sm_6_environmentThe 100 Dirty Words of Sustainability

The 100 Dirty Words of Sustainability begins with the Five major uses of the word and how it describes the action taken around Sustainable Development, first coined in the paper titled, Our Common Future.

“Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

1)   Sustainable Communities Initiative

2)   Sustainable Communities Partnership

3)   Sustainable Communities Strategies

4)   Sustainable Economic Development

5)   One Planet Communities


Listen to Mr. Wayne’s Presentation on the “100 Dirty Words of Sustainability”
on BlogTalkRadio.


In LAND DEVELOPMENT there are more, and I’m sure you’ve see these types of phrases, or titles, given to current planning agendas that are initiated by our government leaders, and aimed to be carried out into the next Century, as population densities change, and more concerted efforts are made toward efficiency, environmental conservation, and putting more people closer to urban centers in order to reduce pollution and transportation congestion.

This can only be a good thing, right?

Several terms and words are woven into city planning / building and safety guidelines, as well as policies and standards. These are not buzzwords, but actually a part of the professional jargon. This is reflected on how lifestyles are changing and where most people are wanting more sustainable communities.

  6)   Buffer Zones

  7)   Open Space

  8)   Equity

  9)   Consensus

10)   Affordable Housing

11)    Community Protocol

12)    Regional

13)    New Urbanism

14)    Quality of Life

15)    Stack and Pack Housing

16)    Responsible Development

17)    Historic Preservation

18)    Benefit of All

19)    Vibrant Neighborhoods

20)    Priority Conservation Areas

21)    Priority Development Areas (PDA)

22)    Comprehensive Planning

23)    Growth Management

24)    High Speed Rail

25)    Conservation Easement

26)    Visionary Meetings

27)    Facilitator

28)    Traffic Calming

29)    Housing Element

30)    Mixed Use Development

31)     Muti-Use Dwellings

32)    Parking Policy

33)    Smart Growth

34)    Upzoning

35)    Walkable Communities

36)    Livable Communities

37)    Smart Streets

38)    Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

39)    Transportation Justice

40)    Vehicle Mileage Traveled Tax

41)    Jobs-Housing Connections

42)    Precautionary Principle

43)    Resilient Cities

44)    Greenways

45)    Land Use Policies

46)    Best Management Practices (BMP’s)

47)    Metropolitan Planning Organizations

48)    Redevelopment

49)    Ballot Box Planning

50)    Urban Revitalization

51)     Urban Growth Boundary

52)     Healthy Communities Strategy

53)     Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL Communities)



THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS are bringing Sustainability into the classrooms in ways that will teach and educate students about the balance between environmental protection and economic prosperity with a special focus on the social elements of fairness and justice for all. Keys words are used to describe this focus on sustainability.

54)    Outcome Based Education

55)    Inter-disciplinary

56)    Safe Routes to School

57)    Common Core Curriculum

58)    Sustainable Medicine

59)    International Baccalaureate

60)    Social Justice

61)    Common Good

62)    Direct Instruction

63)    School to Work

64)    Lifelong Learning



THE ENVIRONMENT plays a vital role in the Sustainability Model, where it is not considered an option, but is necessary for the survival of the planet and the continued advancement of mankind. There are many key words used to push environmental polices to the forefront and bring attention at a global scale.

65)    Environment

66)    Restoration

67)    Wildlands

68)    Protect

69)    Habitat

     70)    Preserve

     71)    Sanctuary

     72)    Wetlands

73)    Invasive Species

74)    Scenic Views and Vistas

75)    Environmental Justice

76)    Endangered Species

77)    Watershed

78)    Sensitive Lands

79)    Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions

80)    Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

81)    International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)

82)    Global Warming



THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY is a key player in the success or failure of creating and maintaining a sustainable planet, and many additional words, from the several listed above, are tossed around frequently, from the Corporate World to Individual Entrepreneurs.

83)    Grants

84)    Triple Bottom Line

85)    Good Business Sense

86)    Carbon Tax

87)    Cap and Trade

88)    Stakeholder

89)    New Economy

90)    Public/Private Partnerships

91)     New World Order



THE FINAL TEN WORDS on our list of 100 “Dirty Words” of Sustainability are heard all the time in any setting, and are now used to better describe more of the Social Policies that are being implemented in business, school, and within our own families.

92)    Fair

93)    Vision

94)    Choice

95)    Inclusive

96)    Outcomes

97)    Downsizing

98)    Prosperity

99)    Benefits Driven

100)  Climate Change


The phrases and words listed above are often considered “dirty” and a catalyst for controversy and propaganda. However, I like to consider these words “tools of the trade” that will empower us and allow growth in an ever shrinking world, we call home…Take advantage of them, and use it for good!



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