Sustainability of the Built Environment of the St. Louis Region

by Tom & Carol Braford

The St Louis Artists’ Guild has invited us to participate on November 15th in a panel discussion on this subject.

We will address how we as professionals can educate others on this subject through the projects we are involved in. As we develop Culver Way, the prototype Integral Urban Ecovillage, followed by a network of them, it is all about educating ourselves, others, the community and the world about what’s sustainably possible. The key is that the approach must be comprehensive and holistic if we are going to create truly sustainable lifestyles in time.

Sustainability by its very definition is rooted in time and we must choose now to go all the way down this track or we will soon go away as a species. No tinkering around the edges; we need systemic transformation now!

We will consider individual and family lifestyle changes and regional policy changes that would have the biggest impact. I think that instituting Ecovillage zoning that allows for the latest in both physical and social technologies would be the most effective. Ultimately, we are interested in policy commitments to have St Louis be known as an Eco City and the area, an Eco Region.

We will also address what the roadblocks are for our region and our individual projects. On both counts I would say financing is the biggest challenge.

Ironically, solving this one for our project will open up broader opportunities for sustainability throughout the region.

When we consider where we are on the spectrum of sustainability right now, I would say we are quite a ways down the path, and we have a very real opportunity to make a quantum leap within the next year or two if we are willing to come together and collaborate.

Policy changes and personal lifestyle changes can help, but collaborating fully is the only way to get to true sustainability in our region or anywhere. Going our individual, piecemeal ways is just not sustainable; we must come together to meet this challenge. And we must do it now!

Join us on 11/15, www.stlouisartistsguild.org, and visit the Ecovillage on Saturday, November 19th, for our monthly tour and open house at 11:00, followed by a potluck lunch.


Culver Way Ecovillage:

Tom & Carol Braford