Thinking Locally

While sustainability is a concept rooted in global thinking, we all know that the actual implementation of the concept has to happen locally. Found a couple of items on Google News today that demonstrate more localities are adopting or advocating for models of sustainability to address a variety of issues:

  • From Minnesota’s This Week Online, news that Dakota County, MN, has adopted a new environmental and resource management plan based on sustainable development.

Included within the county’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan, the [Environmental and Natural Resource Management Policy Plan] establishes guidelines for the county’s efforts to manage and preserve natural resources….

Sustainability will work as a synergy between the county’s other plans for waste, parks, stormwater and handling decisions for the Vermillion River Watershed.

Dakota County’s sustainability plan will impact how local decisions are made through joint implementation between cities, schools and nonprofit organizations.

[The Devon Sustainable Building Initiative director Gareth Walton] said: “In Cranbrook we would like to see the developments be as sustainable as possible and make sure they are insulated properly.

“Solar panels to heat water on each house or at a town level could be considered.

“We want all communities to be beacons of sustainability for the county and region.

“We are concerned it will not be a sustainability beacon, which it should be.”

Derek Spreckward of Taylor Woodrow, one of the new community developers, said: Cranbrook’s developers will happily comply with the changes to the building regulations being introduced next year, which are aimed at improving the sustainability of building in the UK.”

While both of these items demonstrate “small steps” within “the big picture,” I’m encouraged to see that local governments, planners and developers, as well as sustainability activists, are considering the environmental impact of their decisions. More importantly, it’s great to see smaller communities wrestling with these concepts. Sustainability: it’s not just for San Francisco anymore πŸ˜‰

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