American City Elgin Review


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The case study concerns the American city Elgin, Illinois. It was well-known in the 1870’s due to the Elgin National Watch Company. At times, the company was running very well, and the city was making progress. For some reasons, the company was closed in 1965. As a result, the city highly suffered from this loss. The huge failure impacted the people both directly and indirectly. The sustainability of the community regarding economical and environmental aspects was at risk. The city renewed its status of a healthy city through the community leadership with the assistance of many great leaders and public support. The failure of sustainability of the city was converted into success. The revival of the city gave path to success that is an ongoing process.


Elgin National Watch Company was demolished that had an effect on the economic situation in the city. Small businesses were also facing challenges. Population suffered financially. Generally, the whole community was going through hard times. Social support was also weighed down. The unsustainable factors of the city were main crop and watch market. The health care system of the community was also in a bad situation. Diabetes, hypertension, back and knee pain were common in people. 

The problem of overweight became widespread in the community. In such condition, Dave Kaptain suggested the idea of sustainability as a stool with three legs: environment, economic development, and the social equity and equality.


The elements of sustainability were diagnosed; these were a clean and healthy environment, a good economy, and equality in the society. Sustainability master plan was introduced and implemented for the revival of the city. After the six years of efforts by Kaptain on the Elgin planning commission, new businesses wanted to get start, which improved the economic position of the city. Fast progress was explained by new businesses and strong position of health and economy. As a result, in 2011, the country planning department focused on the land–use project. The project includes such aspects places for walking, paths for bikes, fresh fruits and vegetables, and open, fresh place for healthy living.

From the case study, it is obvious that physical health is directly related to the economic development and sustainability of the community. So, healthy environment should be the core area of any community planning activity. Zoning laws were implemented in the community. The concept of the mixed type of housing was introduced as a solution to zoning laws. It was stated that fast food restaurants should be at least a mile away from the schools. Sidewalks, transit stops bike ways, and other transposition facilities must be adopted by the community. Age, income, and social variety are vital factors for a sustainable community.   

Cure and the Prevention

A healthy environment and equality in the society was provided to the community, which resulted into fast growing development and strong economic position. The overall philosophy of the project concerned the healthy environment, good economy, and equality in the society. The great investment from the private sectors was obtained. The group named Activate Elgin worked to bring a healthy diet both for children and adults.

Cleaning the environment is also one of the very important aspects. In Elgin, nine groups are working on different areas, namely transportation, water resources, urban design, parks and green infrastructure, waste management and recycling. Fox River is a great example of creating clean water and air. The aim was to make water good enough for swimming and fishing. Billions of dolls were used for the process of cleaning of the Fox River. Elgin also has cleaning water for drinking. River side restaurants and many new green river side parks participated to improve the environment. Living places are offered at affordable prices to employees working in industries and hospitals. Recent concept of corporate housing has been introduced. One of the well-known places of Elgin is FestivalPark.

To develop the sustainable community, the introduction of a new business is highly required. The question is when, how, and where a product is produced and what will happen when it is no longer in use. The concept of recycling is being developed. Here, comes the idea of the organic business. Energy could be saved through the use of light by sensors that can adjust to the sunlight.

The success of Elgin could be measured judging on the involvement of people in this effort; it shows that nearly every person is a part of it. Organism requires the sustainability of nature.

The idea from the case study is taken to change the situation with education which is rather important. Only educated community can turn loss into success. The changes in a healthy environment can affect the sustainability of the community. Success is always a long way to go.

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