Home » Featured, Sustainable Living

This Sustainability Movement is Brought to You by the Letter C

Submitted by on October 5, 2009 – 9:11 pmOne Comment

Living Green

Living Green

As writers, we are taught to “always avoid all awkward alliteration” and I find myself constantly worried that the letter “C” appears conspicuously, consecutively, and continuously in my sentences – community, cooperation, connection, common. (c what I mean?)

But the other day, I had tea with writer Jennifer Fosket who has co-opted the C phenomenon and created “The Ten Cs of Social Sustainability.” In her book, Living Green: Communities that Sustain, she and co-author Laura Mamo, both sociologists, look in depth at ecovillages, cohousing, affordable housing communities, and even single-family housing neighborhoods around the country and explore how those communities have made sustainability a way of life.

The questions they ask go far deeper than questions about how to recycle, use green energy, etc. They ask: What
motivates people to change their lifestyles? What factors affect the choices people make in their homes? How does the built environment affect the way people live? In what ways do people connect with each other and how does this contribute to the strength of the community? What helps communities to endure through time?

In many ways, these are the most crucial, yet most challenging questions to explore in building a more sustainable world. The Ten Cs of Sustainability came out of Fosket’s and Mamo’s observations in the communities they visited, and begin to answer the question of what makes a sustainable community successful. The Ten Cs are practices and considerations that could apply in any development or community. They include:

  • Culture
  • Context
  • Citizenship
  • Commitment
  • Collaboration
  • Connectedness
  • Care
  • Contact
  • Commons
  • Continuity

Anyone who is currently working to build community around living sustainably could benefit from reading Fosket’s and Mamo’s book. The communities described in each chapter provide inspiring examples, and the Ten C’s are a great framework around which to structure discussions about what it means to build community, connect with one another, collaborate in designing the community, and commit to long-term sustainably.

One Comment »