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About Sustainability

What is a Sustainable Community?

A sustainable Lake Oswego is a community that meets the vital human needs of the present without compromising our ability to meet future needs. This requires consideration of both long-term and short-term effects on ecological, economic, and community systems. Operating sustainably means that we are leaving a legacy for the community of Lake Oswego and the planet. (From City of Lake Oswego Sustainability Plan)

Sustainability is a journey rather than a destination. A sustainable city is one that protects and enhances the immediate and long-term well-being of the community and its citizens, while providing the highest quality of life possible. Sustainability requires systems-based decision-making that takes into account economic, ecological, and community impacts and opportunities. 

To better understand how to use sustainability as a filter for decision-making, a sustainability tool based on The Natural Step framework was developed as part of the Comprehensive Plan update process.

Why in Lake Oswego?

The City of Lake Oswego recognizes that local government plays a vital role in fostering sustainability and is committed to adopting, implementing, and maintaining sustainable practices. Working across departments and with community partners, City sustainability projects and programs seek to address not only environmental sustainability, with a focus on solutions that also have community and economic benefits, such as: employee and community health and wellness; operational efficiency improvements that save money, time, and resources; opportunities for community engagement and connections; and policy solutions to address all of the above. 

Periodic updates to the City Council on sustainability programs and projects are linked below.