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Sustainable Community Development (SCD) aims to integrate economic, social and environmental objectives in community development.  SCD is based on a consideration of the relationship between economic factors and other community elements such as housing, education, the natural environment, health, accessibility and the arts. SCD has emerged as a compelling alternative to conventional approaches to development: a participatory, holistic and inclusive process that leads to positive, concrete changes in communities by creating employment, reducing poverty, restoring the health of the natural environment, stabilizing local economies, and increasing community control.

The SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD), formerly the Community Economic Development Centre, was founded in 1989 and is part of the Faculty of Environment. The Centre’s mission is to support the sustainable development of communities through research, education (credit and non-credit), and community mobilization; it provides research, training and advisory services throughout BC and Canada as well as internationally. The CSCD offers an undergraduate certificate and post-baccalaureate diploma (both also available through distance education), graduate support, and a non-credit professional program.

For more on our perspective, see What is Sustainable Community Development?


One View of the Sustainability Profession

"Perhaps the best lens through which to view the future of the sustainability profession is that of the sustainability executive as explorer, or perhaps better yet, the scout. They must have a solid business sense, typically having served on the front lines of some aspect of the business. They must have an immense and nimble curiosity, able to immerse themselves in a wide range of new issues and topics as they arise, whether from inside the organization or from outside. Finally, they must be translators and collaborators as they enlist resources from within their organization while extending their influence and reach beyond the boundaries of the company, typically including suppliers and customers. In short, they must be willing and able to traverse uncharted territory and shifting circumstances, all the while interpreting the current state of affairs to others, and watching the horizon for the unexpected."

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