The Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) in collaboration with the Urban Sustainability Director’s Network (USDN) and the City of Eugene, Oregon, sponsored the workshop “The Role of Cities in Advancing Sustainable Consumption,” on October 29 to November 1, 2014. This unique event was an opportunity to examine what action cities can take to promote sustainable consumption at the community scale. The workshop brought together SCORAI researchers; city sustainability staff in communities that are beginning to experiment with (or at least investigate) the topic, and key policy experts who are working to bring theory into practice. The 2 1/2 days of focused discussion helped to generate a shared understanding of the opportunities and challenges, potential next steps, and additional research needs to aid local governments in accelerating the transition to more sustainable consumption.
An important outcome of the meeting was the drafting of the Eugene Memo, which outlines the important role cities play in facilitating human and ecological wellbeing. The memo recognizes that advancing urban sustainability requires a shift in cultural values and a re-design of urban economies and communities to reduce material and energy throughput while simultaneously improving the quality of life for all people. Advancing sustainable consumption in cities also entails supportive systemic change at the national and global levels: these multi-level changes enable the fundamental and necessary shifts in culture and markets that make the transition possible. The Eugene Memo goes on to outline 10 guiding principles for local actions. The memo was drafted by a communications working group both during and after the workshop, and is signed by many sustainability directors, policy makers, and researchers.
Further details (including the workshop agenda, list of participants, and selected presentation slides) are available here.
The recording of a follow-up webinar organized by the West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum is available here.
Below are a series of videos taken over the two and a half days of the conference.
Day 1, October 30, 2014
SCORAI Introductory Panel Discussion
This panel discussion looked at some of the key questions and research in the field of sustainable consumption.
Speaker 1: Halina Brown – Opening Remarks
Speaker 2: Cindy Isenhour – Sustainable Consumption in the City
Speaker 3: Maurie Cohen – Is sustainable (or at least less) consumption inevitable?
SCORAI Introductory Panel Discussion: Question and Answer Session
Practitioner Introductory Panel Discussion
This panel discussion looks at the key needs & challenges for communities, local governments and practitioners.
Speaker 1: Babe O’Sullivan – Sustainable Consumption, The Municipal Context
Speaker 2: David Allaway – The Role of Cities in Advancing Sustainable Consumption – Why, What, and How?
Speaker 3: Lauren Norris – Boots on the Ground, Portland’s Experience
Practitioner Introductory Panel Discussion: Question and Answer Session
Plenary Session 1