This working paper describes methods for sustainable city projects–municipal environmental efforts justified as responses to global environmental problems—which have sprung up in cities throughout the world. Although they often use a definition of sustainability whereby people satisfy their needs without further destroying the environment, few projects address the far-reaching consequences this idea would have if it were seriously pursued. Nonetheless, existing sustainable city projects may have far-reaching effects.
This paper describes some of these effects, including ways they have helped make the environment a legitimate concern for cities, and how they have made the idea that people should change their behavior, at least a little, to help save the planet socially acceptable in many communities. They have also, in some cities, increased citizen participation in government decision-making. In addition, the paper lists a variety of specific citizen initiatives, city projects, new communities and other efforts that fit this profile. A partial list of relevant organizations and contact people can be found at the end of the document.