Broad Views on Sustainability!
Sue Jensen is a registered landscape architect, living and working in Broadview. Sue Jensen is an advocate for environmental stewardship, useable open space, universal design, active streetscapes, urban agriculture, community volunteer efforts, the collaborative design process, and inspired design for healthy, sustainable communities.
What does Sustainable mean to those of us in Broadview? Where do we stand as a community and where should we do we want to be? In our current climate of economic recession and uncertainty, how do we value sustainable and environmental choices, now and as we plan for our future? This question takes on new urgency as over the next months, the City of Seattle is kicking off the neighborhood planning update process for the Broadview, Bitter Lake and Haller Lake communities. I will be joining 15 other residents as a member of the Broadview-Bitter Lake-Haller Lake Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) as we begin the neighborhood planning update with the city staff, planning for a sustainable, healthy and thriving community.
Sustainability, like the words ‘Green’ and ‘Eco-friendly’, is in danger of becoming an overused social buzzword. Wikipedia defines Sustainability as the capacity to endure. In ecology, the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans, it is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which in turn depends on the well being of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources.
Many people like to frame their decisions and take actions considering the “three pillars” of social, environmental and economic sustainability, the three ‘P’s’: the Planet, People and Prosperity. We want our long term decisions to consider social, economic and environmental consequences. This graphic may be helpful to show the inter-relationships between the three, and their consequences.
How should we plan for a Sustainable Broadview? In upcoming columns we will begin a discussion on what decisions can we make both in our own individual lives, and in setting the direction for the greater Broadview neighborhood in general, that can more us towards enduring, and responsible sustainability. Topics could include discussion, tips and links for, such as like reducing your home energy use, alternative energy ideas, home products and remodeling, native plantings and natural yard care, home cleaning choices, re-making an over-grown garden and easy ways to add raised vegetable beds to your yard.
Topics for upcoming entries on Sustainable Communities could include transportation of all types (sidewalks, bikes lanes, road diets, such as the recent one on 130th and the proposed one for 125th in Lake City, and the Metro Rapid Ride program); p-patch development, open space and park planning; follow up on proposed tree preservation regulations; housing types and density. We want to explore and discuss how can we plan for future development and infrastructure, density and housing choices, creating a more lively Hub Urban Center at Bitterlake, neighborhood shopping/mixed use areas and more walkable, livable, safe and green neighborhoods. Let us know what Sustainable Community and Green Living topics interest you most!!
Think twice before using pesticides
Scientists have found 23 pesticides(weed and bug killers) in our local streams, many at levels that may damage salmon and other wildlife. Overuse of these products can also damage soil and plant health. Questions? Natural Lawn & Garden Hotline @206.633.0224