WIT Press

Continuity and adaptability: a collaborative, Eco-Industrial Park (EIP)-focused approach to managing Small Town Community (STC) sustainability


Free (open access)


Volume 12 (2017), Issue 3



Page Range

468 - 476

Paper DOI



WIT Press




Outmigration, coupled with disruptive change – technological and climatic, present challenges for a small town community (STC) continuity and a concomitant adaptability imperative. The thesis of this paper is that the paramount need of STC is to attract and help to maintain SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) as the providers of jobs, and connected local economic benefits. However, urban planning faces concerns over their legitimacy, transparency, and the effects of what are perceived as (largely) politico-economic-driven and delayed planning processes. To address both needs and concerns, an original approach centred on collaborative decision-making by an eco-industrial park (EIP) stakeholder committee is explored. The connectivity of the local EIP tenants and stakeholder committee to an international EIP network enables adaptability and timely, informed STC decision making. To improve transparency and traceability in the latter, systematic, regular and scientific data gathering from its stakeholders is proposed. For this, a TRA/TPA-based research methodology is posited, and its application outlined. The discussion is based on research into urban planning, EIP and into SME management of eco-adaptation (EA), It is viewed as contributing to an important debate about urban planning processes, and to the change management needs of small towns. It has potential application to larger urban areas, and to cities. A list of recommendations for further research is provided.


adaptability, collaborative decision making, connectivity, continuity, EA, EIP, legitimacy, SME, stakeholder committee, STC, TRA/TPA research.