About Sustainable Communities

Communities are complex and dynamic. They are defined at local, national and global levels. Sometimes they are place based, sometimes they are held together by commonalities. They require nurturing to sustain core elements such as environmental quality, safe neighborhoods, good schools, accessible healthcare and engaged citizens.

To sustain this balance of economic, ecological, social and political vitality, communities must continuously adapt. Scholars can help, but this often requires crossing disciplinary and sectorial boundaries.
By combining the perspectives and methodologies of several disciplines, we can examine multiple dimensions of sustainability — spatial, temporal and systemic — and devise powerful solutions to complex problems. By developing new paradigms and vital partnerships within the University and with community members and organizations, this area of excellence will help us understand what it takes to model, build and maintain sustainable communities. Collaboration among faculty from many disciplines will enable a deeper understanding of the past, present and future trends. New ideas will emerge and enable us to improve our policies and practices at local, national and global levels.

The Sustainable Communities Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence has established the following goals:
  • The next generation will be educated in the principles and practices of sustainable communities.
  • Communities around the globe will have the skills necessary to create sustainable communities.
  • Binghamton University faculty will be globally recognized as leaders in sustainable communities research.
  • The Greater Binghamton area, including Binghamton University, will be a sustainable community.