Sustaining communities by learning from integrated assessments of place

Osborn, Dick and McFarlane, Mike (2006) Sustaining communities by learning from integrated assessments of place. In: APEN 2006: Practice Change for Sustainable Communities: Exploring Footprints, Pathways and Possibilities, 6-8 Mar 2006, Beechworth, Australia.

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Communities of place exist at many scales: from global village through nations, catchments, and local governments to millions of properties at the level of households and workplaces. Interventions from beyond their boundaries ensure institutional arrangements for their governance are complex. Political and bureaucratic actors network across all decision-making levels. The actors and their roles change frequently. Even so, connecting two activities can begin the process of engaging stakeholders in sustaining a community of place. First, stakeholders need to assess community conditions relative to a sustainability target. Second, stakeholders have to learn from, and respond to, the information contained in the assessment. In 2005, the authors joined with the Campaspe Shire Council in piloting a practice connecting the two activities. Trends of growth, steady state, or decline, in indicators of the Shire’s human, built, and natural capital stocks were estimated by pooling local and external knowledge. Results were presented as a balance sheet. Senior management then drafted some thirty response-statements by interpreting the accounts. A stakeholder forum used decision-support software to structure relationships between the response-statements. Conducting a SWOT analysis during the forum provided further insights into place-based learning for sustaining communities, and for building capacities to do so.

Three key learnings: (1) Understanding their operational impacts within their community of place is the most useful context within which organisations can engage in sustainability learning; (2) the capital approach to measuring sustainable development simplifies learning; and (3) qualitative local knowledge is a significant element in sustainability assessment and accounting.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2006 The Regional Institute Ltd
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2007 11:55
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: integrated assessment; capital accounting; learning community
Fields of Research (2008): 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0806 Information Systems > 080699 Information Systems not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4609 Information systems > 460999 Information systems not elsewhere classified
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390499 Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified

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