Jul 18, 2015

Sustainable "Green" Economic Development

Sustainable "Green" Economic Development combines environmental improvement and traditional economic development into one discipline. It is possible that traditional economic development can be employed to increase employment while improving our environment. Economic Development and “Green” Development can be synergistic, improving our overall quality of life.

Sustainable Development is defined by the United Nations as "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”(1). Sustainable development begins at home and is supported by effective domestic policies and international partnerships. Self-governing people prepared to participate in an open world marketplace are the very foundation of sustainable development" (2).



Traditional Economic Development 

Economic development is the increase in the amount of people in a nation's population with sustained growth from a simple, low-income economy to a modern, high-income economy. Its scope includes the process and policies by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people (3). The University of Iowa's Center for International Finance and Development states that: "'Economic development' or 'development' is a term that economists, politicians, and others have used frequently in the 20th century. 


The concept, however, has been in existence in the West for centuries. Modernization, Westernization, and especially Industrialization are other terms people have used when discussing economic development. Although no one is sure when the concept originated, most people agree that development is closely bound up with the evolution of capitalism and the demise of feudalism (4).

The Canadian Center for Community Renewal defines “Community Economic Development as the process by which local people build organizations and partnerships that interconnect profitable business with other interests and values - for example, skills and education, health, housing, and the environment. In CED a lot more people get involved, describing how the community should change. A lot more organizations look for ways to make their actions and investments reinforce the wishes and intentions of the whole community. Business becomes a means to accumulate wealth and to make the local way of life more creative, inclusive, and sustainable - now and 20 or 30 years from now.” 


Sustainable Economic Development 

KISS (Keep it Sweet and Simple). A simple rule set and acronym is: 


KEEP 

Keep the businesses and jobs that you have

Expand the businesses you have

Enhance your community to attract new businesses

Protect and continuously improve the environment 




Sustainable Economic Development is the art of keeping and expanding our businesses while continually improving the Environment. As economic developers we provide information and assistance to companies who create new jobs. We create the policies and incentives to retain our existing businesses and support expansion. A good economic development office strives to have the most comprehensive and current information available on the following subject matter areas:

• Local demographics

• Quality of life

• Public infrastructure

• Business assistance

• Real estate

• Taxes, fees, regulations

• Market the community to targeted business industries


Both successful economic development and continuing improvement to the environment are a hallmark of a quality community. Some people still think that economic development is chasing smokestacks and that economic development hurts the environment. But that view is outdated. Working intelligently, business and government can expand the economy and retain and attract quality jobs while enhancing and improving the environment.


Sustainable Economic Development Strategy 

The Vision 

Our communities will provide quality jobs at good wages while improving our environment.

Mission Statement
We are committed to providing an environment in which our natural resources, our people, and our economy are balanced. We will not compromise the future by focusing solely on the needs of today. We aspire to make our communities regional leaders who develop, promotes, and improves the quality of our community through sustainable practices.


Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Mixed Use Development 


Sustainable Economic Development is consistent with the principles of Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Mixed Use Development. Growth presents a tremendous opportunity for progress and change. Communities around the country are looking for methods to optimize development and to amend zoning rules that make it difficult to place workplaces, homes, and services closer together. Citizens are faced with economic pressures and seek ways to save on car and gas use and on commuting time.

To address these challenges we must make a commitment to sustainable land use planning, often called "smart growth." Taking steps such as preserving open space, providing a variety of transportation choices, encouraging compact building designs and creating walk able communities will help the city choose smart growth strategies that encourage social, cultural and physical activity. Smart growth is a way to offer more choices to citizens in terms of deciding where to live, how to get around, and will protect the environment while stimulating economic growth. Mixed use development and new urbanism emphasize reducing travel times between work and home. This is certainly consistent with sustainable development.

Sustainable Economic Development operates within a social and economic context. Smart growth also strongly supports the revitalization and/or redevelopment of established and emerging urban neighborhoods. It promotes neighborhood-centric activity centers that employ a smart growth development template that integrates a mix of uses, multi-modal circulation options, public spaces and other elements.

Environmental sustainability is a part of this operation and is best achieved when integrated with other components. A sustainable economic development organization seeks to participate within its community, integrate economic development with environmental protection, and minimize the impacts of development on the community. Through seeking balance, an organization will take into account the needs of future generations.

With financial difficulties and environmental concerns facing the global and national economy, we will place a high priority on sustainable economic development, energy efficiency, and responsible growth management.


Conclusion 

Sustainable Economic Development will be the standard for future economic development and “green” environmental improvement efforts. We can and will improve our environment while providing jobs and tax base for our community.

Sustainable Economic Development will be the standard for future economic development and “green” environmental improvement efforts. We can and will improve our environment while providing jobs and tax base for our community.


Recommended Improvements

The following are our recommended improvements to "Green" our communities that we will pursue that while working to retain and expand our businesses and jobs:

· We will retain our existing businesses and jobs

· We will help our existing businesses expand

· We will attract new businesses

· Energy efficiency in all businesses is encouraged

· Developers are encouraged to create green buildings

· Mixed use development will be emphasized

· Historic buildings will be adaptively reused

· Walk ability of the city will be encouraged

· Incentives will be employed to support improvements

· Energy efficient buildings will be required

· Sedimentation and erosion controls will be enforced

· The ecology of waters edge areas will be enhanced

· Bike trails and racks will be emphasized

· Transit will be improved

· Trees and natural landscaping will be planted

· Renewable energy sources will be sought

· Recycling will be supported

· Air and water quality will be improved

· We will ensure a just and fair society

· We will seek to provide jobs for all of our citizens


We will follow the principles below: 

Promote efficient buildings

Use recycled material in buildings

Recycle building material waste

Encourage rain harvesting and irrigation

Use passive solar orientation of buildings

Encourage solar and wind energy systems

Employ green roofs

Support the use of natural landscaping

Improve municipal staff knowledge of “green” techniques

Support quality construction for long lived buildings

Encourage mixed use development

Support walk to work programs

Encourage development that supports transit

Support efforts to redevelop older communities

Permit Live / Work Space development

Support natural open space and parks

Use open surface natural drainage where feasible

Design wetlands, drainage ways and retention into parks

Support the local production of “green” technology equipment

Incorporate bikeways and pedestrian path

Minimize pavement widths & cost & material

Update codes to encourage “green” development

Encourage geothermal energy

Require street trees

Sustainable Land Use Planning 




Economic Development Links

scgov.net/EconomicDevelopment

scgov.net/sustainability

edcsarasotacounty.com

sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/Sustain/susfloridians.shtml



References