The Patterns of a Conservation Economy
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Case Studies
Examples of this pattern in action:

Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project (RCHEP)
Excerpts taken from: "Real Change - Seattle's Homeless Newspaper" by Amber Himes, ATR member and office intern Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project (RCHEP), which is one of the few homeless-empowerment projects in the United States, provides an environment to create support and a community for the poor and homeless, and gives them skills to express themselves, both politically and creatively. The newspaper has had a total of approximately 4000 vendors since its inception and now boasts a print run of up to 30,000 papers per month. More importantly, selling the newspaper becomes a vehicle for changing the lives of the homeless. Shane Thompson, a vendor of almost two years, saved enough money from selling the newspaper to get an apartment and off the streets after four months. "It doesn't improve your life," Thompson insists. "But instead makes your life less difficult and miserable. You also meet a lot of people and friends by selling the paper." Comments another vendor, who wishes to remain anonymous, "I had been panhandling which is very basic, but selling Real Change makes me not a beggar but a small businessman, a more honorable position."

The Bicycle Community Project unites at risk youth and environmentalists in integrating extensive youth development programs with bicycle services, thereby increasing job and training opportunities and the use of bicycles while improving the quality of life for individuals and communities.

Organizations whose work incorporate this pattern:

A Territory Resource

Communities for a Better Environment


Etzioni, Amitai. The Spirit of Community: The Reinvention of American Society. Touchstone Books. Carmichael, CA. 1994.

Kemmis, Daniel. The Good City and the Good Life: Renewing the Sense of Community. Houghton Mifflin Company. New York, NY. 1995.

Kretzmann, John P and John L. McKnight. Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Towards Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets. The Asset-Based Community Development Institute. Evanston, IL. 1993.

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Pattern Index

A Conservation Economy

Social Capital

Fundamental Needs

Subsistence Rights

Shelter For All


Access To Knowledge


Social Equity


Cultural Diversity

Cultural Preservation

Sense Of Place

Beauty And Play

Just Transitions

Civic Society

Natural Capital

Ecological Land-Use

Connected Wildlands

Core Reserves

Wildlife Corridors

Buffer Zones

Productive Rural Areas

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable Fisheries


Compact Towns And Cities

Human-Scale Neighborhoods

Green Building

Transit Access

Ecological Infrastructure

Urban Growth Boundaries

Ecosystem Services

Watershed Services

Soil Services

Climate Services


Economic Capital

Household Economies

Green Business

Long-Term Profitability

Community Benefit

Green Procurement

Renewable Energy

Sustainable Materials Cycles

Resource Efficiency

Waste As Resource

Product As Service

Local Economies

Value-Added Production

Rural-Urban Linkages

Local Assets

Bioregional Economies

Fair Trade

True Cost Pricing

Product Labeling