A Unifying Framework
To facilitate working together toward sustainability, the City of Madison adopted a framework called The Natural Step (TNS) to guide its decision making, operations and management in accordance with the recommendations of the “Building a Green Capital City: A Blueprint for Madison’s Sustainable Design and Energy Future”
plan. The Common Council adopted this resolution in December of 2005.
This framework provides a model and a common language that facilitates cooperation in working toward the goal of sustainability. It is grounded in "systems thinking", which recognizes that what happens in one part of a system affects every other part.
The Natural Step uses the metaphor of a funnel to help visualize the economic, social and environmental pressures that will result in increasingly negative impacts on society as natural resources continue to diminish while demand increases.