A Sustainable Cities judge looks for…

What a judge looks out for in an evolving/developing initiative:

Community networks

 Community group involvement is important to:

  • develop and implement innovative projects related to environmental quality, litter control, local government beautification, heritage restoration, and
  • broaden the environmental impact of an initiative/program by including established groups such as Landcare, Watercare, Coastcare, Green Army etc. Other groups may include community service organisations, sporting clubs, church and social groups.

Partnerships with Local Government

Important to the success of a Sustainable City program by:

  • providing assistance (human and financial resources) and guidance to all groups working within the program, and,
  • liaising with Government/Council staff, community groups and schools in a coordinating and monitoring role to ensure tasks are completed.

School/youth participation

For a Sustainable City initiative/program to be sustainable, youth participation within a community is essential. Encourage this by:

  • working with the educational system to ensure environmental education programs are initiated to enable good environmental practice related to the environment to be taught throughout all levels of education within a community.
  • forming a junior environmental committee within a school system to provide future ambassadors for environmental action.
  • providing a vehicle to distribute ideas and information regarding environmental initiatives through family networks, and,
  • active schools generally reflect active communities.

Business/industry involvement

Important to champion the cause for a community. (Good ‘corporate citizen’ approach)

  • Business and industry are often able to analyse environmental challenges and opportunities and have the resources to initiate positive action and alliances.
  • Ability to lead the way in initiating and maintaining beautification and environmental enhancement projects within commercial areas as well as the general community.

What types of projects?

Examples of projects involved in a Sustainable Cities program:

  • Maintaining and improving the urban environment, in particular through litter and waste management E.g. distributing litter bags and assisting with adopting waste-free outdoor events.
  • Developing habitats and space for nature within the urban environment. E.g. Wildlife gardening, local nature reserves, community gardens, wildlife vegetation corridors, Adopt-a-road, verge, park, round-about, etc.
  • Community clean ups and anti-graffiti activities.
  • Revegetation/tree planting activities.
  • Developing/promoting tourist attractions/facilities including disabled access.
  • Local area pride and appreciation, e.g. photography competitions.
  • Improving access and facilities (seats, shelters, BBQ’s, playgrounds) for a range of community groups, e.g. family groups, elderly residents.
  • Encouraging environmental education programs in schools and displays in public locations linked to outcomes for the local environment and climate change awareness.
  • Recycling programs, improved waste collection, resource recovery and reuse initiatives.
  • Water conservation, capture and reuse initiatives.
  • Energy conservation and the use of energy from renewable sources
  • Sustainable buildings and gardens.
  • Recognition, restoration and celebration of historic buildings, heritage and cultural activities and Indigenous partnerships.

Conclusion

  • Participation –encouraging and enthusing a community to initiate ways to improve their ‘own patch’.
  • Civic Pride – as a result of participation, a community can develop increased community pride and raised self-esteem and as a result, derive immeasurable benefits.
  • Quality of life – participation, persistence and pride will ensure a raised quality of life for a sustainable community and the long term benefit of the nation.
  • In all categories we hope to see partnerships between local businesses, industry, organisations, government, councils, schools and community groups.

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