Sustainable development means understanding the social, economic and environmental conditions necessary to sustain a high quality of life and ensuring that those conditions are preserved for us and for future generations. The symbol shown illustrates the interdependence of these three systems for supporting human civilizations. Since the concept was first adopted in 1987 by the United Nations, achieving sustainable development has been acknowledged as the greatest challenge and imperative of our time.
The International Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations advisory body involving about 2,500 scientists around the world, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences both have issued findings that global climate change is happening and that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities play a significant role. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and the climate changes associated with their accumulation in the atmosphere pose serious concerns and challenges such as rising sea levels, changes in rainfall patterns, more severe droughts and floods, harsher hurricanes and other windstorms, and new pathways for disease.
Municipalities across the nation and in New Jersey are beginning to recognize their essential role in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change by adopting sustainability as a guiding principle for development. The Township of West Windsor has recognized this need and set about drafting the Sustainable West Windsor Plan 2007 to create a long-term vision, an action plan, and a way to track progress toward sustainable development. This plan is intended to inform future amendments to the Township’s Master Plan and related policy implementation. The Sustainable West Windsor Plan 2007- Reference Compendium (RC) serves as a companion document, providing additional information and/or clarification about proposed actions in the Sustainable West Windsor Plan 2007.