Life in a Local Living Economy

Video: How Bellingham, Washington keeps it local.
Farmer's Market Girl

Bellingham, Washington is the nation's leader in community green power. It was named the number one small city in urban process toward sustainability, and is home to a thriving network of businesses, consumers, and government programs that make creating a "local living economy" a city priority.

What's that? It's an economy "where local business owners make up the majority of the local economy, where today’s innovations in sustainable agriculture, in green building, in renewable energy and energy efficiency, in community capital, in green jobs, in local manufacturing are all tied together within the context of a place, so that you have an economy that is community-based, green, and fair." That definition is courtesy of Michelle Long, the co-founder of Sustainable Connections, a non-profit network connecting Bellingham businesses, and now the executive director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, which takes the vision to cities throughout North America.


  • By working with local businesses, Michelle Long helped make Bellingham, Washington a national leader in urban sustainability.

  • More local, durable economies are already taking root. We can help them along by changing the way we regulate businesses, plan cities, and finance the communities we want.

  • David Korten and David Brancaccio discuss what economic transformation has to do with building stronger, happier communities.