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A city in northern Ontario, which has suffered more than a century of pollution from mining, went from being internationally notorious for its pollution to winning awards for its environmental restoration. The inquiry was into the levers of change that led from an awareness of environmental destruction to taking action. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 60 people from the community, politicians, industry, miners, and academics. The theory-based analysis led to a community-change model that has helped identify the multiple layers of change required for the re-greening of the environment. With reference to the collective impact literature, this city-level case study found that the city has embraced change based upon agreement on an emerging vision, taking advantage of a confluence of timing and events, adopting evidence-based knowledge, building a sense of pride and place, and having a diffuse yet linked leadership. The Sudbury story is helpful for other industrial communities looking to achieve change.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
223 kB



  • Journal title
    • Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

  • Volume
    • 10

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022