Nelson 2060 - Background

In July 2010 Council resolved to develop a community sustainability strategy. This was in response to an increased understanding of the challenges we face as a community due to the ‘limits’ of the earth’s resources and our increasing demand for those resources. We need to decide as a community what we want Nelson to be like in the future, being aware that we need to operate within the ‘limits’ of what the earth can provide. We can then determine what we need to do to move us in the right direction, towards a sustainable Nelson in 2060.

How are we defining sustainability?

Council used “the Natural Step” planning framework to develop Nelson 2060.  It sees sustainability as “a state which does not systematically undermine natural or social systems”. 

Four basic principles act as care instructions for our planet and there is also a four part approach to planning.

The care instructions for our planet

To become a sustainable society we must:
Nelson 2060 Sustainability Principles

1) Reduce what we take from the earth

Use less substances extracted from the earth’s crust (e.g. heavy metals and fossil fuels)

2) Reduce our use of products and materials that can't be absorbed by nature

Reduce man made substances that persist in the environment rather than biodegrading

3) Sustain our life supporting ecosystems

Less degradation by physical means (e.g. over harvesting forests and fisheries)

4) Meet human needs fairly and efficiently.

Ensure people are able to meet their needs (e.g. enough money to live on, sufficient resources for future generations)

The approach to planning

1. Awareness - Aligning the community around a common understanding of the key issues facing our region.

2. Baseline analysis - Using the four Natural Step principles listed above to identify critical sustainability issues, their business implications and opportunities for change.

3. Compelling vision - Developing a vision for a sustainable Nelson, beginning with the big picture of what a sustainable community would look like, and working towards it.

4. Down to action - Brainstorming actions that move the community towards their sustainability vision.

How did we develop the strategy?

Based on what has worked well for other communities and what we’ve learnt from other community-led projects, the approach to the development of the strategy included:

  • A Mayoral Taskforce - 24 leaders from businesses, community organisations and Councillors were brought together to think about how a sustainable future will look and how we can get there. They brought together the work from the community and advised the Council on ways forward
  • Everyone had their say – The wider community through a series of workshops asking the same question - what does a sustainable future will look like and how can we get there?

Developing the vision and goals

The Vision

In 2011 the Nelson community created a vision for how we want our city to be in 50 years time. Read the vision here.  

In 2012 we had some advice from external reviewers on the ideas that were generated by the Mayoral Taskforce and everyone who came to the community workshops in 2011.

Read more about our reviewers (93KB PDF)

Read the review summary (63KB PDF)

The Goals

In August 2012 the community worked together again to identify priorities for action. The priorities formed the goals of Nelson 2060. Read more about the goals here.