Founded by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Sonoran Institute, the Successful Communities Online Toolkit information exchange (SCOTie) is a repository of best practices and resources from model western communities created by Western Lands and Communities, a joint venture of Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Sonoran Institute.
At its foundation, SCOTie combines years of planning experience and recognized leadership in capacity building, planning and visioning efforts of the Sonoran Institute with the expertise of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. SCOTie empowers planners and community advocates with tools to make important changes in their communities.
SCOTie is a database of active model smart growth and resource protection plans and policies from rural, amenity, and urban communities across the West. The information contained within the toolkit is designed to inform planners of best practices from peer western communities to preserve local identity, stimulate a healthy economy, safeguard natural and cultural resources, and empower communities to craft policies that fit their local circumstances.
Hallmarks of Successful Communities
The Sonoran Institute has a long history of working with local communities in the West. Based on this experience, the Sonoran Institute has identified five important elements, which we call the Hallmarks of Successful Communities. Successful Communities exhibit the following characteristics in successfully coping with growth and change:
1. Develop a broadly shared vision of future through an inclusive process that engages the diverse interests of the community to foster constructive informed dialogue.
2. Understand their local economy within the context of regional, national, and global economies.
3. Understand natural and cultural assets influence and are affected by population growth and development.
4. Effectively manage growth and change through use of a wide variety of both regulatory and non-regulatory strategies and tools to protect or enhance local assets promoting more sustainable patterns of growth.
5. Value leadership and cultivate local leaders who can help realize their vision by participation in local civic affairs.
The Successful Communities Toolkit information exchange (SCOTie) is based upon these hallmarks including eight thematic categories: visioning, cultural and natural resource assets, health and safety, urban form, energy, regional cooperation and infrastructure, fiscal responsibility and social equity, and climate resilience planning. Each of these categories includes more specific issue areas to aid in finding local examples of best practices from around the West.