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Reinventing Paradise: Santa Monica’s Sustainable City Program

PAQ, Vol. 28 No. 2, (2004)

Faced with the growing cross-pressures of citizen consumer
demands, economic vitality, finite environmental resources, and
resident concern over quality of life issues, a number of cities have
looked toward a sustainable community strategy as a potential policy
solution. While such an alternative has shown promise, it has only
begun to move from an intellectual vision to an applied program. To
build on our knowledge concerning the scope and practice of
sustainable communities, this article examines Santa Monica,
California, which, over six years ago, initiated a multifaceted
sustainable city program. From this research, scholars and practitioners
will gain a stronger understanding of the pattern of policy adoption,
types of programs, implementation tools, and the facilitative and
constraining agents in this city’s sustainable community program
experience. Along with making a contribution to mapping the current
sustainable community terrain, this research also suggests a series of
variables for hypothesis construction and testing in future research.

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