The Green Column #41

22 Sustainability Resolutions for 2011

January 21, 2011—2011 has the potential to be an enormous year of progress for Cleaner Greener Lincoln. Iconic projects that will focus public attention on Lincoln’s green and sustainable assets during the coming year are:

  • New Assurity Life Insurance Headquarters— Located at 20th and Q Streets in the Antelope Valley development, the building will open in 2011 and is designed to meet the Gold standard of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
  • The Lincoln Public Schools will have completed more than $300,000,000 in bonded school construction that has been designed to LEED standards.
  • The initial design and planning of the Arena and the West Haymarket Development project will occur in 2011, with completion expected in 2013. The City and the designers are intending to incorporate green standards throughout the West Haymarket development.
  • Centennial Mall designs have been recently announced. Detailed planning and final fundraising will be completed in 2011 with the inclusion of green infrastructure systems and sustainable landscaping characteristics.
  • The Civic Plaza project is in the preliminary design phase, with intentions to incorporate green standards.
  • Lincoln Electric System’s Sustainable Energy Program is allocating $2 million to promote increased residential and commercial community-wide energy efficiency.
  • Lincoln’s Cleaner Greener Energy Challenge Program, using Lincoln’s share of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will provide new opportunities for home owners and business owners to increase the comfort and energy performance of their buildings.
  • Omaha and Lincoln Better Buildings Program, with $10,000,000 federal funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program will fund renovation construction for thousands of existing buildings in the two cities, over the next three years.
  • City of Lincoln/Lincoln Green by Design partnership for Lincoln’s first Green Map of the location and type of all “green” assets in the city. The map will provide a handy reference to citizens and consumers who wish to make green choices for their products and services.
  • EcoStores Nebraska is planning to open a new Eco Products and Services Center at 530 W. P Street. This exhibit center will provide a one-stop source of information about the availability and the performance of products and services for greener living and working environments.
  • The continuing work by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Department and the LPlan2040 Advisory Committee for the rewrite of Lincoln’s Comprehensive Plan, with intentions of creating new guidelines for a Sustainable Lincoln.
  • The Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities’ Conversations Conferences on Nebraska’s Environment and Sustainability. The Lincoln Conversations Conference, open to the public, is scheduled for February 11, 2011, at the UNL East Campus Union.

So many opportunities, so much funding, such an abundance of quality resources—and, so much to do, with so little time available! The keys to this community’s best use of all these opportunities and resources are resolve and action.

As we contemplate these and other projects that are intended to improve our, and our descendants? quality of life in Lincoln, can I interest you in joining me in making the following New Year’s Resolutions?

Environmental Context
1. See yourself as an integral part of nature.
2. Plan in a precautionary manner, as if the worst estimate could come true, especially concerning endangered species, nonrenewable resources, and peak oil reserves (the precautionary principle).
3. Treat land, water, air, energy and food as our most precious and threatened resources.
4. Act in every way possible to restore resources and life to the planet; practice “reduce, reuse, repair and recycle”.
5. Begin all assessments for action from environmental principles first; use systems analyses, look for the interconnections/interdependencies.

Socio-Cultural Context
6. Reinvent civil public discourse in government, management and policy-making.
7. Respect and welcome all opinions; engage the stakeholders in decision-making.
8. Respect and enhance cultural distinctions, choice of lifestyles, and historical heritages.
9. Teach holistic, systems, and circular thinking, as a balance to the linear, scientific method.

Technological Context
10. Apply all available information technologies and media to the interests of public awareness about the principles of sustainability.
11. Promote the applications of solar related energy technologies (sun, wind, geo-thermal) for residential, commerce, industry and community placemaking.
12. Promote all available strategies and technologies for recycle, re-use, repair and preservation of places, materials, and systems.
13. Do not overlook old, appropriate technologies, practices, and ideas for only the sake of the new.

Economic Context
14. Promote economic practices and conservation policies that will discourage consumption of nonrenewable resources; promote zero waste products/industries and eco-industries that exchange wastes for products.
15. Encourage economic incentives and benefits for local ownership, production, and marketing, as a higher priority than absentee or global ownership.
16. Encourage incentives for green, socio-culturally-responsible investments, savings and purchases.
17. Encourage incentives and benefits to local and regional cooperatives and micro enterprises.

Public Policy Context
18. Question every public policy, at every level—municipal to global—for its impact on community sustainability.
19. Challenge public policies that subsidize or protect consumption at the expense of nonrenewable resources.
20. Promote public policies that will enhance local production for local consumption.
21. Seek coalitions for public policies and civic improvements that facilitate sustainable practices.


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