Sustainable "Green" Economic Development combines environmental improvement and traditional economic development into one discipline. Traditional economic development can be employed to increase employment while improving our environment. Economic Development and “Green” Development should be synergistic, improving our overall quality of life.
Sustainable Development – Definitions
"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." United Nations
"We believe 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."
US State Department http://www.state.gov/g/oes/sus/
"We pledge to transmit this city not only not less, but far greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us." Oath written by Pericles. From 594 to 404 B.C., literature, science, philosophy, and the arts flourished in Athens. The birthplace of democracy had its golden age during the rule of statesman Pericles (c. 495-429 B.C.), who made sweeping political reforms and actively supported the arts. Pericles is credited with the Athenian oath of fealty.
"Leave your campground better than you found it." Scouting Principle.
“Leave your community better than you found it.” Our Principle.
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.
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.
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)
Our simple rule set and acronym is:
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 your 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
Feel free to use this adapt this brief strategy to your own local situation.
Our communities will provide quality jobs at good wages while improving our environment.
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.
The following are our recommended improvements to "Green" our communities that we will pursue that are aimed at retaining and expanding 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 maintained
· 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
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 both emphasis 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.
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.
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About the authors –
Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction at Bradley University Dr. Al-Khafaji is the only active faculty member on the Bradley University campus to have won both the Putnam Award for Teaching Excellence and the Rothberg Award for Research Excellence. He is Chairman of the City of Peoria Commission on Sustainability and Green Technology.
Chuck Eckenstahler is 35 year veteran of municipal planning, economic development and real estate consultant serving clients in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, and a past contributor to the Illinois Municipal Review. He teaches economic development subjects in the Graduate School of Business at Purdue North Central, Westville, Indiana and serves on the faculty of the Lowell Stahl Center for Commercial Real Estate Studies at Lewis University, Oakbrook Illinois. Find out more about him athttp://www.linkedin.com/in/chuckeckenstahler He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 219-861-2077.
Craig Hullinger AICP has 35 years of experience in economic development, city planning, and transportation planning. He is a Partner in the consulting firm Ruyle Hullinger and Associates. He was the Economic Development Director of the City of Peoria, Illinois, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Lamda Alpha. He was formerly Planning Director of Will County. He publishes a number of blogs on economic development, planning, and sustainability which can be found at http://craighullinger.com/. He can be contacted at email@example.com or by phone at 309-634-5557.