Choosing a Sustainable Future: Ideas and Inspiration from Ithaca, NY

Choosing a Sustainable Future: Ideas and Inspiration from Ithaca, NY

by Liz Walker

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A small city's big vision that can help transform your own community.

We all want a sustainable future, but what does it look like, and how do we get there? In Ithaca, NY a new culture is blossoming-one that values cooperation, local production, environmental stewardship, social justice andcreativity. Ithaca is showing the way to meet the challenges of the day with a wide variety of practical, real-world solutions.

Filled with inspiring examples, Choosing a Sustainable Future provides readers with a remarkable sense of possibility. Explore Ithaca's:

  • bustling, vibrant farmers markets, overflowing with fresh, local produce
  • award-winning community credit union that triples the savings of low-income people
  • flagship college sustainability programs
  • pioneering alternative transportation programs, such as Ithaca Carshare
  • innovative efforts by coalitions of local business, university, government and activists to create transformation in areas as diverse as green building, city planning, health and wellness, and honoring cultural diversity.

Taken together, these examples of citizen engagement are a taste of what life could be like in a sustainable city of the future. In a time of overwhelming economic, social and environmental crises, Choosing aSustainable Future provides a quiet, authoritative voice of hope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781550924640
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Liz Walker is the award-winning author of EcoVillage at Ithaca and the co-founder and executive director of the acclaimed intentional community of the same name. She is a leading authority on cohousing and sustainable communities, a founding board member of Gaia Education and a lifelong grassroots organizer for peace and environmental groups.

Liz Walker co-founded and has directed EcoVillage at Ithaca since its inception in 1991, and has lived there with her family since the first buildings were completed. She has worked on all aspects of the community's development, and has written and lectured widely on the topic.

Table of Contents

Preface — Why I Wrote This Book
Introduction — Another World Is Possible

1. Learning from the First Nations
2. Growing a Local Food Culture
3. Green Building/Green Energy
4. Building a Livable City — Smart Land Use and Transportation Alternatives
5. Local, Living Economy
6. Educating for a Sustainable Future
7. Getting the Word Out — Alternative Media
8. Health and Wellness for All
9. Addressing Racism
10. Ithaca Is Gorges
11. Turning Waste into Gold
12. Local Government and Institutional Change
13. Changing Culture, Changing Lives
14. Art at the Heart — Ithaca Celebrates!
15. Bringing It All Together — What Have We Learned?

About the Author

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Most of us want to be part of the solution. Thank you, Liz Walker and Ithaca, for showing us how — with verve, clarity, and just enough detail to make it all real. Choosing a Sustainable Future proves that we don't have to give in to fear. We can use today's horrific threats to propel us into common action, creating communities that are more beautiful in every way. Let Ithaca's story be spread far and wide."
— Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and Getting a Grip2: Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Really Want

"An economy based on ingenuity, thrift, competence, full-cost accounting, and grounded in its place! What an idea! Choosing a Sustainable Future is radical — in the right sense of the word — but practical. Liz Walker and her colleagues are demonstrating in Ithaca a blueprint for economic resilience, fairness, and honest prosperity everywhere."
— David W. Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor and Senior adviser to the President, Oberlin College, author of Hope is an Imperative: the Essential David Orr

"Ithaca is one of those places showing the way towards a workable future, and Liz Walker is a key guide on that tour. Pay attention!"
— Bill McKibben, founder

"Buckminster Fuller is famous for saying "The best way to predict the future is to design it." Liz Walker shows us how the citizens of Ithaca, NY and Tompkins County have taken that message to heart, and for the past 20 years have been creating a fair, equitable and sustainable future."
— Ken Rother, President and COO of

"As we awaken to the many trends and injustices that threaten our environmental and social future, and enter this era of reinvention, we need models and mentors of strategies that work, so that we can reimagine how we might structure our food, water and energy systems, and appreciate indigenous ecological wisdom. Choosing a Sustainable Future offers practical and visionary solutions that have been proven and work, to re-orient our children, ourselves and our communities toward just and regenerative life ways. This is a vital resource for anyone seeking to engage with neighbors and community members to co-create a healthy, resilient, peaceful and just future."
— Nina Simons, Cofounder, Bioneers and editor, Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart

"In this fascinating description of one community's efforts to design and implement more sustainable living, learning and work environments, Liz Walker strikes just the right balance between successes achieved and the challenges that remain. I highly recommend the book to all who are interested in this urgent issue."
— David J. Skorton, President, Cornell University

"Liz Walker's voice should resonate all over the world. Ithaca is no longer a "utopia," but an outstanding achievement of sustainable living in the US, and a great model and inspiration for change anywhere in this planet."
— Carlos Fresneda, author of La Vida Simple , and US correspondent with El Mundo

"Liz Walker chronicles the stories of those struggling happily (for the most part) to make our cities healthy and sustainable into the deep future. This is an adventure with dozens of real people's experiences, and in the first person of the explorer."
— Richard Register, author, Ecocities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature , President of Ecocity Builders and founder of the International Ecocity Conferences series

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