Long Term Agenda

Common Ground Agenda
Targeted Outcomes – 2016

As developed by 110 citizens of Lawrence representing a wide range of stakeholder groups at a future search conference entitled “Natural Steps for a Sustainable Lawrence”, March 30-April 1, 2006.

See photos and video from Spring 2006 conference

See Full Conference Report

All items in our Common Ground Agenda seek to meet these conditions so we may achieve the highest level of ecological sustainability:

  1. Eliminate our contribution to fossil fuel dependence and to wasteful use of scarce metals and minerals;
  2. Eliminate our contribution to dependence on persistent chemicals and wasteful use of synthetic substances (made by humans);
  3. Eliminate our contribution to encroachment upon nature (e.g., land, water, wildlife, forests, soil, ecosystems);
  4. Meet everyone’s human needs fairly and efficiently.


  • Reduce auto emissions through using alternate fuel methods in Township fleets
  • Create additional mass transit
  • Encourage bicycling, walking
  • Personal autos: promote use of alternative methods including electric, hybrid, bio-diesel, hydrogen cells, as feasible.

Clean Air, Water, Soil

Education & Communication

Environmental Education to make more sustainable/green-friendly choices

  • “Sustainable Everyday” campaign to promote individual action in support of a sustainable Lawrence
  • Offer clear definition of “sustainable”
  • Create greater awareness of our connectedness to Earth and recognition of the impact of individual and prevailing lifestyles on ecology
  • Education of public and community – all ages, all segments
  • Promote understanding of the effects and consequences of consumption


  • Identify options for a more community-wide approach to alternative energy
  • Conservation

Food Farming

Community Food/Farming Awareness

  • Establish a garden at every school
  • Establish more community gardens
  • Encourage more farms, farmers, and farmers markets in order to increase community awareness of where food comes from and appreciation of fresh, local, sustainably-produced food.

Solar Energy

  • Produce alternate energy and integrate into existing grid
  • Take advantage of upcoming opportunities for updating Township buildings

Community Integrated Pest Control

Reduce pesticide use

  • Use pesticides only when needed
  • Use cultivation techniques to control pests
  • Use safer pesticides registered by EPA
  • Integrate all above methods


Tax incentives for

  • Hiring locally
  • Solar Panels
  • Green Construction

Green Building

Green Construction

  • Prepare description of elements of ‘green’ building (environmentally friendly, long lasting, sustainable) including external and internal components (may rely on already extant definitions and develop a program for township certification and financial incentives for those who incorporate green elements and technologies.
  • Each home an environmentally sustainable system (use of solar, gray water, geothermal, etc.)


  • Ensure access and promote involvement of all groups in Sustainable Lawrence
  • All citizens of Township involved in process of planning and implementing sustainable Lawrence

First Steps

  • ID community segments
  • Develop concise message to invite involvement
  • Determine how to make contact with community segments
  • Make sure we are not forgetting anyone
  • Support inclusion efforts for all SL task forces
  • ID Sustainable Lawrence Project that might meet the needs of community segments

Inter-Connected Bicycle/Pedestrian System

Linking all neighborhoods (geographic, ethnic, and religious) to each other.

  • Bike/pedestrian trails and paths as a means of exchange across cultures
  • Opportunities for exposure to Lawrence’s cultural and biological diversity
  • Resource (e.g. tools) sharing and 2nd hand exchanges


  • Assure human, social needs are satisfied through out Lawrence
  • Broadening support and commitment to achieve these goals
  • Enhance opportunities for cross cultural enrichment and sharing ideas from multiple perspectives.

Multiple Town Centers

We envision Lawrence Township with multiple town centers, each with its unique combination of offices, homes, stores, and civic entertainment functions, offering a large portion of the Town’s population the opportunity to spend time in their own neighborhood without having to travel long distances.

Town centers will be:

  • Mixed use developments
  • Human in scale, (welcoming, vibrant, meeting basic needs)
  • Pedestrian and bike-friendly
  • Serve as transportation hubs
  • Green construction
  • Safe
  • Town square/Green for gatherings

Open Space

Mission: Preservation of open space contributes to positive sustainability in Lawrence. Open space and contiguous greenways provide natural habitats for birds and animals, help purify ground water running into streams, protect trees from destruction and allow growth of new seedlings in natural ways. Open space provides opportunities for passive recreation – hiking, walking, photography, x-country skiing, birding etc. It enables us to live in harmony with Earth.


Recycling Revolution

“Lawrence Recycling Revolution” is dedicated to the reduction of waste through effective recycling. LRR operates numerous centers for convenient and accessible participation. LRR manages a dynamic web interface for the exchange of commonly used items.

Public Transportation

  • System of local and regional services
  • Local routes connect neighborhoods to town centers, schools, etc.
  • Regional Routes are part of Mercer Middlesex Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
  • Connects to route 1 centers (employment), Trenton, Princeton, train stations (Trenton, Hamilton, Princeton Junction).
  • Town centers include attractive and convenient BRT stations.
  • Vehicles are fully accessible and zero or near-zero emissions.
  • Fare collection is electronic (Like EZ pass) and low cost.
  • Roads retrofitted to allow BRT to bypass congestion and provide competitive travel times.

Leave reply

Back to Top