Chapter 20: Theories and concepts influencing sustainable community development: introducing the concept of community productivity
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A sustainable future requires twinning improvements in quality of life with decreased consumption of materials and non-renewable resources. How can we chart our way conceptually and operationally in this unfamiliar territory? In the first section of this chapter, we briefly trace the history of sustainable development (SD) and sustainable community development (SCD) theory and practice and demonstrate their interdisciplinary nature and influences by notable theories and concepts in fields such as ecology, economics and other social and natural sciences. In the second section, we present community productivity as an emerging theory of SCD and we argue that achieving SCD is possible through increased multi-factor productivity in the community. We explore how enhancing multiple forms of community capital can contribute to community productivity and well-being and provide examples of community productivity metrics and current initiatives from around the world.