Community-wide Sustainability Through Improved Town-gown Relationships
Climate change can be effectively addressed at a local, rather than national, scale. Cities and universities represent the centers of commerce and culture, as well as the world’s population and pollution. By studying local governments and their resident institutions of higher education, we are highlighting the importance of collaboration on sustainability, and how these partnerships have led to precipitous action on climate change and accelerated the creation of community-wide benefits. Our research examines these collaborations through a series of interviews with individuals who are leading the efforts in sustainability co-creation at both institutions, and who together are establishing networks for a shared understanding of these sustainability collaborations. Through a qualitative analysis of these networks and the projects they have and continue to organize, our research highlights how communities are catalysts for change.