Over the past decade of consulting and developing, I’ve observed a lot and learned even more. I’m overwhelmed by the complex challenges facing our communities, inspired by the increasing number of successes being made, and disappointed by the polarized views that are constipating much needed change. At the end of the day, it all comes down to one question for me:
How do we create human settlement – cities, small towns, new communities – that meet the needs of modern society and the market – in a way that is consistent with what we know about sustainability?
This is not meant to be an evangelical blog for green. It is not meant to be a technical compendium. Instead I want to invite discourse and frank discussion about the challenges we face, provide hope for when a solution is emerging, and highlight successes being made.
And through this process I would hope to shift thinking around the commonly understood measures of success – financial, ecological, or social. Our fast paced, attention deficit mindset leads us to seek simple barometers for complex problems. But progress for today’s challenges cannot be reduced to a single metric – internal rate of return, return on equity, carbon footprint. We need to embrace a much wider field of vision so we can better understand how value is created, for whom, and by what techniques.
Not that it’s going to be easy. But nothing worth doing ever is.