The Village of Park Forest has a legacy of living and growing sustainably. Since its founding in 1949, the Village has equally valued the three pillars of sustainability: environment, economy, and equity. In May 2012, Park Forest adopted the Growing Green: Park Forest Sustainability Plan (PFSP). The PFSP was developed with major assistance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and their Local Technical Assistance program. The PFSP consolidates significant sustainable achievements to date, and identifies critical changes needed to make Park Forest more sustainable in the future. Since the adopting of Park Forest’s Sustainability Plan, the Village has received several awards and is a recognized leader in sustainable practices.

What is sustainability?

Finding a succinct and clear definition of sustainability can be a challenge. Sustainability means different things to different people, groups and organizations.

The term “sustainability” is typically used in one of three ways:

Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. (Brundtland Report, Our Common Future, 1987)

Sustainability requires that any public policy or investment meet certain environmental, economic, and social equity goals. Sustainability regards the total wealth of society as natural, human, and man-made capital that should be preserved or increased, in addition to financial wealth. (CMAP Sustainability Regional Snapshot, 2007)

Another way to understand sustainability is through the “3 E’s”— environment, economy, and equity. Sustainability can be thought of as the healthy interrelationship between these three areas. Balancing these three “pillars” of sustainability -- using resources more efficiently -- results in a sustainable community.


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