Sustainability Links

Tremendous resources are available through the internet today to track developments in sustainability and broaden our understanding of the world.  Below are some favorite links in the areas of Planning, Economic Development and Building technologies.  We invite you to explore them and visit us again, as we continue to add new ones.

 Indicates a must see site. 




The Natural Step is a non profit organization founded with the vision of creating a sustainable society. For two decades, The Natural Step has been at the forefront of international research and dialogue about sustainable development. They have developed a proven, science based model that helps communities and businesses better understand and integrate environmental, social, and economic considerations.

The Natural Step is committed to researching the science of sustainability and linking it to real world applications. They work with people inside organizations to make informed decisions and create dialogue about the many challenges and opportunities ahead as we move toward a sustainable future.


The association created in 1990 represents now more than 1,000 towns and cities in 30 european countries.

  • To strengthen city members role and skills in the field of sustainable energy.  
  • To represent city interests and influence the policies and proposals made by European Union institutions in te field of energy, environmental protection and urban policy.  
  • To develop and promote initiatives through the exchange of experiences, the transfer of know-how and the implementation of joint projects.  


Mission:  Sustainable Cities Collective is an editorially independent, moderated community for leaders of major metropolitan areas, urban planning and sustainability professionals. They look to aggregate content and provide resources for all who work in or are interested in urban planning, sustainable development and urban economics. Looking at issues such as transportation, building practices, community planning & development, education, water, health and infrastructure, they hope to create a community where people can get involved and learn about the advances in how cities are becoming smarter and greener in the 21st century.


Many people are aware of certified green homes, but not everyone knows that communities themselves can also be certified as sustainable – and that they offer significant health and economic benefits to residents, premiums for developers, and resource savings and economic stability for cities.


Real Change was officially launched on 9 May 2008 at the Leadership Challenge in Stockholm with His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, and the Director Generals from the five Swedish agencies supporting the programme. Real Change will support the world’s decision makers in business, communities and governments as they implement sustainability solutions - ensuring that their decision making will be based on scientific foundations and will result in real change towards sustainability.

“This unique methodology is now uniting scientists, business enterprises and politicians in a systematic pursuit of sustainability,” Karl‐Henrik Robèrt, Chairman of the Real Change Steering Group.

Although Real Change was launched in 2008, the programme has been in works for many years. Founding organizations; The Natural Step, Blekinge Technical Institute and Lund University have long been committed to systems approaches to problem solving using a rigorous definition of sustainability to structure their thinking.


Planetizen is a public-interest information exchange provided by Urban Insight for the urban planning, design, and development community. It is a one-stop source for urban planning news, commentary, interviews, event coverage, book reviews, announcements, jobs, consultant listings, training, and more.

Planetizen prides itself on covering a wide number of planning, design, and development issues, from transportation to global warming, architecture to infrastructure, housing and community development to historic preservation. They provide a forum for people across the political and ideological spectrum, ensuring a healthy debate on these and other important issues.


The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) promotes integrated land use planning and development based on sustainability principles and practices. BPS also develops and implements policies and programs that provide environmental, economic and social benefits to residents, businesses and government, which strengthen Portland's position as an international model of sustainable practices and commerce.


The International Making Cities Livable Council is an interdisciplinary, international network of individuals and cities dedicated to making our cities and communities more livable.

IMCL Council members are active in organizing and participating in the International Making Cities Livable Conferences held twice a year, once in North America and once in Europe; in publishing books, consulting, teaching, and improving the livability of their own cities.


Get an in-depth pollution report for your county, covering air, water, chemicals, and more.




The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to helping economic developers do their job more effectively and raising the profile of the profession. When IEDC succeeds, their members create more high-quality jobs, develop more vibrant communities, and generally improve the quality of life in their regions.

Mission:  Provide leadership and excellence in economic development for communities, members, and partners.

IEDC embraces the following core values. They reflect and support the IEDC mission, and guide their decisions, actions and provision of services:

  • Social responsibility and a dedication to building healthy, just, and competitive communities 
  • Creation of wealth for individuals, businesses, and communities 
  • Advancement of both the economic development profession and professional 
  • Cooperation and collaboration 
  • Diversity, tolerance, and equity 


Ceres (pronounced “series”) is a national network of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies and investors to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change.

Mission:  Integrating sustainability into capital markets for the health of the planet and its people.


Mission: Founded in 2003, Post Carbon Institute is leading the transition to a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable world. 

Post Carbon Institute provides individuals, communities, businesses, and governments with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated economic, energy, environmental, and equity crises that define the 21st century. They envision a world of resilient communities and re-localized economies that thrive within ecological bounds.



The Biomimicry Institute promotes learning from and then emulating natural forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable and healthier human technologies and designs.


What you'll see on this biomimicry site from the Biomimicry Institute is a starter culture of ideas—biological blueprints and strategies, bio-inspired products and design sketches, and biomimics you can talk to and collaborate with.


Earth Advantage Institute is a nonprofit organization that works with the building industry to help implement sustainable building practices. Its mission is to create an immediate, practical and cost-effective path to sustainability and reduction of carbon in the built environment. The organization achieves its objectives through an innovative range of programs for industry professionals, including certification of high performance homes, remodels, sustainable communities and commercial spaces.



The U.S. Green Building Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation.

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.


The intent of this website is to provide free resources to all members of the construction industry to help them understand and implement LEED Construction. 


Mission: To encourage the creation of Living Buildings, Sites and Communities in countries around the world while inspiring, educating and motivating a global audience about the need for fundamental and transformative change.

The International Living Building Institute is a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to the creation of a truly sustainable built environment in all countries around the world. Comprised of the leading green building experts, futurists and thought-leaders, they believe that providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement of reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world.


Where design is heading, a truly integrated approach that involves all disciplines involved with the development and construction of a building.  BIM creates virtual 4-D / 5-D models of a building prior to actual construction, significantly reducing conflicts during construction.  It has been estimated that for every dollar spent on BIM for a project 2 to 5 dollars in cost savings can be realized.  The General Services Administration is now requiring all of their building projects to go through BIM.

According to GSA, Building Information Modeling is the development and use of a multi-faceted computer software data model to not only document a building design, but to simulate the construction and operation of a new capital facility or a recapitalized (modernized) facility. The resulting Building Information Model is a data-rich, object-based, intelligent and parametric digital representation of the facility, from which views appropriate to various users’ needs can be extracted and analyzed to generate feedback and improvement of the facility design.


Green Building Pro is a social media community dedicated to Green Building professionals. Their goal is that by offering a single source for resources, education, communication and collaboration, they can maximize the potential knowledge base of the Green Building professional network.

Green Building Pro offers interactive discussion forums and blogs, a broad range of original articles and newsletters, a career search center / Jobs Board and an extensive library of resources about sustainable design and engineering.

Green Building Pro also hosts an online virtual conference center and market place where members can particpate in ongoing webcasts or visit vendor booths to explore product information and demonstrations.


Usable Buildings is a free resource for practitioners, managers, building owners, developers, students and anyone else who wants to make buildings more suitable for the people who use them, less damaging to the natural environment and a better long-term investment.


Mission:  Transform the market for building materials to advance the best environmental, health and social practices.