Sustainable Communities

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Sustainable CT is Launching November 28, 2017. Check the events tab for more information.

Sustainable CT is Launching!

This page will be redirected to our new website – – on November 28, 2017. Check back then to learn more.

Join us for one of our Sustainable CT launch events around the state. Register here and spread the word.

November 28, 2017, 1:00 – 1:45 p.m. – Launch for municipal officials at annual convention of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

January 9, 2018, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. – Comstock Community Center (Room 13), Wilton

January 9, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. – Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (Bowers Auditorium), New Haven

January 16, 2018, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. – Hartford Public Library (Center for Contemporary Culture), hosted in collaboration with the City of Hartford

January 18, 2018, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Torrington City Hall Auditorium

January 24, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. – Connecticut College (College Center Crozier-Williams 1941 Room), New London

January 26, 2018, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. – Eastern Connecticut State University (Johnson Community Room), Willimantic

googled10“Sustainable CT communities strive to be thriving, resilient, collaborative, and forward-looking. They build community and local economy. They equitably promote the health and well-being of current and future residents. And they respect the finite capacity of the natural environment.”

Watch this short video  about Sustainable CT.

How Does it Work? The Sustainable CT Framework:
  •    Sustainable CT is a roadmap of voluntary actions that will help municipalities be more sustainable.
  •    Resources and support, including funding, help local communities apply the actions that fit them best.
  •    The Sustainable CT Certification publicly recognizes municipalities for their sustainability achievements.
  •    Sustainable CT is flexible. Any Connecticut municipality can find ways to become more sustainable – urban or rural, big or small, coastal or inland.

Sustainable CT seeks to help cities and towns across the state become more vibrant, healthy, resilient and thriving places for all of their residents. Sustainability actions, policies, and investments deliver multiple benefits and help towns make efficient use of scarce resources and engage a wide cross section of residents and businesses.

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What makes CT Sustainable?

There are many ways to help local communities thrive. Sustainable CT provides resources to municipalities to support:

  •     -Clean and diverse transportation systems and choices
  •     -Efficient physical infrastructure and operations
  •     -Strategic and inclusive public services
  •     -Dynamic and resilient planning
  •     -Well-stewarded land and natural resources
  •     -Thriving local economies with benefits for all
  •     -Healthy, efficient, diverse and affordable housing
  •     -Vibrant and creative cultural ecosystems

Program Development Timeline

We’re on our way! Sustainable CT will officially launch November, 2017!

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 The SustainableCT Energy Network resource site for local Task Forces has moved to

Partners of Sustainable CT

Sustainable CT is being developed by towns, for towns. Municipal leaders and residents from across the state, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and people from key agencies, non-profits and businesses all partnered to help create the program. The Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University is coordinating and supporting the initiative. Support is provided by a funding collaborative composed of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (EHTF), Hampshire Foundation and Common Sense Fund.

Advisory Committee

During 2017, the Advisory Committee will oversee program development and recommend a long-term governance structure. The Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from municipalities, state agencies, non-profits, businesses and academia. Members include:

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Working Group Members

All of Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities have been represented in Sustainable CT’s development in some way, either by directly by a municipal official or staff person, by a highly engaged local volunteer, or by a regional entity charged with representing member municipalities.

Working group members are available in PDF format and are available for download.

Municipal Leaders Participating on the CCM Task Force on Sustainability:


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Get Involved

Participate now!

Learn and Spread the Word
Help prepare your own municipality for Sustainable CT by sharing info with your municipal leaders through social media and word of mouth.

Watch this video about Sustainable CT and see how communities are already taking the step to be more sustainable.

Check out this PowerPoint presentation from our January regional forums (2016).

Want to learn more about Sustainable CT? Watch an informational webinar  hosted by the Governor’s Council on Climate Change.

Sign up for Updates
As Sustainable CT develops, we’ll share news on program development, how to participate and the launch of the certification program.

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If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at:

Sustainable CT –


Jessica LeClair –


LAGI: Willimantic, CT

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Thank you to everyone who participated and delivered an RFQ for the Willimantic LAGI project. Judging of the teams is underway. Check back soon for more updates.

For more information on the next steps, visit the LAGI Willimantic website.

Design Site
Willimantic Whitewater Partnership (WWP) has recently remediated a prominent site in the heart of Willimantic,
Connecticut and prepared it for development. Soon it will be home to a new whitewater park and other public amenities that WWP would like to power with on-site renewable energy.

ISE is working with WWP in partnership with the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Office of the Arts.


