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Model – Sustainability Street – It’s a village out there!

Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on April 19th, 2007

by guest author, Jason Cox, Community Regional Mentor.

Sustainability Street focuses on achieving Ecological Sustainability and Building Strong Community Links. On Sustainability Street this is one goal not two as these goals are inseparable in reality.

The Sustainability Street Approach is, at its simplest, a basic training program in sustainable living in the home and local neighbourhood – and – it can be whatever the imagination of a local community wishes to create. One of the key outcomes of the approach is developing a communitys skills and abilities with a view to influencing culture change.

There are currently 100 communities in Victoria and NSW using the Sustainability Street Approach to improve their environmental lifestyle and build a stronger community; In general they are reporting 30% reduction in their use of Energy and Water and a decrease in the amount of Waste they produce. They are also reporting great new community connections and wonderful local projects.

The NAGA Sustainability Street Project was launched in March 2006. With the help of the Moreland Energy Foundation and Vox Bandicoot 12 villages were established in the first year of the program. These villages have already established strong links and embarked on community projects that will have lasting outcomes in the community. They are taking positive steps in their community to address the environmental issues that face us all.

Local projects include, websites, food co-ops, reclamation of local creeks, community bike rides, water audits, energy audits, running their own workshops in their own areas, opening their homes as examples of what can be done, running large scale environmental showcases, talking to people in their areas about what they have done.

These projects are obvious displays of what is happening on Sustainability Street. The less obvious things are, people talking to their neighbours, people feeling happier in their streets, community members now feeling like they can make a difference. Culture change can sometimes be invisible.

Over the next two years 6 more villages will be established in the NAGA region. Each will have a different focus and a different approach, but, each will contribute in some way to helping fix the problems we face from climate change and community disintegration.

Keep an eye out for meeting details or contact Jason on 9381 1722 or Jason

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