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Following applying the Sustainability Matrix to many projects over many years, Mark created 

the widely used concept of the Eight Pillars of a Sustainable Community, which includes the following elements:









1. Complete community, mixed land uses

A sustainable community needs to provide mixed uses at a hierarchy of scales – from the neighbourhood to the region. This pattern reduces sprawl and its associated transportation impacts, increases economic development and increases social health across a city.

2. Low impact transportation systems

A sustainable community works to shift transportation modes away from the private automobile by providing significant active transportation capacity (pedestrians, cyclists, elder scooters, others) and the comprehensive transit network it can afford.  It also offers extensive infrastructure to support electric mobility options.

3. Green buildings

A sustainability community will be populated with high performance buildings that support daily life with reduced impact on the environment and our health.

4. Multi-tasked landscape

A sustainability community’s landscapes will support ecosystem health, diverse recreational uses and food production in an affordable and safe manner.

A sustainable community will develop a new approach to infrastructure over time that manages its water, wastewater, stormwater, energy supply, and solid waste in a manner that reduces environmental impact and increases local economic performance.

5. Innovative regenerative infrastructure

6. Regionally integrated food systems

A sustainable community will have a diverse and locally integrated food system that addresses supply, processing, distribution, sales, education and food security, along with all the associated landscape, land use and infrastructure issues.

7. Strategic social support & capacity development systems

A sustainable community will provide for the basic needs of all of its residents and provide systems and facilities that support its continued capacity development – including healthcare, education, arts and culture and many more.

8. Prosperous local economic systems

A sustainable community will have a diverse, locally-integrated economic system that provides a broad diversity of employment and business opportunities as well as investment potential, while strategically interacting with the global economic system.