Government and Sustainable Development - Voice of San Diego

Community UNVEILING THE UNSEEN

Government and Sustainable Development

Amazingly, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the national system of ranking buildings on their level of “green,” could theoretically rate a building in the desert as good for the environment without using solar or recycled water systems.

Does this make sense when a green building should fit the geographic and climatic conditions in which it is placed?

The facts please: Approximately 40 percent of all energy in the United States is used to heat, cool and power buildings. Forget about whether global warming is real or is created by the human race. Could we, in one national shift, curb our carbon emissions while creating economic benefit?

In San Diego County, we import almost 85 percent of our water and 50 percent of our energy from outside the region.

Water? How can we be opposed to recycling wastewater when 200-plus municipalities discharge treated sewage back into the Colorado River before we transport it to San Diego?

Energy? Why are we opposed to new power plants to provide power for the region when we live in an area ripe for solar energy production but don’t produce a large percentage of power from this clean-renewable source?

Builders and developers are attempting to capitalize on the national shift of going green but does this mean they understand what sustainable development truly means? Sustainable development is actually comprised of environmental, economic, social and political sustainability.

In the city of San Diego, a system has been implemented to expedite approvals for green projects.

Should it be an option or a requirement for new development projects to have a green component?

Moreover, is it the developer or government’s responsibility to lead the transition to green or, more importantly, sustainable development projects?

Green Village, our proposed sustainable development project in National City, an 8-acre, five-city-block master planned multi-use project will have a state-of-the-art water recycling system, alternative energy and clean co-generation applications in a smart growth-designated urban infill area adjacent to major trolley/public transportation corridors.

Why is this project so important to San Diego, the United States and the world? Watch us as we create a model of internationally recognized sustainable development, our proposed Green Village project.

Will government jump on board to provide LEEDership with us?

JOSH KNOEFLER
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