Building Sustainable Communities

Hello, We are in the process of forming the SaskRCE Working Group on Building Sustainable Communities.

The formation of the Working Group was approved by the SaskRCE Facilitation Group in November 2008. Attached is the presentation made to the SaskRCE Facilitation Group in January 2009 on the general plan for the Working Group.

The purpose of the Working Group is to provide a forum for individuals and organizations interested in supporting the development of community sustainability plans and projects that contribute to building sustainable communities. This includes education, research, and action oriented projects. The projects will be primarily targeted at either sustainable living (consuming with a purpose) or sustainable development (building with a purpose).

Anyone interested in being a member of the Working Group is welcome. We are hoping to form a core team of members who are willing to commit to volunteering at least 2-4 hours a month to support Working Group projects.

Projects will generally fall under one of the building blocks for Community Sustainability:

1. Sustainability Education and Learning

2. Community Sustainability Planning and Action

3. Health and Wellness

4. Housing Development

5. Food Security (local food and healthy eating)

6. Energy Efficiency and Renewables

7. Waste Reduction and Recycling

8. Water and Sewage

9. Transportation Planning and Traffic Management

10. Land Use and Urban Form

11. Greening the Community

12. Atmospheric Change and Quality

13. Municipal regulations and bylaws

As a cross theme Working Group, our intent is to support the existing Working Groups and their projects when appropriate and to ensure that we are not duplicating projects.

When we hold our first formal teleconference in late March, an important agenda item will be to select a few high priority projects to support in the next 12 months. Candidates include:

1. Developing a working framework for Building Sustainable Communities

2. Developing an evaluation, measurement and verification framework for sustainbility projects

3. Identifying available best practice Sustainable Community Planning education and training

4. Creating a Sustainable Building Centre of Excellance for Very Cold Climates

5. Creating prototypes for 12-month greenhouse production

6. Forming a Community Sustainability Planning support team

Let me know before the meeting if you have any other candidate projects.

Please email me if you are interested in participating in the teleconfernce later in the month and whether you are interested in becoming a core team member of the Working Group. The organizing teleconference will be scheduled in the late afternoon and will last approximately 60 minutes. After the organizing meeting, the core team will initiate working teleconferences and live meetings to move individual projects forward. We plan to hold one status update meeting per month to communicate project progress and solicit feedback from Working Group members and other interested people.