(Photo Credit, LAGI)

Together we will be launching an invited design competition to bring forward the best ideas for how to utilize the parcel to generate clean energy while contributing to the creativity and beauty of the development.

The WWP site offers the perfect opportunity to integrate renewable energy, with a richness of resources, including hydro, solar, and wind. The site, in such a prominent location in downtown Willimantic, is ideally situated to be a catalyst for economic and community development.

Interestingly, there is a history of energy around the property. Hydro power provided much of the energy used to run the Smithville cotton mills. Two generations of dam expansions provided increases in power output. There still remains the option to bring small scale run-of-the-river hydro power generation back to the site.

Participants in this afternoon “think tank” put their heads together around the design challenges of the WWP site.

Participants in this afternoon “think tank” put their heads together around the design challenges of the WWP site. (Photo Credit, LAGI)

Community Workshop
On March 3, 2017, the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Office of the Arts hosted the Land Art Generator Initiative for a workshop in Willimantic.

During the workshop, community members investigated how renewable energy technologies can be incorporated into public art and creative placemaking opportunities so that the intervention on this exciting site will bring the greatest benefit to the city and its people.


(Photo Credit, LAGI)

Invited Competition
An invited competition to design an energy generating artwork for this site will launch in late 2017 (See PDF). Connecticut-based teams will be selected through a state-wide request for qualifications (RFQ) process.

An informational session that was open to the public was held October 11th in the J. Eugene Smith Library to kick off the process. It was a networking event where artists and designers teamed up with engineers, architects, and others in order to form teams and prepare an RFQ response.

(Images above are of the Willimantic design site and the community workshop on March 3, 2017.)

Partners  ISE LogoCapture1

Willimantic Whitewater Partnership

Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University

Connecticut Department of Economic CT-Logo-DECD-Left-OOTA-RGB_Rand Community Development (DECD) Office of the Arts

To receive updates and details about the program, please send an email or call Jessica LeClair
at, 860-465-0258 to find out how you can support this innovative project for Willimantic, Connecticut.

historicwillimanticDesign Site History
“In 1822, Charles Lee purchased a mill privilege on the east side of present-day Bridge Street and erected a large stone cotton mill. The mills were later known as the Smithville mills. Meanwhile, Matthew Watson, Nathan Tingley, and Arunah Tingley of Providence, R.I., purchased water rights and land just upstream on the west side of Bridge Street. Where earlier there had been a sawmill and gristmill, Watson and the Tingleys built a large stone mill to manufacture cotton cloth, along with houses for themselves and their workers. The Windham Cotton Manufacturing Company, as their enterprise was called, prospered and remained a major textile producer well into the 20th century. In 1907, the mills on both sides of Bridge Street were combined into a single operation. Today, the mills at this location are gone, though two dams, some foundations, some of the mill-worker houses, a former storehouse and a former company store remain standing.”



Sustainability in Action

Connecticut has a rich and vibrant history of sustainability, one that the Sustainable CT program will build on and up. From our big cities to our small towns, CT leaders and citizens alike have demonstrated their commitment to creating more eco-friendly, mindful, and resilient communities. The examples below highlight the sustainability work of several municipalities:

Forum: Climate Change and Sustainability: Practical Solutions for Your Municipality
The Institute for Sustainable Energy, with support from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Common Sense Fund, and Hampshire Foundation, hosted a municipal forum on September 17, 2015. The forum featured presentations from Connecticut mayors, town managers, planners, economic development directors, and other municipal professionals on topics ranging from: transit-oriented development, resilience and climate adaptation, microgrids, eco-tech parks, energy retrofitting, composting, and local foods. View presentations and the event recording.

Title page of CCM Sustainable Communities ToolkitSustainable Communities: A Municipal Toolkit
In 2016 CCM published a guide for Connecticut communities entitled, “Sustainable Communities: A Municipal Toolkit.” The toolkit features case studies and best practices that have been implemented around the state, featuring examples in: sustainability planning, energy efficiency, local foods, land use and transportation, materials management, resilience and climate change adaptation, and clean energy generation. Check out the toolkit to learn more about the good work happening in our state!

Want to learn more about Sustainable CT? Watch an informational webinar  hosted by the Governor’s Council on Climate Change.


Sustainable-CT_Logo_color_square no badge_300dpiOfficial Sustainable CT Launch
November 28 – 29, 2017
Annual CCM Convention, Foxwoods Resort

Stay tuned for the program launch of Sustainable CT at the annual CCM Convention. Registration is available.