Decatur Next

Decatur Diary | May 25, 2010

Let’s Talk: Sustainability, Yes.
But What, Where and How?

Now that we’ve completed our second of three community Round Table discussions, we can flesh out categories that have come up over and over. In our last post, we invited comments about integrating the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, and car drivers (and parkers). Now let’s explore the implications of a word we’re saying and hearing a lot: “sustainability.”

Given its use these days, sustainability has come to mean different things to different people. For some, it’s the textbook consideration of how a community’s social, economic and environmental assets can be perpetuated. For others, it’s new light bulbs, non-chemical products and other, more earth-friendly household decisions. Still others see sustainability implications in how we get to work and where and how we grow our food.

What does it mean to you?

What goals for sustainability matter most here in Decatur? Preserving open space, clean air and water, getting more people out of cars, greener building standards, better management of storm water, enhanced local food production and distribution? What else?

Decatur’s green sensitivity is nothing new. In 1998, when Round Tables similar to the ones we doing now came up with a list of action steps for the next decade, we made continuing “the commitment to environmental quality” one of the top ten goals. And out of that last Strategic Plan came projects to: Improve linkages between green spaces; preserve and expand green space, wetlands and trees; and study air and water quality programs.

Now, where do we direct the momentum?

For this update of the Strategic Plan, it’s clear lots of folks are up for tackling sustainability challenges on a broader level. So let’s continue the conversation we’re hearing in the Round Tables online.

In the space below, give us your thoughts on what sustainability means to you and where, specifically, we want to focus our attention. We can’t fulfill the complete wish list, at least not all at once. So what should our priorities be?

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