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The original item was published from 4/23/2009 11:50:58 AM to 5/2/2009 12:00:07 AM.

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Dubuque News

Posted on: April 23, 2009

[ARCHIVED] Earth Day Community Conversation Focuses on 11 Principles

More than 140 residents participated in Dubuque’s Earth Day Community Conversation on April 22 to engage the public in a conversation on the 11 principles of the Sustainable Dubuque initiative.

The event was sponsored by the City of Dubuque and was part of the “National Conversation on Climate Change,” a national Earth Day campaign to inform and inspire local climate action sponsored by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and supported by the American Planning Association, National League of Cities, Sierra Club, the US Green Building Council and other organizations.

The event began with a short video created by ICLEI to be shown at all “National Conversation” events held around the country yesterday. Next, small group facilitators for each of the 11 sustainability principles introduced themselves and their principle. The 11 principles include: Regional Economy, Smart Energy Use, Resource Management, Community Design, Green Buildings, Healthy Local Food, Community Knowledge, Reasonable Mobility, Healthy Air, Clean Water, and Native Plants and Animals. Event attendees then chose the principle they were most interested in and the crowd broke into 11 smaller groups, spending more than an hour discussing how to move each principle to action within the greater community. Discussion included identifying community assets related to the principle as well as challenges, opportunities and community partners for each of the 11 principles. The discussion also focused on the Sustainable Dubuque model which balances economic prosperity, environmental integrity and social/cultural vibrancy.

Results of the discussions were compiled at the conclusion of the event. Sheila Samuelson, Dubuque’s Sustainable Community Coordinator, said the input from participants will be used to create a Sustainable Dubuque action plan.

“The 11 principles, as well as goal and actions for achieving them, have come from the Dubuque community. Now we will work with all sectors of the community – citizen groups, businesses, nonprofits, communities of faith, etc. – to achieve them together,” said Samuelson.

Sustainability is defined by a community’s ability to meet the environmental, economic, and social equity needs of today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable Dubuque utilizes a systemic approach to making Dubuque sustainable. Dubuque’s model involves a three-part approach that integrates: Environmental and Ecological Integrity, Economic Prosperity, and Social and Cultural Vibrancy.

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