What is a sustainable community?

Sustainability means different things to different people, and in different contexts. This is what it means to me (borrowing language heavily from the Wikipedia definition):

A sustainable community is one that provides opportunities for its citizens in ways that do not compromise opportunities for future generations.

Sustainability is a means of configuring civilization and human activity so that

  • society, its members and its economies are able to meet their needs and express their greatest potential in the present
  • while preserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems, and
  • planning and acting for the ability to maintain these ideals in the very long term.

mixed-ag-wind.jpgThe sustainability issues I focus on most intensely are energy-related, as I believe these are central to developing a sustainable community. I’ve been invited to give a talk on “Creating a Sustainable Community Energy System in Northfield” at the Local Energy/Local Opportunities Clean Energy Resource Team Conference in St. Cloud on January 17th. This has given me the opportunity to flesh out my thinking on this subject.

hybrid-vision.jpgIn a nutshell, my vision of a sustainable future is a hybrid between what underground comic artist R. Crumb once described as the “Techno-Fix” future and the “Ecotopian Solution.”

To get a more complete sense of what I envision as a sustainable community energy system, click here to open a PDF copy of my conference presentation.

One Comment

  1. Posted April 5, 2008 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    Wonderful pages! Keep up the grat work.o

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