Creating sustainable communities - A means to enhance social mobility?

Bell, Simon and Lane, Amanda (2009). Creating sustainable communities - A means to enhance social mobility? Local Economy, 24(8) pp. 646–657.



The purpose of this paper is to describe the origins, composition and outputs of the development in the UK of a generic course: Creating Sustainable Communities (CSC). The paper describes the origins and inception of CSC in work undertaken within coastal communities in the Mediterranean. Developed in order to encourage participation in self-review of sustainability for diverse social groupings in Coastal Area Management Programmes in Cyprus, Malta, Algeria, Slovenia and Lebanon (2000 – 2006), CSC was subsequently developed in collaboration between Dr. Simon Bell and the UK Homes and Communities Academy (HCA – formerly the Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC)) and linked to the HCA Foundation Degree in Sustainable Communities. By 2007 the course had been refined as a generic module for application in a number of presentational forms: within Higher Education, Continuing Professional Development and community development.
CSC provides a powerful means for communities of all kinds to assess their current situation, reflect on how sustainability can be projected onto this reality, measure how sustainable the community is, has been and can be in its own terms and, finally, develop meaningful action plans for agreed change agendas. Such agendas are intended to lead to the enhancement of all aspects of the community and, we argue, can improve the social mobility of all members of the collective.

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