Communities know the places they live in, what they need and often have huge untapped assets of ingenuity, commitment, creativity and passion. They have a vital role to play in making local areas more physically and economically resilient to meet any challenges they face.

Dave Facey, Communities Team Leader, Department for Communities and Local Government

Communities Living Sustainably was a £12 million, five year programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Twelve communities in England received funding to help deal with the potential impact of climate change and build the sustainability and resilience of their local area. They aimed to provide inspiration for other communities to share what they had learned.

This report celebrates the achievements of the projects and presents some of the key lessons learned for the benefit of community groups carrying out similar activities and for local authorities, funders and other stakeholders in a position to support their efforts.

The thematic learning project focused on four key themes: energy, resilience to climate change, growing and food, and behaviour change. Despite the complexity and variety of the projects under these themes, it was possible to draw common lessons:

  1. It’s all about place
  2. Long-term change needs to be community-led, but professionally supported
  3. The environment starts where people are
  4. Putting the time into partnerships pays off
  5. Making the links makes it better
  6. Scale makes a difference but you can make a difference at any scale
  7. It all takes longer than you think

Read the full report: Our Place, Our Planet