Innovative Strategies: Ideas for Sustainable Communities


Innovative Strategies: Ideas for Sustainable Communities is a collection of articles by prominent local politicians, environmentalists, and community leaders who demonstrate how to turn progressive ideas into action. It is the first volume in the “Innovative Strategies Leadership Series” for locally elected leaders. Inspired by conversations at our Centre for Civic Governance forums, this handbook highlights leadership stories from across the country and beyond. It relates stories of individuals and communities who are boldly confronting the myriad challenges of the present age and making places in which they live more sustainable, more democratic and more just.


Download each part as a PDF below.

Part 1: ‘LEED’ing Ideas for Building Green
1.1 The ABCs of LEED, by Steven Carpenter
1.2 New Educational and Research Word at the Kortright Centre, by Andrew Bowerbank
1.3 Renewing our Apartment Towers, by Graeme Stewart and Michael McClelland

Part 2: Environmental Leadership – Creating a Local Green Agenda and the Bylaws to Make it Happen
2.1 An Agenda of Green Cities, by Dr. Rick Smith
2.2 Banning Plastic Bags and Building Environmental Awareness, by Bond Ryan
2.3 Community RIght-to-Know Bylaws: Fighting Polution by Disclosure, by Katrina Miller
2.4 Pesticide Bylaws: Citizen Action to Ban Pesticide Use

Part 3:  Building Strong and Sustainable Neighbourhoods through Citizen Action
3.1 Community Engagement: Building a Community Voice, by Garland Yates
3.2 Strong and Sustainable Neighbourhoods: Responding to Community Needs in Kingston, by Carolyn Davies and Elaine Radway
3.3 Action for Neighbourhood Change comes to Thunder Bay, by Sandra Albertson
3.4 Building a Sense of Community in Toronto’s Inner Suburbs, by Sean Meagher
3.5 Imagine London: Grassroots Politics in a Complacent Town, by Gina Barber
3.6 Citizen Action for Democratic Communities: The Path in Guelph, by Karen Farbridge

Part 4: Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities
4.1 Working Together to Save Energy in Niagara Schools, by Bruce McLennan
4.2 EcoSchools in Waterloo, by Catherine Fife
4.3 The EcoSchools Program, by Jody Soehner
4.4 Model Inner City Schools: A New Frame for Equity and Social Justice, by Jeff Kugler and Elizabeth Schaefer

Part 5: Economic Development at the Local Level: Building on Strengths, Creating Opportunity
5.1 Local Government Finance in Ontario: Who Does What? To Whom? by Hugh Mackenzie
5.2 $10 Minnimum Wage Campaign: A Recent Case Study in Political Bargaining to Improve the Conditions for Low-Wage Workers
5.3 The Process of Redefining a Town, by Katrina Carrera

Part 6: Ontario Polling on Local Government Issues
6.1 Ontario Polling on Local Government Issues, by Bob Penner


About Centre for Civic Governance

The Centre for Civic Governance works to support community leadership meeting today’s social and environmental challenges: climate change, Canada’s increasing equity gap, and shifting social trends. At the Centre for Civic Governance, our goal is to strengthen Canadian communities through sharing best practices, providing tools for locally elected leaders, and progressive policy analysis. We strive to provide knowledge and information to make real and positive social change.