Since the 1980s, sustainability — measures taken to protect and enhance the environment, the economy, and equity for current residents and future generations — has become an issue of increasing importance both domestically and internationally. In the past decade, local governments have demonstrated increasing leadership in this area. Some exemplary local government officials have worked in partnership with businesses, nonprofits, community organizations, and residents to collaboratively develop programs to create more vibrant, resilient communities.
Advancing Social Equity Goals to Achieve Sustainability from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) describes the current activities, leading practices, and achievements of sustainable communities. Such communities were created through a comprehensive, integrated approach to sustainability supported by inclusive engagement, equal access to services, and livable neighborhoods. The report examines the extent to which social equity activities are included within an integrated approach to sustainability, how social equity is defined, and the level of commitment of local governments in addressing equity issues.