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Staying in the Game: Exploring Options for Urban Sustainability
Scott Bernstein, Julia Parzen, John Cleveland, Robert Friedman, Carolyn Hunsaker

“As part of a living system, we want to learn to succeed at being human.”

What is the purpose of this material?
This material is intended as a resource to support the development of local and national networks to learn about and act on sustainability in densely populated industrial regions. It includes materials intended to help groups:

  • Create a shared language about sustainability, including a common definition of what it is, what it looks like and what it means for urban communities;
  • Explore some of the deeper questions and values around sustainability, including the nature of evolution and the role of human beings in the natural environment;
  • Map the important human and biological systems in their regions and define the key energy, matter and information flows in those systems;
  • Measure and assess the sustainability of current use patterns in the region;
  • Build ongoing networks capable of continuous learning and shared action;
  • Organize for action at the local level, in ways that engage businesses, education, individuals and government in the process of creating conditions for sustainable urban environments.

What is the Urban Sustainability Learning Group?
The Urban Sustainability Learning Group was formed with support from the Joyce Foundation to achieve three purposes around sustainability in urban industrial regions:

  • recognize it when we see it;
  • think about it more coherently;
  • organize to act in support of it.

The focus of the Learning Group was the southern region of Lake Michigan encompassing the
Chicago regional economy. 

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