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“Our Common Future” – Making it a Reality

sustainability indicators 285x195 Our Common Future   Making it a Realityglebe markets 285x196 Our Common Future   Making it a Reality

None of us likes the idea that the world we currently enjoy might not be around for our children to enjoy in the same way. The majority of Sydneysiders including those in our village of Pyrmont, however, now acknowledge it is a growing reality – if our generations continue to exhaust resources, develop economies that are not sustainable and encourage unsustainable social practices the future won’t be so bright for the next generations.

Consider the term sustainability, and often the first thing that comes to mind is a sustainable environment followed by thoughts of sustainable urban development. All of this, however, stems from communities – and it’s clear that the foundation for a sustainable environment is based on sustainable, integrated communities and economies. A definition from the Brundtland Report ‘Our Common Future’ states “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs“. To accomplish this it’s important we understand the complex relationships between the ecological, economic and social issues of a sustainable community – and understand what you can do as an individual, and part of the community.

Sustainability indicators are useful in showing how sustainable a community actually is, and show existing and potential weak links between economic, social and environmental progress. Very few sustainability indicators have been developed in Australia – but it’s vital that local councils do so in the foreseeable future in order to monitor the progress of Ecologically Sustainable Development goals. These indicators give a broader and more integrated picture than traditional indicators – for example, a traditional indicator is the unemployment rate, whereas a sustainability indicator might be the diversity and vitality of the local job base – emphasizing the resilience and flexibility of the job market, and its potential to be sustainable.

Pyrmont Village has already covered some of the simple things we can do to conserve the environment on an individual level – and the possibilities don’t end there! There are literally thousands of easy changes we can make to our lifestyles for a more sustainable community – looking at the environmental impact of what we eat, buy, use and even wear in everyday life is a great place to begin. Many people don’t consider the environmental impact of the clothes they wear for example – but with designers such as Gorman releasing organic ranges that are environmentally friendly in their manufacture and materials it’s getting easier to lead sustainable (and fashionable!) lives. Local markets, such as Glebe markets, are another place to buy clothes that don’t leave such a mark on the environment – and a fantastic way to strengthen community spirit. After all, it’s the small changes every individual makes, that result in big differences in the community.


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