6. Cultivate collaboration.

    7. Ensure equity

    8. Embrace diversity.

    9. Inspire leadership.

    10. Continuously improve

They can also be used in combination with ICLEI’s
title=”Five Milestones for Sustainability”>Five Milestones
for Sustainability

The Goals and Guiding Principles also form the foundation of the
forthcoming href=””
target=”_blank” title=”STAR Community Index”>STAR Community
, a national framework and
performance-management system that will allow local governments to
measure and rate their sustainability performance.

The full STAR performance management system will be
released in early 2012.

The STAR Goals and Guiding Principles and
details on how to use them are available for download in the
following report - style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal;”>href=””
target=”_blank”>Sustainability Goals and Guiding


ICLEI is an international membership association of local
governments dedicated to climate protection and sustainable
development. The organization was established in 1990 when more
than 200 local governments from 43 countries convened at the World
Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, at the
United Nations in New York. 


You can return to the main Market News page, or press the Back button on your browser.