The Question: Is simplicity just an ideal or the true essence of sustainability?
A famous man once scribed the words “Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity” from a small shack he called home.
Does the Green movement still convey these words? Does a simpler design mean a more successful design? We who have been a key part this now exploding Green movement have the initial urge to say YES. However, our culture and development industry have become so complex that achieving a simple design is far from simple.
Here are a few big issues that community designers and planners face.
People: Our society has become so diverse that one solution won’t meet the needs of all groups and cultures. How can Green Design address the needs and tastes of different People?
Land: The land we build on is our connection to Place. In our current fast-paced culture, does connection to Place play as important a role as our connection to Things? How can Green Design re-establish that connection to the land?
Resources: As we deplete our natural resources we must find new ways to produce the things we desire. Does creating ‘Greener’ toys, trinkets, and gadgets really help us become more sustainable?
Food: Neighborhood-based sustainable development has recently recognized that community gardens and access to local food are a key part of a successful community design. While the Green movement has helped educate society about alternative foods, can it truly supply us with all the food we consume?
Code: Building Codes have been developed over several decades and often don’t allow a simple design. We are now trying to revise outdated codes, yet this is a difficult and lengthy process. How can we develop Green Building Codes that reflect our best practices?
One thing for sure, the word Green has brought forward an important awareness to our society. Now that we have the momentum, let’s not forget the deeper meaning of Green.
Posted by Ken K.