Open Louisville Living and Learning Network: Next Steps DRAFT v1-1

Open Louisville Living and Learning Network: Next Steps DRAFT v1-1 9/7/07

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Some ideas for developing the Open Louisville Living and Learning Network:

1) Green and Sustainable Communities.
Sustainability depends on integrating environmental, economic, equity, multi-generational and local/global aspects of development. Green communities are learning communities, where all aspects of business, government and community life are moving through democratic transformations towards sustainability. Here are some elements of policy and process reforms which the Louisville Living and Learning Network could support:

1.1) City - wide LEED Green Building standards.
Many communities around the world are moving from "Pilot Projects and PR " to community-wide adoption of Green building and design standards. for example, Washington DC has adopted a policy whereby all new construction in DC MUST conform with Green Building "LEED" standards by 2010. Louisville, with a much smaller building footprint could move even more quickly.

1.2) Green Neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods and villages around the world are moving to Green standards through LEED and Ecovillage standards. Louisville already has the optional "village form " district designation for neighborhood planning. This should be amended and extended so that not only Green Building but Green neighborhood and regional design is the defacto standard for the community. Democratic neighborhood councils and small cities can move to adopt these measures even before Metro government acts, and in so doing can strengthen the neighborhoods movement.

1.3) Education for Sustainability.
There are a variety of measures that community organizations and institutions can undertake to move towards sustainable community education, including citizen and vocational education in addition to public schools and universities. In all of these education forums, solar technician and construction training, composting and permaculture certification, green neighborhoods planning training and democracy schools are among the means for learning the technical and process skills of a sustainable society. In partnership with these specific skills trainings, there are community based integrative curricula and partnerships such as the Ecovillage Design Education curriculum of the Global Ecovillage Network and the Neighborhood LEEDS programs of the US Green Building Council.  Over the past few decades a variety of "Open" community based research and continuing education initiatives have pioneered in this approach, such as the Open Center in NY,  Open Network in Colorado, the Loka Institute in Washington, DC,  the Science Shops movement in Europe, the Open University in Britain, and the Open Community projects in Louisville.  These partnerships can be used to help green neighborhoods become Open "Living and Learning" classrooms for Louisville and the world.

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