I spent last Thursday and Friday at the International Living Future Institute's (ILFI) Net Positive (Energy+Water) conference in San Francisco. During the Conference, and since, I found my brain in overdrive in ways it has not been in a long time. The key insight that crystallized this morning is: becoming a world community of regenerative cities (economically, ecologically, and culturally) by 2030 is our/society's hail Mary sustainability pass.
That there is precious little time remaining to create the foundation we need for success is overwhelmingly clear. The only question is to whom to throw the pass, who will catch it and run it into the end zone? In other words, how to do it. But we don't need to know how, now, so much, as what and by when, and which direction, what level of performance, and the motivation to innovate all the way there. The way, the tools, don't all exist yet and must be invented--on the fly and just in time. Fortunately, just-in-time invention is humanity's strong suit. And then, of course, we need every team to be making the same play, in every game of the season and the focus of off season training. That is our vision, mission, goal, all wrapped up in one statement. Success will require alignment and a strong, accurate, and focused set of principles, design parameters, an integrative framework/foundation, and objectives will all be instrumental (forthcoming).
To whom to look for inspiration, motivation, example? The European Community goal of a carbon neutral, cyclical economy by 2030 is one example. The City of Palo Alto is contemplating net zero energy in 10 years. ILFI recently up-scaled its Living Building Challenge to the community and launched its Living Future Congresses as an innovative leadership response to address the policy barriers to sustainability . . . .
Scott T. Edmondson, AICP