About Sustainable Thurston

Sustaining the Future of Thurston
Sustainable Thurston is a community conversation that identifies a vision for a vibrant, healthy, and resilient future, as well as the actions and responsibilities to achieve it.

The Plan, Creating Places - Preserving Spaces: A Sustainable Development Plan for the Thurston Region
This plan is the result of a 2 1/2 year community conversation and analysis of quality-of-life issues. This plan charts a more sustainable future for the Thurston Region.
Sustainability Diagram
Challenges Addressed by Sustainable Thurston
  • Maintaining a strong and resilient economy
  • Protecting our natural environment
  • Planning for a growing population
  • Meeting the needs of an aging population
  • Addressing growing health concerns (such as obesity)
  • Funding governmental services and maintaining our public facilities
  • Using local resources as efficiently as possible
Opportunities Addressed by Sustainable Thurston
  • Shaping the future - A rare opportunity for residents and policymakers to have a voice in how we want our community to look, function and feel.
  • Revitalizing hopes - Efficiency, collaboration, and cooperation are key to a robust economy, a healthy environment, and resilient communities and households.
Key to Achieving the Sustainable Future Described:
  • Creation of "Places" that will offer the enhanced quality of life that residents say they want. Places include: city and town centers in both north and south county; urban transit corridors; neighborhoods; and rural and resource lands.
  • Take action on quality-of-life Topics that contribute to achieving Sustainable Thurston Vision and Goals. Topics include: energy; water infrastructure; water quality; solid waste; public safety; schools and transportation; local food systems; health and human services; housing; land use, transportation and climate change; and economic sustainability.
  • Sustained and widespread commitment by public policymakers and private residents during the next quarter-century. The community conversation must continue around kitchen tables, council chambers, coffee shops and other places.
Sustainable Thurston Plan Development Process
In 2010, the Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) received a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to craft a sustainable development vision and strategies to guide the region through 2035. During the next 3 years, thousands of residents attended Sustainable Thurston community workshops, answered surveys and participated online to share their hopes, fears and ideas about the future of our region. In late 2013, the TRPC adopted Creating Places - Preserving Spaces: A Sustainable Development Plan for the Thurston Region, which makes recommendations regarding transportation and land use, water quality, health and human services, public safety, and other issues. The conversation continues today.

Sustainable Thurston Task Force
The Sustainable Thurston Task Force drafted the Creating Places - Preserving Spaces: A Sustainable Development Plan for the Thurston Region, which was reviewed and adopted by the Thurston Regional Planning Council in December 2013. The Task Force is comprised of representatives of TRPC membership and Sustainable Thurston Panel Chairpersons. The Plan was informed by an extensive public process and articulates a community-defined sustainable future, and the actions and responsibilities to achieve it.

Sustainable Thurston Panels
Sustainable Thurston Panels developed information about various topics that affect short- and long-term quality of life in the Thurston Region. The best information available on each topic, as well as issues and opportunities, were compiled in white papers and included 180 residents representing 104 jurisdictions, agencies, organizations, and community groups. Panels each chose a Chairperson to sit on the Task Force to represent their respective topics in the Draft Plan.