Everyone who has ridden a tricycle understands the fact that three wheels are more stable than one or two. In fact, a three-legged stool gives greater stability than one with four (or more) legs when the surface on which the stool sits is not perfectly level.
We also have learned that the simple balance of three applies not only to working with the laws of gravity, but to all aspects of life, hence the triple bottom line of sustainable development. What is harder to understand is why humans have so much difficulty applying this basic scientific fact through better balanced public and private policy.
Our current predicament is reminiscent of a comment that world-class architect and sustainability pioneer William McDonough commonly makes in his presentations as he circles the globe with a Cradle to Cradle™ design message of hope for a future civilization where “waste equals food.” Having witnessed his presentations in person and on video numerous times, we still chuckle with the audience at the irony as McDonough delivers one of his standard lines to illustrate the situation in which we find ourselves. “If we’re so smart,” he snidely remarks, “why did it take us 5,000 years to put wheels on our luggage?”... http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/12/designing-big-wheel-civilization/
Meet the Needs of the New Generation
In cities around the world, leaders are realizing that their economic futures hinge, not so much on luring new companies to town or on economic development strategies of the past, but on their ability to engage the next generation of professionals. As described in the Business Facilities magazine article, “Capturing the Creative Class”, this new generation includes “creative professionals” who work in healthcare, business, and finance, for example, and the “super-creative core,” which includes scientists, engineers, and innovators, as well as artists, designers, writers, and musicians. This class is projected to be the core force of growth in our future economy, and will add millions of jobs in the next decade... http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/09/meet-new-generation/
Avatar & Deepening Perspectives on Sustainable Land Development
As we started to publish this issue, Haiti was devastated by yet another catastrophic event that literally drives the inevitable outcome of unsustainable land development into the ground. Beyond the immediate relief efforts, perhaps now is the time to seriously consider restoring a sustainable Haiti.
This past month, three other ground-breaking events provided differing, yet deepening perspectives to the discourse on sustainable land development. Interestingly, all of these events become well integrated when looked at through the holistic lens of SLDI and The SLDI Code™.
Opening to critical acclaim and unprecedented commercial success, James Cameron’s 3-D movie spectacle Avatar has become the fastest film to reach $1 billion in box office receipts. Here’s the plot set up – In 2154, the profit-focused RDA corporation is unsustainably mining Pandora, a lush, Earth-like moon of another planet. Pandora is inhabited by the Na’vi, a sapient species who has adapted to integrate their lives in ways that sustain their planet. The Na’vi resist the colonists’ expansion, which threatens the continued existence of the Na’vi and their ecosystem – sort of like Dances with Wolves meets Star Wars.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Charles C. Mann sets the record straight with a new nonfiction book released this past month that provides a fascinating look at the real lives of ancient Meso-American people – Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491. This is an adaptation of Mann’s best-selling nonfiction book 1491, which turned everything I had previously learned about American history on its head by demonstrating that a growing number of anthropologists and archaeologists now believe that the Western Hemisphere before Columbus’s arrival was well-populated and dotted with impressive cities and towns – one scholar estimated that it held a hundred million people or more – more than lived in Europe at the time. The Indians had transformed vast swaths of landscape to meet their agricultural needs by using fire to create prairies for increased game production, and had also cultivated at least part of the forest, living on crops of fruits and nuts.
The contentious debate over what the ecosystem looked like before Columbus arrived has important ramifications for how we sustainably manage the landscape of the future – one which many environmentalists may not like to hear. According to Mann -
Guided by the pristine myth, mainstream environmentalists want to preserve as much of the world’s land as possible in a putatively intact state. But “intact,” if the new research is correct, means “run by human beings for human purposes.” Environmentalists dislike this, because it seems to mean that anything goes. In a sense they are correct. Native Americans managed the continent as they saw fit. Modern nations must do the same. If they want to return as much of the landscape as possible to its 1491 state, they will have to find it within themselves to create the world’s largest garden.