About the Council

Statement of Sustainability -
Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

Sustainability is a process or state that can be maintained at a certain level indefinitely. However the only true characteristic of the indefinite is change. The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council understands that true sustainable practices rely on developing a platform for elasticity, or resiliency, to the inevitable changing future. The Council therefore aims to formulate its unit of economic production as an adaptable driver while sustaining or improving its environmental, cultural and economic systems.

Sustainable Practices - Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

How can an organization prepare for its future? By setting up a resilient and sustainable platform aimed at organizational enrichment and best-practices today. The Council has designed itself as a hub of sustainable development thought: at the forefront of community resiliency and economic vitality, it has become an indispensable piece of the analyses and dissemination of global sustainable practices. With its numerous awards and recognitions, white-papers, journal articles and reports published as well as conference presentations, the Council demonstrates techniques that are benchmarked around the globe. As well, the Council has looked for other revenue-generating activities to sustain itself during market fluctuations:

Sustainable Tourism Planning and Development Laboratory: connects the world’s scholars, leaders and practitioners of sustainable development through a series of interactive dialogues.
Sustainable Planning and Development Advising: provides consulting services on how to approach sustainable development and economic enhancement for communities looking for a more vibrant and resilient future.

The Blackstone Valley Legacy Trust: obtains private and public financial support for future development projects for the benefit of the Valley.

Statement of Sustainability - Blackstone River Valley

The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council understands its Unit of Economic Production (UEP) as a comprehensive region made up of nine distinct cities and towns in Rhode Island and connected by watershed to Massachusetts, USA. The Council attempts to reach pure sustainability through a comprehensive regional approach that identifies, analyses, supports and then enhances ten local conditions. Only through this holistic methodology can the Council progress towards sustainability of its UEP: focusing on enhancing quality of life not through the current (and perilous) paradigm of pure economic growth, but through economic augmentation and maturity.

UEP’s 10 Local Conditions

Social – Demographics, Cost of Living, Change, Dissonance
Cultural – Historical & Heritage, Language & Lifestyle, Art & Artifacts, Multi/Inter-Cultural, Commercialization
Knowledge – Information, Learning, Blatant vs. Latent,
Economic – Enterprise, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Poverty vs. Livability vs. Self-Sufficiency
Ecology - Recreation, Greenspace, Pollution
Built Environment – Types, Governance, Tax Base, Desired Conditions
Governance – Constituency, Efficiency, Representative, Accountability
Leadership – Youth, Training
Technology – Public Transit & Transportation, Communication & Information Technology
Health – Access, Environment, Costs, Conditions

Due to the complexity and interrelated conditions of the Council’s UEP, partnerships have developed with residents as well as local, regional, state and federal organizations and agencies to define sustainability through resilient terms. This includes the development of the Blackstone Valley Partnership – a response to the ‘innovation imperative’, designed to adapt the region to the modern knowledge-based economy. Including partners and the UEP’s stakeholders in the Council’s regional development pushes aside the paradigm of pure-growth and gives depth to local conditions and voice to grassroots economic enhancement. The Council sees the future of its UEP as regional self-sufficiency while increasing quality of life and environmental vitality.

A Sustainable Future Using a Resiliency Platform - Blackstone River Valley

The rigidity of a plan is destined to shatter under pressure from inevitable future trends and events. Instead of ‘planning for change’, the Council develops elastic platforms for its UEP and organization based on possible future events; i.e. fluctuation of fuel prices, natural and man-made disasters, disposable income increase in developing nations, etc. These possible futures inform the Council’s development decisions to prepare the local economy, residents and environments for these inevitable fluctuations.