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  Innovative Communities

Comparison of innovative communities with related concepts

Sustainable Communities:
  • Unlike several of the other concepts, it is more broadly used and less easily defined
  • Similar to concept of Inn.Comm. in that it places great emphasis on local perspective
  • Involves a biophysical dimension, with consideration of other lifeforms
  • Not restricted to cities/ urban areas
  • Awareness of impacts beyond community boundaries - like Inn. Comm. concept, `thinks globally'
  • Has willingness to 'continously learn of its changing needs over time', rather than simply `growth' as an objective - like Inn.Comm. concept, temporal view is longer rather than shorter term
  • Economic dimension seen as important but not central
Green Communities:
  • Appears to be in use particularly in the United States
  • The preservation and enhancement of the local environment seem to be key goals
  • Less incorporation of `think globally' - emphasis is largely limited to the boundaries of the community
  • Like Inn.Comm. holistic approaches are promoted
  • Social aspects of community is central - participation in democratic processes, healthy/ environmentally friendly transportation, and `attractiveness' of local environment for residents are key
  • Value of environment seems to be instrumental and directly related to resident's quality of life
Smart Growth Communities:
  • Much more from an urban planning/ economic perspective
  • The order of importance for smart growth seems to be the economy, the community and the environment
  • Assumption of continuing growth (of city and economy)
  • At higher decision-making levels - involves policies and programs rather than grassroots community activism
  • Direct spatial component to concept of community with emphasis on city center and older suburbs
  • Innovation (as related to city planning and design) is promoted, although environmental issues appear to be considered only as far as they affect the convenience/mental/ physical health of residents
Livable Communities:
  • US based concept for certain post World War 11 cities (primarily in the US) and the particular (innovative), and desirable ways in which they have evolved
  • Strong free market perspective with emphasis on communities changing to meet market demands, that the needs of the business community be met, and that residents be provided with the maximum possible options (regarding transportation, communication and services access)
  • Instrumental view of environment, with the halting of urban sprawl allowing continued economic benefits to agricultural sector
  • City design treated as a `product' which responds to the needs of residents, motivation of livable community development is to attract additional residents and maintain existing ones.

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