Sustainable Long Island helps communities across Long Island identify priorities for development and develop practical strategies to build safer, stronger, healthier, and more vibrant downtowns. We bring together diverse stakeholders, in to a comprehensive planning process and connect them with the resources they need to create a shared image for the future of the community.
Over the past 14 years, Sustainable Long Island has partnered with over a dozen communities across Nassau and Suffolk Counties raising hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private investments. Some of our greatest successes have come from a community’s ability to leverage the funding initially invested into necessary project progress and completion.
Initial meetings: Sustainable Long Island begins work in any community by meeting the residents, business owners, civic leaders, clergy, environmentalists, and town or village officials. Those initial meetings are listening meetings, a chance for us to hear what's happening in the community. Sometimes this listening period lasts several months; in other communities, it might take a year for a community to begin to understand its priorities and construct a plan of action.
Public education workshops: Wherever we work, we bring the stories of other communities - not just here on Long Island, but all across America - and how they have solved community problems with new, innovative ideas. These workshops arm people with the research and expertise of planners, architects, landscape designers and traffic technicians, but they also foster simple, open exchange among the community members to help them pinpoint their needs.
Community visioning process: As communication improves, ideas develop, and trust grows, a community is ready for a charrette or a community visioning process. Sustainable Long Island brings in expert planners and facilitators to run these meetings, which are open to everyone. Over the course of the visioning process, plans are illustrated, and groups tour the town to see for themselves how things might look. In smaller groups, people actually plan a downtown center, a park, a pedestrian-friendly walkway, a well-lit street. Each group reports back to the whole; then the experts find the consensus, create the plan, and develop a time line for implementation.
Implementation phase: With the creation of a vision plan that encapsulates the needs of a community and the steps for fulfilling their shared vision, implementation in partnership with the town or village is ready to begin. As implementation proceeds, visible changes materialize: façade improvements, the redevelopment of abandoned properties, community clean-up programs, trees that beautify the downtown. Sustainable Long Island remains an active partner in the revitalization process.